(Photos courtesy of the Kansas City Chiefs)
Talk of Fame Network
The four most successful teams of the 1990s were the Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills, San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs. All won over 100 regular-season games, and all but one made it to the Super Bowl.
Will the Kansas City Chiefs please step forward?
Sure, the Chiefs were close. In fact, in 1993 they reached the conference championship game in Buffalo, but quarterback Joe Montana bowed out in the second half with a concussion and Buffalo went on to a 30-13 victory, advancing to its fourth consecutive Super Bowl.
The man who built that Chiefs’ team was former president and general manager Carl Peterson, now with USA Football, and he told the Talk of Fame Network that the “greatest disappointment” of his two decades with the Chiefs was not reaching the Super Bowl.
“In my twenty years,” he said, “we three times were 13-3 and were the number one seed in the AFC. All we needed to do was win the first two games at home — and for years we had the best home record at Arrowhead — and we’re in the Super Bowl. Yet we couldn’t get it done — twice with Marty (Schottenheimer) and once with Dick Vermeil.
“We had a great team with Dick his third year with the Chiefs but got to the playoff after the bye week, and ran into a guy named Peyton Manning in a game I’ll never forget because neither team punted. I was disappointed obviously. It was probably the greatest disappointment of my career because my goal when I went to work in 1989 for (former owner) Lamar Hunt was to hand him the trophy that bore his name – the Lamar Hunt trophy — which means you won the AFC championship, and you will be in the Super Bowl.
“(But) it wasn’t meant to be. We had a great team with Joe Montana, but it just didn’t happen. But sometimes, as you know, that’s just the way the ball bounces.”
Montana wasn’t the only star on that 1993 club. There was Marcus Allen, the league’s 11th-ranked defense and a rookie guard named Will Shields. But Montana was the catalyst in what Peterson called “a magical season,” serving not only as the leader on and off the field but as the component that convinced Allen to make the switch from Los Angeles to Kansas City.
Montana was acquired in a trade with San Francisco prior to the season.
“Once we got (Joe) done,” said Peterson, “we were recruiting in unrestricted free agency Marcus Allen, but Marcus had two or three other suitors — Washington, I think, and Green Bay and Arizona – and he was looking at his possibilities (and) options. And when I made the trade for Joe, Marcus called me and he said, ‘Mr. Peterson, I’m definitely now coming to Kansas City.’ And I said, ‘Why’s that?’ And he said, ‘Well, the number-one reason is I, like most offensive players, want to play with Joe Montana. And he says, ‘Number two, I think you know, it will be two opportunities a year to see what I might do to my former owner, Mr. Alvin Davis.’ ”
The results speak for themselves: In Allen’s five seasons with Kansas City, the Chiefs were 9-1 vs. Oakland.