Hank Stram, R.I.P.

Stram.jpgHank Stram, one of the most creative professional football coaches and indisputedly one of the best evaluators of talent, died on Monday at the age of 82 from complications of diabetes. He was best known for coaching the Kansas City Chiefs to one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history, a 23-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings in 1970’s Super Bowl IV, a game that was particularly notable because of pre-game allegations regarding Kansas City QB Len Dawson’s alleged association with gambling figures.
The Chronicle’s Mickey Herskowitz — the preeminent sportswriter regarding football coaches from Stram’s era — weighs in on Coach Stram in this typically fine column. Mr. Herskowitz’s piece includes the following anecdote about the early days of professional football in Dallas, where Coach Stram coached the Dallas Texans AFL franchise. After sharing the Metroplex with the Dallas Cowboys NFL franchise for a couple of seasons, the Texans franchise moved to Kansas City in deference to the Cowboys. Herskowitz observes:

Stram fought the battle of Dallas, where the Cowboys and Texans both drew so poorly that a playoff was suggested, with the winning team getting to leave town.

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