Why is the AFC Trophy named after Lamar Hunt?
The AFC trophy was named after the Chiefs owner in 1984 to commemorate Hunt's contributions to the NFL. Either the Chiefs or the Bengals will earn it Sunday
Not only is it one of the most beautiful trophies in all of sports, but the Lombardi Trophy is one of the most known names of any professional sports league’s grand prize around the world.
Maybe the Stanley Cup clips it in familiarity, but the NFL’s hardware for the top team in the league has been iconic since it was named after legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi shortly after his death in 1970.
The names of the AFC and NFC Championship trophies are much lesser known; unless you’re a super fan you probably don’t know what the trophies that each of the winning teams will hoist are called.
Whoever wins the Bengals-Chiefs game will be awarded the Lamar Hunt Trophy as Champions of the American Football Conference, and whoever wins the Rams-49ers game will be awarded the George Halas trophy as the NFC conference champions.
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This Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs will host the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC while the Los Angeles Rams welcome the San Francisco 49ers, and the winners will hoist their conference title trophies before meeting at Sofi Stadium on February 13th.
Lamar Hunt Trophy
The trophy was named after the longtime owner of the Kansas City Chiefs and founder of the American Football League in 1959, and then became founder and owner of the Kansas City Chiefs in 1963.
Hunt had wanted an NFL team for years before starting the AFL, but was denied by the league, so he started his own. He was the owner of the Dallas Texans in the AFL, but after four years in Big D discovered that the Texans couldn’t share the spotlight with the Dallas Cowboys.
He moved the team to Kansas City and rebranded it the Chiefs all the while staying in the AFL until 1966 when the AFL merged with the NFL. Apart from being a key figure of the merger and the founder of the Chiefs, he also coined the term “Super Bowl'' in a letter to the NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle.
Hunt and Kansas City won their first title in Super Bowl IV back in 1970 when they beat the Minnesota Vikings.
The AFC trophy was named after the Chiefs owner in the 1984 season to commemorate Hunt's contributions to the sport. Kansas City never won the trophy when he was the owner of the team. That would have to wait until 2019 when the Chiefs beat the Tennessee Titans to get to their first Super Bowl since 1970.
Hunt owned the Chiefs until his death in 2006, and also founded the MLS and three of its franchises: The Columbus Crew, Kansas City Wizards and FC Dallas.
In the 2010 season, the NFL partnered up with Tiffany & Co. to redesign the antiquated trophies in the AFC and NFC.
This year’s Lamar Hunt trophy will be awarded to either the Chiefs or the Bengals at the conclusion of Sunday's AFC Championship which will kick off at 3:05 p.m. ET.