Saddle up as we blaze trail to Hunt's trophy

Candus Thomson's Ravens 101

January 16, 2009|By CANDUS THOMSON'S

Big-game sportsmen talk about a trophy hunt. Big-time AFC teams talk about the Hunt trophy.

Lamar Hunt. Sounds like the product of a marriage between movie star Hedy Lamarr and Watergate burglar E. Howard Hunt. But in reality, new Ravens fan, the Lamar Hunt Trophy is what your team is playing for Sunday.

Hunt was a sports giant who founded the American Football League, the upstart organization that forced a merger with the NFL in 1970. The 10 AFL teams (along with the NFL Baltimore Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns) became the American Football Conference. The Colts won the first AFC championship game and the Ravens won in the 2000-01 season.

Hunt also was a charter investor in Major League Soccer and the Chicago Bulls and owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, participant in the first NFL-AFL World Championship Game, which Hunt later got credit for nicknaming the Super Bowl.

So, he's a big deal.

The Lamar Hunt Trophy is a bas-relief (think of Mount Rushmore with football players instead of presidents) sculpture of football players that stands on a metal and wooden base. The Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals of the National Football Conference are playing Sunday for the George Halas Trophy. Halas was the long-time owner and coach of the Chicago Bears.

On Feb. 1, the Hunt and Halas trophy winners will play for the Super Bowl's Lombardi Trophy.

Tomorrow: Why a Raven?

As a public service, we continue our crash course in Ravensology that can easily be transferred to flash cards for memorization.

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