History of the Cards/Chiefs Missouri Governor’s Cup Games

Posted by Bob Underwood

The Missouri Governor’s Cup was awarded to the winner of the annual meetings between the St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Chiefs.

The first Governor’s Cup game was played two seasons after the NFL/AFL merger agreement in 1966. The contest was played on August 17, 1968 at Municipal Stadium in Kansas City in front of 47,462 fans. The Chiefs held on for a 13-10 victory.

The Chiefs pretty much dominated the Governor’s Cup series with a preseason record of 13-6-1. The Chiefs held 3-1-1 regular season advantage over the Big Red as well.

Here is a summary of the 20 preseason Missouri Governor’s Cup games played between the Chiefs and Cardinals.

8/17/68KC 13-10Municipal
8/29/69KC 31-21Busch
9/12/70STL 34-24Busch
9/04/71STL 17-17 (TIE)Municipal
8/12/72KC 24-14Arrowhead
9/07/73KC 16-7Busch
9/06/74KC 31-16Arrowhead
8/09/75STL 10-3Arrowhead
9/03/76STL 31-14Busch
9/10/77KC 37-20Arrowhead
8/26/78STL 12-7Arrowhead
8/18/79KC 20-3Arrowhead
8/23/80KC 20-10Busch
8/22/81STL 16-3Arrowhead
9/04/82KC 10-6Busch
8/20/83KC 17-16Arrowhead
8/10/84STL 14-10Busch
8/31/85KC 17-13Arrowhead
8/16/86KC 27-26Busch
9/06/87KC 13-10 (OT)Memphis, TN

Here is a summary of the five regular season Governor’s Cup games played between the Chiefs and Cardinals.

11/22/70STL 6-6- (TIE)Municipal
12/01/74KC 17-13Busch
11/23/80KC 21-13Busch
10/02/83KC 38-14Arrowhead
11/23/86STL 23-14Busch

Some notable Missouri Governor’s Cup Games:

1968: Kansas City 13 St. Louis 10 at Municipal Stadium

This game marked the first time the Big Red had ever played an AFL team. The Chiefs were an AFL power house coming off a Super Bowl appearance a couple of seasons prior. The Cards were coming off a disappointing 6-7-1 season. A standing room only crowd witnessed Jan Stenerud’s fourth quarter field goal that lifted the Chiefs to a three point victory. Big Red kicker Jim Bakken missed three field goals including one with 1:33 left in the game. Said head coach Charley Winner, “Jim’s a big league kicker; there’s no reason to question his ability.”

Big Red tackle Dave Long puts the pressure on Chiefs QB Len Dawson in the first Missouri Governor’s Cup game in 1968.

1970: St. Louis 34 Kansas City 24 at Busch Stadium

The Big Red won their first Governor’s Cup game by knocking off the defending Super Bowl Champion Chiefs 34-24 in front of 50,661 fans at Busch Stadium. MacArthur Lane scored 3 touchdowns and Jim Hart threw for 278 yards in the victory. The Cards would race out to a 7-2 regular season record, including three consecutive shutouts, but won only one of their last five games and missed the playoffs.

Governor Hearnes presents the Missouri Governor’s Cup to Big Red head coach Charley Winner in 1970.

1972: Kansas City 24 St. Louis 14 at Arrowhead Stadium

Playing in front of 78,190 fans – the largest to ever attend a sporting event in the state of Missouri, the Chiefs opened brand new Arrowhead Stadium with a dominating 24-14 victory over the Cardinals. The Chiefs defense dominated Big Red QB Gary Cuozzo and the Cards as they jumped out to a 24-0 first half lead. Cuozzo threw three interceptions including one that was returned for a touchdown.

The largest crowd to ever attend a Missouri sporting event witness the Chiefs beat the Cards 24-14 in the inauguration of new Arrowhead Stadium.

1975: St. Louis 10 Kansas City 3 at Arrowhead Stadium

Backup QB Gary Keithley’s fourth quarter TD pass to Eddie Moss lifted the Cards to just their second Governor’s Cup victory. Moss rushed for 52 yards on 10 carries in the first preseason game for both teams. The defending NFC East champ Cardinals would go on to an 11-3 record in 1975 winning their second straight division title.

Missouri Governor Kit Bond presents the Governor’s Cup to head coach Don Coryell and owner Bill Bidwill.

1976: St. Louis 31 Kansas City 14 at Busch Stadium

Mel Gray caught a 74 yard TD pass from Jim Hart on the second play of the game as the Cards dominated the Chiefs in the preseason finale for both teams. The Cards finished their exhibition season with a 4-2 record, including a win over the Chargers in Japan. They would go on to a 10-4 mark in 1976, but became the first NFC ten-win team to miss the playoffs.

Missouri Governor Kit Bond presents the Governor’s Cup to head coach Don Coryell, safety Ken Reaves, and linebacker Larry Stallings after the Cards 31-14 win over the Chiefs in 1976.

1981: St. Louis 16 Kansas City 3 at Arrowhead Stadium

Neil O’Donoghue kicked three field goals and O.J. Anderson scored the game’s only touchdown in the Cards 16-3 win at Arrowhead. It was the third preseason win in a row for the Big Red who would finish the exhibition season with a 3-1 mark.

1986: St. Louis 23 Kansas City 14 at Busch Stadium

Neil Lomax returned to the starting lineup and threw three touchdown passes, two of them to former Chief J.T. Smith to lead the Cards to a dominating 23-14 regular season Governor’s Cup upset victory. It was the only time the Big Red defeated Kansas City in a regular season game during their 28 seasons in St. Louis. “We’re not doing too good this year, Smith told the St. Louis Post Dispatch after the game. “But at least we are the best pro football team in Missouri. At least we are this year.” The Cards won just four games in 1986 while the Chiefs won ten and qualified for the playoffs.

Backup QB Cliff Stoudt congratulates Neil Lomax who regained his starting position after two weeks on the bench. Lomax threw 3 TD passes in the Cards 23-14 win.

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