Happy 75th Birthday to Chris Burford.
Chris Burford played his entire career with the Kansas City Chiefs franchise, even dating back to the Dallas Texans days. Burford was born in 1938 in California and later played football at Stanford University. He wasn’t spectacular at Stanford, but he improved every season and NFL teams had their eye on him. Although drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the ninth round of the 1960 NFL draft, a deal was not met. Then came the Kansas City Chiefs franchise.
Ironically former Cleveland Browns quarterback was also heading to the Chiefs, Len Dawson. Dawson and Burford would have an immediate impact on the field together. In 1962, Burford’s 12 touchdowns ranked second in the league and Dawson would toss 29 touchdowns in his first season. In a time when running the football was stressed so much more than running, Burford was a standout.
The star wide receiver was one of the pioneers of the NFL change vertical passing that we now know today. In 1963, Burfurd would go on to catch 824 yards and nine touchdowns. Today that would be about the equivalent of 1,200 yards and 14 touchdowns. Burford was not the most athletic receiver, but he made critical catches and was the teams leading receiver multiple seasons helping the Chiefs appear in the first ever Super Bowl.
Burford retired with many Chiefs’ franchise records. He retired with the most receiving touchdowns in a single season, most career receiving touchdowns and most career catches. All of those records and milestones have since been broken, mostly by Tony Gonzalez. The most impressive is by far his 12 touchdowns in 1962. That mark stood nearly 50 years until Dwayne Bowe passed it in 2010 with 15 touchdowns.
A very big wide receiver at 225 ponds that helped revolutionize of the vertical passing game turns 75, his power and will to not be tackled and brought to the ground made up for his in-athleticism. His legacy will always be remembered by fans and enshrined in the Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame. Happy birthday, Chris Burford.
You can follow Damon on twitter @DamonSalvadore1