Name: Bobby Bell
How Acquired: Draft (No. 7 – 1963)
Career: 1963 – 1974
Birth Date: June 17, 1940
Birth Place: Shelby, North Carolina
When Bobby Bell walked off the University of Minnesota campus back in 1963, he could have played any position on the football field. “I can honestly say that Bobby Bell had as much talent as anyone I ever coached,” according to former Chiefs Coach Hank Stram. Bell could throw a football the length of the field. He could outrun most fullbacks and punt with the best of them.
He started his NFL career as a defensive end, but soon switched to outside linebacker where he, Dick Butkus, Sam Huff, Ray Nitschke and his Chiefs teammate, Willie Lanier, were among the greatest to ever play the linebacking position. While Butkus, Lanier and company used brute strength to dominate the middle, Bell used a rare combination of speed and strength to redefine the outside linebacking position.
He earned eight consecutive trips to post-season All-Star and Pro-Bowl games and surprised no one when he joined team owner Lamar Hunt in the Professional Football Hall of Fame on July 30, 1983. He was also selected as the outstanding outside linebacker in the American Football League and was named to the League’s all-time All-Star team. He was inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame in 1979.
Bobby was a 6’4”, 228 pounder with a 32” waist and lean torso. His trademark, high-topped shoes and ability to stop a runner in the open field are a rich part of Kansas City’s football legacy. He’s one big reason that the Chiefs appeared in the first AFL – NFL championship game and also why the underdog team from Kansas City defeated Minnesota 23-7 in Super Bowl IV.
Bell resides in suburban Lee’s Summit and maintains his playing weight by water skiing, swimming and dancing.