Len Dawson named Rozelle Award Winner


Photo courtesy of the Kansas City Chiefs

Len Dawson, who was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987, is being honored again by the Hall of Fame, this time for his career in radio and television. The popular broadcaster and Hall of Fame quarterback is the 2012 recipient of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award. The award given annually by the Pro Football Hall of Fame recognizes “long-time exceptional contributions to radio and television in professional football.”

Dawson will receive the award on Friday, Aug. 3 during the annual Enshrinees’ Gold Jacket Dinner. That event is where the Hall of Fame Class of 2012 – Jack Butler, Dermontti Dawson, Chris Doleman, Cortez Kennedy, Curtis Martin and Willie Roaf will receive their gold Pro Football Hall of Fame jackets.

The Class of 2012 Enshrinement Ceremony takes place the following day at 7 PM ET. On Sunday, Aug. 5, at 8:00 PM ET, the New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals will play in the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Game.

Dawson, the HOF QB

Dawson was a No. 1 draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1957, played 19 seasons with the Steelers (1957-59), Cleveland Browns (1960-61) and Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs (1962-1975). He was selected to six AFL All-Star Games and the 1972 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl.

AFL Player of the Year in 1962, he was a first- or second-team All-AFL selection in 1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, and 1968. He also won four AFL passing titles. In 1962 he led the Dallas Texans, who became the Kansas City Chiefs in 1963, to their first AFL championship in a double overtime victory over the Houston Oilers. Dawson was also the chief architect of Kansas City’s titles in both 1966 and 1969 that led to his participation in Super Bowls I and IV. He was named Most Valuable Player in Super Bowl IV.

“This is an unbelievable award for me,” Dawson remarked. “To be in the Hall of Fame as a player was the highlight of my playing career, but now to be recognized by the Hall of Fame as a broadcaster, well, it’s just a great, great honor.”

Dawson began his broadcasting career in 1966 as a sports anchor with KMBC Radio and sports director for KMBC-TV while still playing quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs. Following his retirement as a player in 1975, Dawson joined NBC-TV as a color analyst on NFL games, partnering with the likes of play-by-play announcers Jack Buck, Charlie Jones and others from 1976 until 1982. Also in 1982, he joined the Chiefs Radio Network as a color commentator, a position he continues to hold. He is the longest tenured sportscaster in Kansas City radio and television history.

While working NFL games for NBC, Dawson also began a 24-year stint (1977-2001) as the host of HBO’s popular Inside the NFL show. Inside the NFL was cable television’s longest running series and the first NFL-related program to air on cable.

Len is active in the Kansas City community and focuses much of his energy on charity work. He has raised money for countless charitable organizations, especially those that help needy children. He is married and has two grown children.

Watch Len Dawson's Rozelle Award speech>>>

Past recipients of the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award

1989 - Bill MacPhail
1990 - Lindsey Nelson
1991 - Ed Sabol
1992 - Chris Schenkel
1993 - Curt Gowdy
1994 - Pat Summerall
1995 - Frank Gifford
1996 - Jack Buck
1997 - Charlie Jones
1998 - Val Pinchbeck
1999 - Dick Enberg
2000 - Ray Scott
2001 - Roone Arledge
2002 - John Madden
2003 - Don Criqui
2004 - Van Miller
2005 - Myron Cope
2006 - Lesley Visser
2007 - Don Meredith
2008 - Dan Dierdorf
2009 - Irv Cross
2010 - Chris Berman
2011 - Jim Nantz

Dawson, Len
Recent Comments
  • Chuck Scholtz - February 20 2013 01:43 PM

    Glaring Oversight or Deliberate Snub? The Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award is given annually by the Pro Football Hall of Fame to an iconic football broadcasting figure for "longtime exceptional contributions to radio and television in professional football." Many sports fans are unaware that for the 23-year history of the award, there has been one glaring oversight: The legendary sports-journalist Howard Cosell has never won it. Everyone else associated with that team; Frank Gifford, Don Meredith, Dan Dierdorf, and even the producer Roone Arledge, have won the award. Cosell needs no explanation of why he belongs. Monday Night Football made the NFL the dominant professional sports league in America. Cosell was simply the most famous radio and television sportscaster of all time and the lead of the classic Monday Night Football broadcast team of the 1970s and early '80s. Love him or hate him, Cosell garnered everyone’s attention, which paved the way for huge TV contracts which generated huge profits with advertisers, players salaries escalated, as did profits for the team owners as well as for the cites they hosted teams in. The television rights to broadcast National Football League (NFL) games are now the most lucrative and expensive rights of any American sport. "Every person working in sports journalism today owes a tremendous debt to Howard Cosell. His greatest contribution was elevating sports reporting out of daily play-by-play and placing it in the larger context of society." --Roone Arledge, the late former President of ABC Sports The 50th Anniversary celebration of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton Ohio is ongoing but will conclude this fall with its annual presentation of yet another Pete Rozelle Radio-TV Award; but to whom? The conclusion of the 50th anniversary celebration is a perfect opportunity for the Hall of Fame to set the record straight and finally recognize Howard Cosell. How can the Pro Football Hall of Fame continue to “legitimately” write the history of professional football without mentioning the iconic Howard Cosell? See: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/football/nfl/08/02/cosell/index.html http://inducthowardcosell.blogspot.com/

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  • Ronald B. Hobbs - July 18 2012 01:22 PM

    I,ve admired Lenny the cool for many years,first as a player,and both locally and on the HBO show Inside The NFL.He is also a great analyst on his coverage of all Chiefs games on 101 the FOX.My older brother used to draw up plays in the dirt at my childhood home in K.C.I was proud to be Otis Taylor and my brother would be Lenny! Like me,though he lives in Moreno Valley,Ca,my brother and I are Die Hard Chiefs fans! Lenny deserves this award and certainly gets my vote for K.C.s most iconic sports figure in both his playing days and his broadcasting prowess that continues today.Hey Lenny as you always say "IT ALL STARTS IN THE TRENCHES!:and everybody knows you've been there done that!

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