Hall of Famer Len Dawson was back at Purdue University Tuesday night to be honored by the National Football Foundation along with his peers in a very exclusive group.
Len Dawson. Bob Griese. Drew Brees.
Three NFL stars. Three Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks.
Only Alabama can equal Purdue when it comes to Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks. Bart Starr, Joe Namath and Ken Stabler are Crimson Tide alumni who guided NFL teams to Super Bowl victories.
This night, though, belonged to Purdue’s quarterbacks during the National Football Foundation Dinner. Add Mark Herrmann, who was recently elected to the College Football Hall of Fame, and it’s a quartet any college football program would love to have as part of its history.
“Absolute legends,” Herrmann said. “They’ve given their time to come back because they know it’s an important event. I’m just happy to be mentioned in this group.
“I grew up idolizing Len Dawson because I lived in Kansas City for a while. Bob Griese has been a great guy for Purdue University and Drew has had an unbelievable career.”
The trio received the Gold Medallion, the chapter’s top award. The honor has been bestowed once before in 2007 to former Purdue president Martin Jischke.
Dawson led the Kansas City Chiefs to victory in Super Bowl IV, earning MVP honors.
“That’s what it’s all about,” Dawson said. “The ultimate game in professional football is to play and win the Super Bowl. When you do it in magnificent fashion like Drew and the Saints did and what they had to overcome, it’s remarkable. It’s bragging rights. I’ve been bragging about this for the rest of my life.”
I think we can all agree that Dawson more than earned the right to brag all he wants for as long as he wants. He got the job done on the biggest stage the sport has to offer, in what turned out to be a sport-changing game and has continued to be a fantastic ambassador for the game long after his playing career ended.
Congrats on the honor, Lenny!