It’s no coincidence that Kansas City framed Norma Hunt as the organization’s “mother” in its statement on her death. She was that and a whole lot more. Wife to Lamar, the franchise founder. Actual mom to Clark, the team’s current CEO. Attender of every Super Bowl ever played. Known for her passions—sports, family, human connection.
While reporting the past nine Super Bowl cover stories for Sports Illustrated, her name—and her impact came up often—every time the Chiefs reached the NFL pinnacle. Here’s what key members of the franchise family said then, their sentiments applicable then and now.
SUPER BOWL LIV (win over the 49ers)
Tony Richardson (Chiefs fullback, 1995–2005): “When I got there in ’95, we always talked about getting Mr. Hunt back his trophy. [The Lamar Hunt Trophy is awarded to the AFC champion, which wasn’t the Chiefs for half a century until this season.] That was something that, as players, we always wanted to accomplish. It means everything to bring it back. When I got on the plane and we were waiting to take off, they presented the trophy, and we were watching from the plane, and I started tearing up just because it’s something we’ve always wanted to accomplish.”
Dustin Colquitt (Chiefs punter, 2005–19): “She’s seen everything, so to see her excitement in her face and looking up on the jumbotron and seeing her and the way she is … what a lady.”
Bobby Bell (Chiefs outside linebacker, 1963–74): “It was an honor for me to be able to present the Lamar Hunt Trophy to Clark and Norma. The fans have been waiting for this for so long. The last time something like that happened, I was playing in the championship game.”
Carl Peterson (Chiefs general manager, president, CEO, 1989–2008): “That was the goal every year. Let’s go get that trophy. Meaning that the trophy is going to be where it’s supposed to be, at Arrowhead Stadium. Lamar, Norma and the Hunt family, I’ve always considered them one of the three cornerstones of the league. The Maras (N.Y. Giants), the Rooneys (Steelers) and the Hunts.”
Nick Lowery (Chiefs kicker, 1980–93): “Norma is still the most gracious woman I’ve ever met. She was touting her new wine. It’s called Perfect Season. There’s a good analogy for you. They’re heading toward the perfect season.”
Andy Reid (Chiefs head coach, 2013 to present): “I told my agent, when interviewing with Kansas City, I wasn’t looking to take on a major rebuild. I kept a short list of families in the NFL that if I ever got a chance to work for, I would. The Hunts were on that list. It probably was a good healing process for me and for the Chiefs. They had gone through some things. I went through some things. It was a good match.”
Mark Donovan (Chiefs president, 2009 to present): “I’m a fan of the sport, so just to know what impact this family has had on the entire sport and then multiply it by being part of it now, being able to see it up close in person how special these people are. I think Norma personifies that. Seeing Norma on stage, kissing the Lamar Hunt Trophy for the first time ever [last year]. The same thing with Lombardi at the Super Bowl. It’s a great testament to this family. As someone who’s been a part of this organization for over a decade now, you can’t really describe the pride you feel that the team was able to deliver that to them. That’s a piece of it. You wanting to deliver it to the fan base is as important and as powerful. I think they’re connected in that Lamar was so fan-focused.”
SUPER BOWL LV (loss to the Buccaneers)
Tammy Reid (Andy’s wife): “Right after we won the AFC championship this year, it was very surreal. Last year was so, ‘Oh my goshhh!’ and screaming and jumping, ‘Can you believe this? Can you believe this?’ and this year was just like, ‘Oh my gosh, we’re going back,’ like you’re excited, but you just don’t know how to process it that it’s happening a second time. Our players and this city and the Hunts deserve this. They’re just a great big family here, you know?”
Tammy Reid: “The Hunts are a little more on that side of superstition. I’ve gotten them to calm down a little bit, but I think they are definitely like, you have to sit with us. And I’m like O.K. I kind of calm people down because I don’t get too stressed or anxious at games because I always think we’re going to win.”
SUPER BOWL LVII (win over the Eagles)
Eric Stonestreet (actor, Chiefs superfan): “The Hunts were always so gracious and had me sit with them. And I appreciated that. But you know, at the same time, I didn’t want to be the guy calling up every week and asking for seats. So we got our own suite at Arrowhead, and I haven’t missed any home games. And since then we’ve gone to three Super Bowls.”
Brett Veach (Chiefs executive, general manager, 2013 to present): “There’s really nobody like her. Nobody.”