Len Dawson is already in the Pro Football Hall of Fame thanks to his accomplishments from his 19-season career in the AFL and NFL.
Now, he’s being honored for his work off-the field, as a football broadcaster. The Hall of Fame will announce on Thursday that Dawson will be the 2012 winner of the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award. He will be honored during ceremonies the weekend of August 3-5 in Canton, Ohio.
The Rozelle Award has been given since 1989 and is named after the former NFL Commissioner who helped usher the league into the modern era, including merger with Lamar Hunt’s AFL. Others who have been honored over the years have been Lindsey Nelson, Chris Schenkel, Curt Gowdy, Pat Summerall, Dick Enberg, Roone Arledge, John Madden, Don Meredith and last year’s honoree, Jim Nantz.
Dawson’s broadcasting career actually began long before his playing career ended when he retired after the 1975 season. Beginning in radio, he was named sports director of KMBC-TV in 1966. That’s a role he held until 2009 when he “retired.” He still can be seen on Channel 9 during Chiefs season or in helping out during the week.
Right after his playing career ended, he was hired by NBC-TV as a color commentator for their NFL broadcasts, a position he held until 1982. That’s when he began handling the color commentary on radio broadcasts for the Chiefs Radio Network, a position he still fills 30 years later.
He was also one of the hosts of the long-running HBO program “Inside the NFL”, holding that spot for 24 seasons (1978-01.)
Dawson was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his playing career 25 years ago, as part of the Class of 1987.