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First Ladies of Football: Norma Hunt

“What they all share is the passion and commitment to the game of football, to the players and to the fans. I knew they loved football, but I didn’t know how deep that love was,”

WillBond [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

First Ladies of Football: Norma Hunt


Estimated Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Welcome to our last and final installment of the First Ladies of Football series. We turn our focus to Kansas City Chiefs owner Norma Hunt. The wife of Chiefs and American Football League founder, Lamar Hunt, can boast one thing that the former 3 female owners can’t. She has attended every single Super Bowl since the event began in 1967. She is also often credited with giving the event it’s signature name.

Hunt married high school teacher Norma Lynn Knobel in 1964. Their love of football was one of the biggest bonding factors. They once attended 5 varying levels of games over a 4 day span in the early days of their romance. One day after she had purchased some Wham-o Super Balls for her children. This eventually inspired a word slip by her husband in a press conference where he called the “Championship Game”, as it was then known, a “Super Bowl.” The phrase was first printed on tickets in 1970 where the Chiefs defeated the Minnesota Vikings.

The Chiefs’ beginnings

At it’s inception, the Super Bowl was a contest to determine the champion between the longstanding National Football League and the more recently developed American Football League. In 1970, the AFL was absorbed into the NFL as we now know it to be called. The American Football Conference.

The team was initially established in Dallas as the Texans in 1959. The NFL then chose to establish its own team to rival them. Hunt then chose to move it to Kansas City due to it’s proximity to Dallas so as to make for an easy commute. Mrs. Hunt has been visible on the sidelines ever since that moment.

“This whole process over the last year and a half has been so special,” said Chiefs Chairman & CEO Clark Hunt. “I’m so glad for my mom and the other three women that these stories are being told, because each one of them has a unique perspective on the history and the development of the National Football League.”

-Matt McMullen for Chiefs.com

Fun Facts

  • The NFL isn’t the only sports franchise that the Hunt family is active in owning. Norma went to her first World Cup in 1966 and they are also owners in the MLS. Initially they purchased the Columbus Crew and the Kansas City Wiz. They now own FC Dallas.
  • She is also a Vintner. She and Lamar purchased a ranch in 2000 that would eventually become Bidwell Creek Estate and Vineyard. They are widely known for their Perfect Season Cabernet Sauvignon.

Boss Moves

Instead of highlighting individual boss moves like I have done with some of her predecessors, and because I haven’t found any more so far that haven’t already been highlighted, I thought I would take the opportunity to address this group of women as a whole. And the effect that they have had on the football community.

“What they all share is the passion and commitment to the game of football, to the players and to the fans. I knew they loved football, but I didn’t know how deep that love was,” Goodell said. “They take this very seriously and all four of them told me multiple times that they do not take this for granted…Ultimately, I think that’s why they wanted to share this.”

-Matt McMullen for Chiefs.com

Like I cited in an earlier piece, the NFL has a long way to go in terms of proving to their female fan base that they actually care about what we have to say. But sometimes there is something to be said for leading by example. This group of women is out there on a day to day basis proving that there is plenty of room for important female presence in the league.

An actor by degree, sports lover by day, and a bartender by night. As a native of suburban Detroit it took moving to NYC for Katie to fully realize her love of all things Michigan and Detroit sports. Feel free to engage her in her love of the coolest city and prettiest state in the country and why she will always root for Ohio State to lose every sporting event ever. No, really I am dead serious about that last statement.

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