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Area man reflects on working for the 1969 Chiefs

Posted at 10:01 PM, Jan 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-24 17:46:04-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Some Kansas City Chiefs fans might have considered holding footballs for Jan Stenerud and catching Gerald Wilson's punts a dream job, but for Mike Swanson it was a way to pass time while his mom worked.

"I was the kid that was brought to work and hung out in the locker room," he said. "I ended up picking up T-shirts and jock straps, soiled uniforms, and helping with the laundry. The next thing I knew I was invited to come to summer camps."

Swanson's mom, Betty, worked in the Chief's coaching office for years. She worked on special team and defensive game plans, helping the team get to and win Super Bowl IV.

"I'd come up and say hi after a game," Swanson said. "She and another secretary in the office would be already working on next week's game plan."

As his mom helped prepare the team, Swanson helped too. He was in charge of making sure head coach Hank Stram's suit was cleaned and on the airplane ready to go for each game.

"Coach Stram put me in charge of his suit," Swanson said. "I'd go to Raytown Cleaners, that's no longer there at 63rd Street and Blue Ridge, and take his suit. I'd drop it off on Monday and pick it up on Friday, and make sure it was on the plane to make it to the big city."

While Swanson did not make the team cut to go to Super Bowl IV with the Chiefs, his mom and dad were there. His mom was recognized for hard work preparing the team for the big game – her name can still be found on a plaque in a picnic area to the south of lot D at the Sports Complex.