Remembering the longest game in NFL history: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Miami Dolphins in 1971

The total game time totaled 82 mins. and 40 secs.
Posted at 3:36 PM, Dec 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-23 16:36:27-05

The year before the Chiefs moved to Arrowhead, they played their last game at the old Municipal Stadium at 22nd and Brooklyn in Kansas City.

Extended Kansas City Chiefs Coverage

The AFC Divisional round battle pitted the young surging Dolphins with the veteran Chiefs who had just won the Super Bowl two seasons before.

It started 3 p.m. on Christmas Day.

"That day it was like war it's like we just had a big war on that field," remembered Chiefs Hall of Fame linebacker Bobby Bell.

The total game time totaled 82 minutes and 40 seconds in six quarters!

"I think what happens was that it was such a unique reality playing in something that could go that long,” Hall of Fame Linebacker Willie Lanier said.

Sixteen members of the Hall of Fame were involved in that game.

"That was a big game," said Bell. "Back then we didn't realize that it was going be like that and to have that many players be in the Hall of Fame."

Kansas City opened a 10-0 lead but by halftime Miami tied it at 10.

Kansas City native Kerry Reardon was a 22-year-old rookie.

"Here I was a homegrown kid from Rockhurst High School and University of Iowa getting to play in front of his dad up in the bleachers. Twenty two years old and getting to play with the best Chiefs team ever assembled."

Despite the Chiefs taking the lead three times, the Dolphins answered. The game stretched into the night delaying Christmas Dinner across the country.

“A lot of the families said you can go to the game but you have to be home at a certain time but the game would never end," said Bell. "They called and said are you coming home and they said no!"

Then, Miami nailed a 37 yard field goal in the second overtime to stun Kansas City winning 27-24 on their road to Super Bowl 6.

"When I got to the locker room after that game I didn’t even take my clothes off I just walked into the shower and just put water all over me," Bell remembered.

"Everybody were the best there were and to get to participate in a game like that and play for so many hours was the greatest experience I ever had," Kerry Reardon remembered.

The next season the ‘72 Dolphins went on to win the Super Bowl becoming the only team in NFL history to have a truly perfect season.

The Chiefs didn't win another division title until 1993.



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