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[R.I.P.] Lamar Hunt (11/14/06) Pioneering NFL/AFL Owner

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  • madchinaman
    Lamar Hunt, a Force in Football, Dies at 74 By GERALD ESKENAZI http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/15/sports/football/15hunt.html?
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 16, 2006
      Lamar Hunt, a Force in Football, Dies at 74
      By GERALD ESKENAZI
      http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/15/sports/football/15hunt.html?
      em&ex=1166331600&en=2e7d3e096b82ae40&ei=5087%0A


      -

      Lamar Hunt has been inducted into eight halls of fame, including ones
      for football, soccer and tennis as well as the Texas Business Hall of
      Fame.

      -


      Lamar Hunt, whose father's Texas oil fortune gave him the springboard
      to become a prime founder of the American Football League and who
      gave the Super Bowl its name, died Wednesday night in Dallas. He was
      74. The cause was complications of prostate cancer, according to a
      spokesman for the National Football League team that Hunt owned, the
      Kansas City Chiefs.

      In 1966, the N.F.L. and the A.F.L. agreed to merge. In the
      negotiations, Lamar Hunt had a leading role representing his league.
      Hunt was a geologist by training, with a degree from Southern
      Methodist University, where he was a reserve tight end on the
      football team, but he was no dilettante when it came to owning sports
      teams. While leading various business ventures, he was also serious
      about tennis and soccer, helping to create leagues for those sports
      as well. He is in the halls of fame of all three sports.

      At his death he also retained an interest in the Chicago Bulls
      basketball franchise as an original owner.

      But it was as a football man — a sport he loved to tinker with, and
      whose statistics and minutiae he enjoyed immensely — that Hunt left
      his greatest sports legacy.

      He liked to describe himself as part of "the foolish club," the
      founders of the A.F.L., which challenged the entrenched N.F.L. in
      1960.

      Hunt was the owner of the A.F.L.'s Dallas Texans, a team that moved
      to Kansas City in 1963 and became the Chiefs. At his death he was one
      of three original A.F.L. owners still heading their franchises. The
      others are Ralph Wilson of the Buffalo Bills and Bud Adams of the
      Tennessee Titans, formerly the Houston Oilers.

      Hunt had an unpretentious, soft-spoken manner. Once, when a Chiefs
      official described him as the team's owner, Hunt corrected
      him. "Please call me the founder," he said. (Founder is his title in
      the Chiefs' media guide.)

      His son Clark is the Chiefs' chairman. Survivors also include Hunt's
      wife, Norma; a daughter, Sharron Munson; two other sons, Lamar Jr.
      and Daniel; and 14 grandchildren. Hunt's first marriage, to Rosemary
      Carr, with whom he had two children, ended in divorce.

      In 1959, the 27-year-old Hunt had been unsuccessful in acquiring an
      N.F.L. franchise for Dallas, where he lived. The N.F.L. was quite
      content to remain a 12-team league.

      So Hunt decided to form a rival league to begin play in 1960. He
      worked out the rudimentary plans on an airplane letterhead while
      flying. As usual, he flew coach, despite being a son of the
      billionaire H. L. Hunt.

      Lamar Hunt preserved that stationery, as he did so many other
      artifacts, in a limestone cave north of Kansas City, Mo. Notes he
      doodled on, snippets of phone conversations, anything that he felt
      had some interest or jogged his memory or brought him a chuckle, he
      kept.

      Although he became one of the most important owners in pro football,
      with the American Football Conference championship trophy bearing his
      name, he was not always part of the establishment. In fact, the
      N.F.L. failed to appreciate having a rival league in the burgeoning
      city of Dallas, where Hunt's Texans had set up shop, so it decided to
      put an N.F.L. franchise there — the Cowboys.

      In 1966, the N.F.L. and the A.F.L. agreed to merge. In the
      negotiations, Hunt had a leading role representing his league and Tex
      Schramm, the Cowboys' owner, did the same for the N.F.L. Although the
      leagues would not formally merge until 1970, they planned a
      championship game, to be held after the 1966 season. Hunt's Chiefs
      lost to the Green Bay Packers in that January 1967 game that became
      known as the first Super Bowl.

