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Why Are the Kansas City Chiefs Called the Chiefs?

Why Are the Kansas City Chiefs Called the Chiefs?

No matter where you live, there are certain traditions that are essential to the culture of your city. For Kansas City, a few of those traditions are jazz music, barbecue, and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Football season has officially begun which means the Chiefs are back on the field. The Chiefs have been on the Kansas City scene since 1963. But there is a lot of interesting facts many people still don’t know about the Chiefs.

For instance -- how did the Chiefs get started? And why are they even called the Chiefs?

How the Chiefs Got Their Name

Lamar Hunt has been the owner of the Chiefs ever since he first acquired them in 1958. You may be surprised to learn that the Chiefs actually started out in Dallas, Texas. They were initially named the Dallas Texans and actually won the AFL Championship in 1962.

However, Dallas was unable to sustain two professional football enterprises. So in 1963, Hunt began looking for a new home for the team and they moved to Kansas City the following year.

Harold Roe Bartle was serving as the mayor of Kansas City at the time. He learned that Hunt was taking scouting trips to areas like Miami and Atlanta to look for a new home for his team. Bartle was instrumental in helping Hunt relocate the Chiefs to Kansas City.

Hunt originally planned to call the team the Kansas City Texans. But ultimately, the relocated team was named for Bartle, after his moniker “The Chief”.


But the interesting part of this story is where Bartle’s nickname came from. Bartle was very involved in the Boy Scouts of America. He received the nickname “Chief” for founding the tribe of Mic-O-Say, a Native-American based honor society for Boy Scouts.

Hopefully, this blog post has taught you something new about your favorite local team. But now I want to learn something from you -- what is your favorite memory of the Kansas City Chiefs? Let me know in the comments below!


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