After a 50-year Super Bowl drought, the Kansas City Chiefs not only brought the Lamar Hunt Trophy back home last season, but the organization’s second-ever Lombardi Trophy after defeating the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV.
In a quest to repeat as back-to-back champions, the Chiefs could find themselves on the receiving end of a third, lesser-known piece of hardware next season. This time, at the expense of another NFC contender — the Dallas Cowboys.
Battle For ‘The Ugliest Trophy in All of Sports’
“The favorite thing we do with the Jones family is whenever the Chiefs and Cowboys play each other, we’re playing for the all-important Preston Road Trophy,” Clark Hunt said. “This was a trophy that our dad came up with because they lived across the street from each other on Preston Road. And he thought it would be fun to have a trophy, and it’s the ugliest trophy in all of sports. And [the] least expensive.”
This year the two historic franchises face off in a preseason matchup on August 29, but that won’t stop Kansas City from trying to win back the trophy, which Dallas most recently took hold of following a 28-17 win during the 2017 regular season.
“The two of them had more fun with that while our dad was alive,” Hunt continued. “And we’ve kept that tradition up. Unfortunately here a couple years ago we had to hand that trophy back, but if you’ve seen the NFL schedule, we’ve got them on the schedule for a preseason game this year. And the trophy is always up for grabs. It doesn’t have to be regular season or Super Bowl. The preseason’s good enough and we’re going to get it back.”
Chiefs, Lamar Hunt Come From Dallas Roots
While the informal tradition with Dallas over the Preston Road Trophy came to be in 1998, the history of the Chiefs and their original owner is tied to ‘Big D’ dating back to the late 1950s.
Lamar Hunt is widely known as the founder and first president of the American Football League (AFL), which played its first games in 1960. After his own team, the Dallas Texans, won the league’s championship in 1962, Hunt decided to move his team to Kansas City and out of direct competition with the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys.
While current Cowboys owner Jerry Jones didn’t purchase the team until February 1989, it didn’t take long for the late Hunt to strike up a new competition with his hometown club.
In a 2017 ESPN story, former Chiefs President and General Manager Carl Peterson, who served 20 seasons in the role between 1989-2008, noted that the unsightly hardware was the brainchild of the Hunt.
“It was typical of Lamar,” Peterson said. “He came up with this idea. It was his personality, but I know Jerry got such a kick out of it. It was just a wooden trophy but it was important. Lamar certainly enjoyed it. I know Jerry really appreciated it, too. It’s not much of a trophy to look at but to the Chiefs, and I think to the Cowboys, it had some sentimental value.”
While this year’s contest will have little implication on the outcome of the 2020 season, there’s more than just roster spots on the line when Kansas City travels to AT&T Stadium later this summer.