      Hunt recalled that in the discussion of playoff games, "the words
      flowed something like this: `No, not those games — the one I mean is
      the final game. You know, the Super Bowl.' "

      He added: "My own feeling is that it probably registered in my head
      because my daughter, Sharron, and my son Lamar Jr. had a children's
      toy called a Super Ball, and I probably interchanged the phonetics
      of `bowl' and `ball.' "

      But the first two games had a less compelling title: the A.F.L.-
      N.F.L. World Championship Game. After two years, Hunt's Super Bowl
      interjection became the name of the game. Then, in a note to N.F.L.
      Commissioner Pete Rozelle, Hunt had the whimsical thought that Roman
      numerals gave the game "more dignity." After the third Super Bowl,
      Roman numerals were grandfathered in.

      Over the years, Hunt, a native of El Dorado, Ark., separated himself
      financially from the more publicized side of his family, the Hunts of
      Texas. H. L. Hunt, the patriarch, had been a professional gambler who
      parlayed a few oil leases bought with money won at the poker table
      into one of the nation's largest fortunes.

      Lamar Hunt did retain his interest in various family oil businesses,
      but he branched out into real estate. In Kansas City, he helped
      develop the theme parks known as Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun. He
      also tried to buy Alcatraz, the island in San Francisco Bay that once
      housed a federal prison, and develop it as a tourist park and
      shopping destination. The idea, put forward in 1969, was dropped in
      the face of local protests.

      Along with two brothers, William Herbert and Nelson Bunker, Hunt
      tried to corner the world silver market in 1979 and 1980. In 1988, a
      federal court ordered the brothers and other defendants to pay more
      than $130 million in damages to Minpeco S.A., a commodities concern
      owned by the government of Peru. The brothers saw some large oil
      investments sour in the 1980s, by some estimates depleting the family
      fortune by billions of dollars. William and Nelson are among Lamar's
      survivors, as are several other brothers and sisters.

      Throughout his business career, Hunt remained active in sports. He
      was a founder of World Championship Tennis, and he helped bring about
      the North American Soccer League, which put the game in major league
      stadiums across North America. He also owned the minor league
      baseball Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs for a time. More recently, he and
      his sons owned Hunt Sports Group, which manages professional soccer
      teams in Dallas and Columbus, Ohio.

      As the Chiefs' owner, he didn't meddle. "On Sunday nights after a
      game, he would always call," the Chiefs' coach, Herm Edwards, told
      The Associated Press yesterday. "It would be about 9:30 or 10 o'clock
      and the phone would ring and I knew it was Lamar. He always said, `Am
      I bothering you?' "

      But he kept an apartment at Arrowhead Stadium, and his team was
      hugely successful early on. In addition to playing in the first Super
      Bowl, the Chiefs won Super Bowl IV, defeating the Minnesota Vikings.

      Owning a team also satisfied another side to Hunt. As he told CNN in
      1998, looking back on his career, talking about his first involvement
      in pro football, when he started a team in Dallas: "I guess I had
      sort of a show business bug in my mind."


      =

      LAMAR HUNT
      http://www.kcchiefs.com/front_office/lamar_hunt/


      Position Founder
      Hometown El Dorado, Arkansas
      College SMU
      Degrees B.S. in Geology in '56

      Professional Bio
      Recognized as the guiding force behind the formation of both the
      American Football League and the Kansas City Chiefs, Lamar Hunt has
      served as a positive influence on the game of professional football
      since he conceived the American Football League in `59. Hunt was the
      first AFL figure to be enshrined into the Pro Football Football Hall
      of Fame as a member of the Class of `72, a remarkable feat
      considering he became involved in pro football just 13 years earlier.
      Beginning his 46th season of involvement with the sport in 2005, Hunt
      served as the catalyst who brought together the whimsically-
      named "Foolish Club" comprised of the eight original AFL owners and
      also helped the fledgling league take foot on the field for the `60
      season.

      On June 8, 1966, the AFL-NFL merger was announced by NFL Commissioner
      Pete Rozelle and on January 15, 1967, Hunt's Kansas City Chiefs were
      participating in the inaugural Super Bowl. Hunt's continuing efforts
      have long been recognized as having an important role in the design,
      ongoing development and direction of the modern-day National Football
      League.

      Whether it was serving as the driving force behind the formation of
      the AFL, playing a pivotal role in the AFL-NFL merger in the `60s, or
      overseeing many crucial issues concerning pro football and the Chiefs
      franchise during the past four decades, there is little question that
      few individuals have helped change the face of America's favorite
      game for the better as much as Hunt. As the founder of the AFL, he
      helped pave the way for much of the modern growth of professional
      football. Possibly the greatest tribute to his contributions to the
      sport was the naming by the league of the Lamar Hunt Trophy, which is
      presented annually to the champion of the American Football
      Conference.

