Congratulations to the champion Kansas City Chiefs, who were named after a Kansas City Freemason!
Few know that the Chiefs were originally the Dallas Texans. Their first championship was during their time in Dallas where their home field was the Cotton Bowl and they won the 1962 AFL Championship. That was their last game before relocating to Kansas City during the following months. Upon arriving, the team obviously needed a new name.
H. Roe Bartle, the mayor of Kansas City, was a gregarious man and a member of Lebanon Masonic Lodge No. 87 out of Kentucky. Bartle was something of a phenom when it came to civic duty. He was a leading volunteer for the Boy Scouts, inter-religious associations, and American War Dads. At one point, Bartle served concurrently on the board for more than 50 non-profit organizations. He was also an accomplished public speaker. It was his success in these roles that led Brother Harry Truman to appoint him to the Federal Economic Stabilization Board. And more importantly, his lifelong leadership skills had gained him the nickname “Chief.”
So, in an effort to gain the team some new local fans, Lamar Hunt’s newly arrived football team renamed themselves after Kansas City’s most popular citizen, Brother “Chief” H. Roe Bartle. Today, his namesake football team are champions.
P.S. The Buffalo Bills were also named after a Mason, wild west performer Buffalo Bill Cody.
Originally published by the Historical Light Masonic Podcast facebook page.