The year is 1959 and 26-year-old oil magnate Lamar Hunt is beginning to shape the template for his newest entrepreneurial vision, a professional sports venture that will challenge the unrivaled machine that was the National Football League. In constructing his outline for the football conglomerate that would later become the American Football League (AFL), Hunt began selecting the perfect geographic locations to plant the hopeful seeds that would be his first franchise cities.
Among those cities selected was New York, a city that simply cannot be left out of any sports conversation. Outside of Los Angeles and possibly Boston, there is no larger of a sporting market. It was in New York that Hunt placed his Titans.
Another city chosen for an initial franchise offering was Dallas, Texas. Hunt, raised in Dallas, saw the professional market in the Metroplex area already occupied by the NFL’s Cowboys and saw ample market space for a next-door neighbor. Naturally, Hunt chose Dallas for the home of the Texans.
For the next four AFL seasons, the Texans and Titans would meet for AFL supremacy until the eventual transformations that would turn the Titans into the beloved Jets and transport the Texans from south Texas to Kansas City, Missouri, fully equipped with a new town and new name; the Chiefs.
The Jets and Chiefs meet again this Sunday at MetLife Stadium for their 35th meeting in their illustrious 51 year histories. While a Jets-Chiefs contest may not evoke the same acidic images that more famous feuds like Chiefs-Raiders or Jets-Patriots generate, the importance of this game in Week 14 of the 2011 season is undeniable for the New York Jets.
There have been dozens of contests between the Chiefs and Jets since 1960 that have come and gone without much fanfare. Yet for every 9-3 final score and every Browning Nagle versus Dave Krieg snooze fest these teams have produced together, there have been some that prove the kind of unpredictable glitch this matchup can be. In preparing ourselves for this most-important game, let us look at just a few of the historic moments this infrequent rivalry has given its fans.