      As the founder of the Chiefs franchise, Hunt helped provide Kansas
      City with a team that became the winningest in the 10-year history of
      the AFL and earned spots in two of the first four Super Bowls,
      climaxed by winning the `69 World Championship in Super Bowl IV. In
      honor of the 30th anniversary of the Chiefs victory in that game,
      Hunt was chosen to perform the official coin toss for Super Bowl
      XXXIV between St. Louis and Tennessee. Ironically, the winning coach
      that day was former Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil.

      Hunt helped make pro football history by organizing the American
      Football League, which included his Dallas Texans franchise. After
      three years, the team moved to Kansas City, where the organization
      begins its 43rd season in 2005. The early days of the AFL were
      problem-filled but Hunt saw his Texans achieve on-field success.

      In `62, the Texans won the AFL Championship with a double-overtime
      victory over the Houston Oilers, the first of three titles won by the
      Texans/Chiefs during the league's 10-year existence. The team
      repeated as champions in both `66 and `69. By winning the `66 AFL
      title, the Chiefs earned the right to play in the first Super Bowl
      against the NFL Champion Green Bay Packers. Three years later, the
      Chiefs claimed Kansas City's first major sports championship by
      defeating the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV.

      In the late `60s, Hunt was closely involved in the development of
      Arrowhead Stadium, a facility which celebrated its 30th Anniversary
      Season in 2001 and has hosted numerous major non-NFL sporting events
      in recent years. In 2005, Arrowhead will serve as the site of three
      NCAA football contests: Missouri vs. Arkansas State, Oklahoma vs.
      Kansas and Northwest Missouri State vs. Pittsburg State.

      The "Home of the Chiefs" has also provided the stage for the Big 12
      Conference Football Championship Game in 2000, 2003 and 2004. The
      2000 and 2003 contests featured matchups between Kansas State and
      Oklahoma, while the 2004 Big 12 Conference Football Championship Game
      pitted Oklahoma vs. Colorado. Arrowhead will also serve as the host
      of the 2006 Big 12 Conference Football Championship Game.

      Other notable events hosted at Arrowhead include a 2001 Men's World
      Cup Qualifier (U.S.A. vs. Costa Rica), the 2000 Eddie Robinson
      Classic (Kansas State vs. Iowa) and a 2000 Women's Nike Cup Match
      (U.S.A. vs. Canada). Arrowhead has also hosted the 2003 Black Coaches
      Association Game (Kansas State vs. California) and the 2002 Eddie
      Robinson Classic (Florida State vs. Iowa State). In 2002, an
      Arrowhead game between Northwest Missouri State and Pittsburg State
      drew 26,695 fans, the highest attendance ever for an NCAA Division II
      football game.

      Hunt has been a continuing leader in pro football and few individuals
      have helped shape the sport more than this quiet Texan. In addition
      to being a principal negotiator in the merger of the AFL and NFL in
      the late `60s, he was a contributor to the design of the NFL playoff
      format. He is also credited with accidentally putting the name "Super
      Bowl" on the NFL's championship game — the name coming from his
      children's toy "Super Ball."

      In `81, Hunt was inducted into the NFL Alumni Association's
      prestigious Order of the Leather Helmet and in February of `93, he
      received the Francis J. "Reds" Bagnell Award from the Maxwell
      Football Club of Philadelphia for continuing positive contributions
      to the game. For many years, he was a persistent advocate of the two-
      point conversion option for pro football — an old college and AFL
      rule that was finally adopted by the NFL in `94. In 2000, Hunt along
      with Chiefs President, General Manager and CEO Carl Peterson, earned
      the distinction of becoming just the fourth Owner/General Manager
      combination to preside over a franchise for all 10 years of a 100-win
      decade as Kansas City compiled a stellar 102-58 (.638) regular season
      record from `90-99.

      In 2002, Hunt led the commemoration of the franchise's 40th
      Anniversary Season in Kansas City. Beginning as a member of the
      American Football League playing in old Municipal Stadium, the Chiefs
      continue to serve as a vibrant part of the Kansas City community and
      today's National Football League thanks to the unprecedented support
      provided by the team's legions of loyal supporters. Today, the Home
      of the Chiefs — Arrowhead Stadium — is a place which truly embodies
      the spirit and the passion of one of the most energetic fan bases in
      all of sports.

      A year-round sports fan, Hunt is involved in several additional
      sports business ventures. He is one of the founding investors in the
      six-time World Champion Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball
      Association, while the Hunt family also serves as the operator of
      three franchises in Major League Soccer, now in its 10th season of
      operation.

