Lifelong Chiefs fans Lenny and Randy Eagleman, brothers from West Plains, have impatiently waited 50 years for the day when their favorite team would once again have a shot at Super Bowl glory.
Year in and year out, they have ridden an emotional roller coaster with their team. Through the good seasons and the bad, the strong teams and weak, the close calls and the mile misses, the Eagleman brothers have never turned their backs.
“I remember everyone gathered in the living room that Sunday,” Randy said, recalling that fateful day in 1970. “I was only 6 years old, so I didn’t understand exactly what was happening, but everyone was excited for the Chiefs. I started cheering for them that day, and I’ve been cheering for them ever since.”
Just like American songwriter Harlan Howard, Kansas City fans have had “Heartaches by the number.”
They watched in the fall of 1970 as Len Dawson was speared by Ben Davidson of the Oakland Raiders while on the ground after running for a first down, which would have allowed Kansas City to run out the clock and securing the team’s win.
The incident led to a bench-clearing brawl that ended with Dawson’s first down being nullified, thus ultimately costing Kansas City the win.
Once again, hopes were high in the 1993 season when the brothers’ beloved Chiefs managed to clinch the AFC West title, but were soon dashed on Jan. 23, 1994, when the Buffalo Bills claimed their fourth straight AFC title by a score of 30-13.
Who can forget what the brothers refer to reverently as “the incident of 1995”? When “that kicker” missed three field goals, including the game-tying, 42 seconds on the clock, make-or-break kick that sent the number one seed Chiefs packing.
“That kicker” was Lin Elliot.
Lenny and Randy were in attendance at that infamous AFC divisional playoff game.
“It was ridiculously cold. Your drinks would freeze into slush between concessions and your seat,” Lenny remembered. “We stuck through it because the Chiefs winning seemed like a given. When ‘that kicker’ missed the final field goal, it felt like the whole stadium sank.”
Through thick and thin, feast and famine, Randy and Lenny have remained loyal.
“Every year for 29 years I have told my wife that this is the Chiefs’ year,” said Randy.
On the golden anniversary of that Super Bowl IV win, nothing could be more fitting for the Eagleman brothers than watching their team, the Kansas City Chiefs, hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy high above their heads.
“Don’t get me wrong, it would be awesome if the Chiefs win it, but more than anything, after 50 years, I’m just thrilled to see them going back to the Super Bowl,” said Lenny.