It quickly became evident, during the on-field presentation of the Lamar Hunt Trophy in Baltimore on Sunday night, that the Kansas City Chiefs’ championship DNA begins at the top.
For the fourth time in the last five seasons, the trophy given to the winner of the AFC championship game was passed to Lamar Hunt’s son and current Chiefs owner/CEO, Clark Hunt, following his team’s 17-10 triumph over the No. 1-seeded Baltimore Ravens to advance to Super Bowl LVIII.
Clark Hunt took it from there.
“It’s such a special night for us,” he told CBS’ Jim Nantz while holding the trophy named for his father, who founded the Kansas City Chiefs as well as the AFL (today’s AFC). “First of all, I want to give God the glory and I want to congratulate the Ravens on an amazing year.
“Four years ago, when you handed us our first Lamar Hunt Trophy, I gave it to my mom (Norma) and the first thing she did was kiss it. That moment showed how much she loved my dad and how much she loved the Kansas City Chiefs. … Chiefs Kingdom, we’re going back to the Super Bowl!”
“First all, I want to give God the glory and congratulate the Ravens on an amazing year.”
Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt putting the Lord first after KC wins their 4th AFC Lamar Hunt trophy in the past 5 years. pic.twitter.com/VqES1Iu0mW
— Sports Spectrum (@Sports_Spectrum) January 29, 2024
The AFC championship game was a battle of the NFL’s top two defenses — Baltimore, which allowed 16.2 points per game, and Kansas City, which allowed 16.8. On the road in an AFC title game for the first time ever, superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes helped the Chiefs build a 17-7 halftime lead. Despite not scoring the rest of the way, Kansas City’s own stingy defense stifled presumptive NFL MVP Lamar Jackson and allowed nothing but a field goal in the second half to hold on for the win.
In Super Bowl LVIII, set for Las Vegas on Feb. 11 at 6:30 p.m. ET, the Chiefs will take the field against an opponent not entirely unfamiliar — the San Francisco 49ers, a team Kansas City beat four years ago, 31-20, in the franchise’s first Super Bowl appearance since winning it all in January 1970. That was the final game of the AFL.
Amid the Chiefs’ recent dominance, Hunt has had numerous opportunities to share a message with the football world. Each time, he’s made sure to give glory to his Father in Heaven.
After defeating the Cincinnati Bengals, 23-20, in last season’s AFC championship game and bringing the Lamar Hunt Trophy back to Kansas City following a year’s hiatus, Clark Hunt was overflowing with gratitude.
“Congratulations to all the players and coaches on bringing home another Lamar Hunt Trophy!” he said. “The Lord has blessed our family in so many ways, including with the best fan base in the National Football League, and there’s nothing better than getting to celebrate this with you guys!”
Hunt had a similar message after winning the Super Bowl four years ago, and then again after advancing to the Super Bowl three years ago. Hunt says he’s simply giving credit where it’s due. It’s a natural response for him, considering he became a believer at 10 years old.
Hunt has built a Chiefs culture centered around faith in Christ, and he makes it a top priority for his staff. He’s even helped organize pregame chapel services for fans and contributed to projects that proclaim Christ in Kansas City and around the country.
“We want our employees to develop spiritually,” Hunt said in October 2019, according to the Tyler Morning Telegraph. “In the National Football League, Christ is really glorified. My identity is my faith in Christ.”
Before last year’s Super Bowl, a thriller in which Kansas City edged the Philadelphia Eagles, 38-35, Sports Spectrum briefly caught up with Hunt to ask him about his faith.
“In our family, it’s faith, family and football, and in that order,” Hunt said. “That’s a challenge, but it’s something we really focus on as a family and it’s the No. 1 thing in our lives.”
He continued later: “I’ve really tried to focus on praying about having peace and enjoying this great blessing. Because that’s what it is. … Prayer is critical, right? It’s one of the cornerstones of my faith and anyone who’s a Christian. God is faithful, and even though He knows what’s on my heart, I need to share it with Him because it draws me closer to Him.”
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