      The Hunt family oversees the operations of the Kansas City Wizards,
      F.C. Dallas and the Columbus Crew, who play in America's first soccer-
      specific stadium, the beautiful 22,555-seat Crew Stadium. The Hunt
      family now prizes 13 distinctive championship rings from five
      different professional sports associations (AFL/NFL, MLS, NBA, NASL
      and the U.S. Soccer "Open Cup"). The family's football championship
      litany includes a Super Bowl IV ring from the `69 Chiefs, as well as
      AFL title rings from the `62 Texans and `66 Chiefs.

      Appropriately nicknamed "Games" during his childhood, Hunt's love of
      sports ventures has been his true lifeblood, an enthusiasm which has
      transcended his involvement in numerous athletic entities. Over 30
      years ago, the Hunts were involved in the development of both the
      North American Soccer League and a tennis promotion company, World
      Championship Tennis.

      Both of those organizations are no longer in operation; however, in
      an unusual twist, Hunt's involvement in these ventures resulted years
      later in his induction into the respective Halls of Fame of both
      United States Soccer (located in Oneonta, New York) in `82 and
      International Tennis (located in Newport, Rhode Island) in `93. He
      has also been honored in the state Sports Halls of Fame of both
      Missouri ('95) and Texas ('84).

      In total, Hunt has been inducted into eight "Halls of Fame,"
      including the Texas Business Hall of Fame ('97) and the Kansas City
      Business Hall of Fame (2004). Soccer America Magazine named Hunt one
      of its "25 Most Influential People" in `99 after the 90-year-old U.S.
      Open Cup was renamed the "Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup." That same year
      he also received the U.S. Soccer Federation Hall of Fame Medal of
      Honor, joining former U.S. Soccer President Alan Rothenberg as the
      only other individual to earn that prestigious distinction.

      As President of the American Football Conference, Hunt is a working
      member of several prominent NFL committees, including current service
      on the Finance, Business Ventures and Hall of Fame committees.

      Personal Bio
      Hunt was born on August 2, 1932 in El Dorado, Arkansas and graduated
      from SMU with a B.S. in Geology in `56. While at SMU, he was a three-
      year reserve end on the Varsity Football Team. He and his wife,
      Norma, have four children, Lamar, Jr., Sharron Munson, Clark and
      Daniel, as well as 13 grand­children. Together, the entire Hunt family
      shares a great enthusiasm for the Chiefs "Red and Gold."


      ==========


      Lamar Hunt
      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamar_Hunt


      Date of birth August 2, 1932
      Place of birth El Dorado, Arkansas
      Date of death December 13, 2006
      Place of death Dallas, Texas
      Position(s) Founder of the American Football League (1960-69)
      Co-Founder of the North American Soccer League (1967-84)
      Charter Investor of Major League Soccer
      Founder/owner of Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs
      Founder/owner of Columbus Crew
      Owner of FC Dallas
      Founder/previous owner of Kansas City Wizards

      College: Southern Methodist
      Honors:
      Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup(est.1914) Oldest U.S. sports tournament now
      named for him
      National Soccer Hall of Fame
      HOF inductee 1982
      HOF Medal of Honor 1999

      Team(s) as a coach/administrator
      1967-1981 - Dallas Tornado (NASL)
      1994-2006 - Columbus Crew (MLS)
      1995-2006 - Kansas City Wizards (MLS)
      2003-2006 - FC Dallas (MLS)
      1959-2006 - Kansas City Chiefs (NFL/AFL)

      Pro Football Hall of Fame, 1972

      Lamar Hunt (August 2, 1932—December 13, 2006) was a promoter of
      American football, soccer, tennis, basketball, and ice hockey in the
      United States and an inductee of the first three sports' halls of
      fame. He was one of the founders of the American Football League and
      Major League Soccer (MLS), as well as MLS predecessor the North
      American Soccer League. He was also the founder and owner of the
      National Football League's Kansas City Chiefs, and at his death owned
      two MLS teams, FC Dallas and the Columbus Crew. The oldest annual
      team tournament in the U.S. in any sport, soccer's U.S. Open Cup
      (founded 1914) now bears his name in honor of his pioneering role in
      that sport stateside. In Kansas City, Hunt also helped establish the
      Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun theme parks. He was inducted into the
      Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1972; into the National Soccer Hall of
      Fame in 1982; and into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1993.
      The National Soccer Hall of Fame bestowed upon Hunt their Medal of
      Honor in 1999, an award given to only 3 recipients in history thus
      far.


