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From the Super Bowl: Chiefs Owner Clark Hunt Thinks Late Titans Owner Bud Adams Deserves to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame


PHOENIX – Kansas City Chiefs owner Clark Hunt looked around at the scene here at Super Bowl LVII Opening Night, and he admired the magnificence of it all.

Hunt then suggested what his late father, Lamar, and late Oilers/Titans owner Bud Adams, might be thinking from above.

"I think they would say: Wow, can you believe what the Super Bowl has become?," said Clark, whose Chiefs will face the Eagles on Sunday. "I heard my dad say those words about 20 years ago, and it was obviously big 20 years ago. But think about how much it has grown since then."

Lamar Hunt and Adams co-founded the AFL to rival the NFL before the two leagues eventually merged. In fact, the formation of the AFL was announced in Adams' Houston office in 1959. There, the groundwork was laid for what would become known as the Foolish Club — the eight original franchise owners of the AFL.

Hunt, who started an AFL team in Dallas, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1972.

Clark Hunt believes his father would agree Bud Adams should be in the Hall of Fame with him, as their work in forming the AFL helped forge a path that would lead to the NFL becoming the most popular sport in America.

"Dad 100 percent would want Bud in," Clark Hunt said on Monday night. "I think (Bud) is very deserving. I am probably a little biased because I come from an AFL perspective. But next to my dad, there was really no one else in the early days of the AFL who was more influential than Bud in getting that league off the ground and sustaining it through the tough years so that is was successful."

Adams, who died in October of 2013, received the inaugural Lamar Hunt Award for Professional Football, which recognized his vision and his role in helping the NFL reach preeminent status, in 2008.

Adams, the founder and owner of the Oilers/Titans for 53-plus years (1960-2012), has been under Hall of Fame consideration in the past. Last year, Adams did not make the cut from semifinalist to finalist for the HOF's coach/contributor category.

For years, Lamar Hunt and Bud Adams used to share a suite at every Super Bowl.

"They were good friends," Clark said of Adams, and his father. "Now Bud was an absolute character. He was a quintessential Texas oilman and a lot of people thought that of my dad as well, but my dad really wasn't. In fact, part of the reason my dad got involved in football was because he disliked the oil field. He wanted to go pursue what he was passionate about, but when it was time for my dad to pull the group together that would start the AFL, his brother, Bunker said: 'You need to go see Bud Adams in Houston' because Bunker knew that Bud was interested in getting a football team for the city. So that's how that happened. … They had a great relationship."

Clark Hunt said he's enjoyed getting to know Bud's daughter, Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk, over the years.

He acknowledged some of her own bold moves, and winning vision.

"Most of those (bold) decisions have paid off, not only on the football field, but now she is well along the way of building a new stadium in Nashville, which will really help elevate the franchise," Hunt said. "I think she is doing really an incredible job. She is really a big contributor to the ownership as a whole."


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