      Early life
      Hunt was born in El Dorado, Arkansas, the son of oil tycoon H. L.
      Hunt and younger brother of tycoon Nelson Bunker Hunt. Lamar was
      raised in Dallas, Texas. He graduated from The Hill School in
      Pennsylvania in 1950 and Southern Methodist University in Dallas in
      1956, with a B.S. degree in geology. Hunt was a college football
      player who rode the bench but was still an avid sports enthusiast
      during his time in college and throughout his entire childhood. While
      attending SMU Hunt joined the Kappa Sigma Fraternity and in 1972 was
      named "man of the year".


      Founding of the American Football League
      Hunt applied for a National Football League expansion franchise but
      was turned down. In 1959, professional football was a distant second
      to Major League Baseball in popularity, and the thinking among NFL
      executives was that the league must be careful not to "oversaturate"
      the market by expanding too quickly. [1]

      In response, in 1960 Hunt led several other vectors in forming the
      American Football League. He encouraged, wheedled, and cajoled seven
      other like-minded men to form this new league. One of them, fellow
      Texan Bud Adams of Houston, had likewise tried but failed to be
      granted an NFL franchise. Hunt's goal was to bring professional
      football to Texas and to acquire an NFL team for the Hunt family.
      Hunt became owner of the Dallas Texans and hired future hall-of-famer
      Hank Stram as the team's first head coach.


      Ownership & AFL/NFL Merger
      The Dallas Texans won the AFL Championship in 1962 over the 2-time
      defending champion Houston Oilers in the longest professional game
      ever played as of that time and were one of the most successful AFL
      teams in the league's early days. But the Texans' success failed to
      draw fans in large numbers, as the Texans had to compete for fan
      loyalty with their cross-town NFL rivals, the Dallas Cowboys. In 1963
      Hunt began to consider moving the team. Kansas City quickly became
      one of the contending cities for the franchise. During cloak-and-
      dagger negotiating sessions, in order to convince Hunt to move the
      team to Kansas City, mayor H. Roe Bartle promised Hunt home
      attendance of 25,000 people per game. Hunt finally agreed to move the
      team to Kansas City and in 1963 the Dallas Texans became the Kansas
      City Chiefs.

      In the Chiefs' early days, attendance did not match the expansive
      claims Mayor Bartle had made. But in 1966 average home attendance at
      Chiefs games picked up and reached 37,000. By 1969 -- aided by some
      very successful and entertaining teams -- Chiefs' home attendance had
      reached 51,000. In 1966 the Chiefs won their first AFL Championship
      and reached the first ever Super Bowl (a name coined by Hunt, who
      took it in part from the then popular toy, the Superball[2])-- then
      called the "AFL-NFL Championship Game" -- where they lost to the
      Green Bay Packers. The Chiefs remained successful through the 1960s,
      and in 1970 the Chiefs reached the pinnacle of success, winning the
      AFL Championship and later went on to win Super Bowl IV (the last
      Super Bowl played when the AFL was a separate league prior to it
      being absorbed into the NFL as the American Football Conference) over
      the heavily-favored Minnesota Vikings. The Chiefs became an icon in
      Kansas City, and Hunt never considered moving the team again.

      The rosters of the AFL were always stocked with a certain number of
      players who would have excelled in any league -- and that number grew
      as the 1960s progressed. The best AFL coaches and owners, many of
      them new to the pro game, brought color, excitement and important new
      strategic and marketing ideas to pro football, which had often been
      dominated by play-calling which overrated the value of eliminating
      mistakes and underrated the element of surprise. While the NFL was
      always almost certainly the better league as a whole, the best teams
      of the AFL were increasingly the equals of any team in the NFL.

      The AFL also substantially raised football players' salaries by
      frequently bidding against the NFL for the top college stars. It was
      the NFL's concern for containing salaries, more than anything else,
      that led a reluctant NFL to accept a merger between the two leagues
      in 1970. The older league could no longer claim to be far superior
      because by then the AFL champion New York Jets had defeated the
      vaunted Baltimore Colts of the NFL to win the Super Bowl. The Chiefs'
      triumph over the Vikings the following season further showcased the
      AFL's ability.

      In 1972, Hunt became the first American Football League personage
      inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The trophy presented to
      each year's AFC Champions is named the Lamar Hunt Trophy. In 1984,
      Hunt was also inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.

      Hunt has also been influential in soccer and tennis, and has
      contributed to the growth of those sports in the US. He has been
      elected to the Halls of Fame of both sports.


      The NASL: Ownership and battles with the NFL
      With much already accomplished in the world of American football,
      Hunt moved on in 1967 to help jump start soccer in the U.S. In 1966
      he had become enthralled with the World Cup on TV, and when it was
      decided that new pro leagues were to be formed in the US, Hunt wanted
      to be one of the initial movers and shakers.

      His team in the North American Soccer League was the Dallas Tornado,
      and they debuted in 1967 as a part of the USA:United Soccer
      Association. In a more fledgling version of what was occurring with
      the AFL and NFL, in 1968 a pro soccer merger took place to form the
      North American Soccer League. Eventually, the NASL reached 24 teams,
      and at times, the most popular teams such as the New York Cosmos
      outdrew their NFL and MLB counterparts in the same cities. With Lamar
      Hunt as an active advocate for the sport and the league, his team the
      Dallas Tornado won the NASL championship in 1971 and were runners-
      up '73.

      The NFL was not happy with Hunt's ownership in and promotion of pro
      soccer, a sport that was taking away attention and spectators from
      the American football game. The NFL attempted to force legal
      requirements that would disallow team ownership in more than one
      sport for owners of NFL franchises. This strategy backfired onto the
      NFL, and in fact, the NASL won an anti-trust case against the NFL. A
      primary benefactor of this outcome was Lamar Hunt, and his legacy of
      leadership and ownership of pro soccer in those times remains to this
      day.[3]


      Major League Soccer
      Lamar Hunt was also one of the original founding investors of Major
      League Soccer, which debuted in 1996. This time he owned two teams:
      the Columbus Crew and the Kansas City Wizards. In 1999, Hunt financed
      the construction of the Columbus Crew Stadium, the first of several
      large soccer-specific stadiums in the USA. In 2003, Hunt purchased a
      third team, the Dallas Burn (now FC Dallas), after announcing that he
      would partially finance the construction of their own soccer-specific
      stadium. On August 31, 2006, Hunt sold the Wizards to a six-man
      ownership group led by Cerner Corporation co-founders Neal Patterson
      and Cliff Illig.


      Other sports and activities
      Basketball: Hunt was one of the founding investors of the Chicago
      Bulls of the National Basketball Association. He remained a minority
      owner until his death.

      Tennis: In 1967, Hunt co-founded the World Championship Tennis
      circuit, which gave birth to the open era in tennis. He was made a
      member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1993.

      NHL: Hunt and John H. McConnell formed Columbus Hockey Limited,
      L.L.C. (CHL) in an effort to obtain a National Hockey League
      franchise for Columbus, Ohio. Following disagreements over the
      financing for an arena, McConnell accepted an offer to lease a new
      arena from Nationwide Insurance Enterprise. McConnell froze-out CHL
      and Hunt and was awarded the NHL Columbus Blue Jackets franchise. See
      McConnell v. Hunt Sports Enterprises, 132 Ohio App.3d 657, 725 N.E.2d
      1193 (1999).

      Hunt was also the founder of two theme parks in Kansas City: Worlds
      of Fun and Oceans of Fun, which opened in 1973 and 1982 respectively.


      Honors
      For service to Dallas, Texas, Lamar Hunt was honored during halftime
      of the Dallas Cowboys/Kansas City Chiefs game in 2005.
      For his efforts in building the sport of soccer in the United States
      in the modern era, Hunt was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of
      Fame in 1992, and given their prestigious Medal of Honor in 1999, an
      award so far given out only 3 times in history.
      The United States Soccer Federation changed the name of its oldest
      and most prestigious competition, the U.S. Open Cup (est.1914), to
      the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in 1999.

      The NFL's trophy for the champion of the American Football Conference
      is named in honor of Lamar Hunt.

      Death
      Lamar Hunt died December 13, 2006 at Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas
      of complications related to prostate cancer. Upon his death Cowboys
      owner Jerry Jones called Hunt, "a founder of the NFL as we know it
      today.... He's been an inspiration for me." [4] Said Dan Rooney,
      Chairman of the Pittsburgh Steelers: "Lamar Hunt was one of the most
      influential owners in professional football over the past 40-plus
      years, He was instrumental in the formation of the American Football
      League and in the AFL-NFL merger, which helped the National Football
      League grow into America's passion." The Mayor of Kansas City,
      Missouri requested that all city flags fly at half-staff the
      following Thursday and Friday of his passing.
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