Lincoln High’s Aaron Brown played for Chiefs’ first Super Bowl winner
Before their 31-20 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, it had been 50 years since the Kansas City Chiefs last won a Super Bowl.
All those years ago, a Port Arthur native helped the Chiefs come out on top over the Minnesota Vikings.
Aaron Brown, a 1962 graduate of Lincoln High School, played defensive end for the Chiefs in Super Bowl IV, the Chiefs’ first successful attempt at winning the championship game between the champions of the AFL and NFL after losing to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl I. Brown sacked 49ers quarterback Joe Kapp in the fourth quarter, which sidelined Kapp for the rest of the game, according to a story by Matt Verderame for arrowheadpride.com.
Brown wouldn’t be the only Port Arthuran to don the red and gold. Jamaal Charles was a fan favorite in Kansas City from 2008-16 and holds the NFL record for most rushing yards per carry in a career by a running back (5.4).
Those that knew Brown while at Lincoln High School said they were a little surprised at Brown’s role in the 1970 game. For one thing, Brown played on the other side of the line of scrimmage while at Lincoln.
“He was a fullback in high school, but when he went to [the University of] Minnesota, he was converted into a defensive lineman and he very much had success there, so he had a lot of potential,” said Charles Getwood, who was a classmate of Brown’s and played football with him at Lincoln as an inside linebacker.
During James Gamble’s first year at Lincoln, he coached then-senior Brown in football and basketball. Gamble said when he arrived, Brown was playing as an end until coaches switched him to fullback. Brown went back to playing defensive end while at the University of Minnesota, and was an All-American for the Golden Gophers in 1965.
Gamble was amazed by the kind of defensive player Brown became for Minnesota and later Kansas City.
“It was surprising to me that he turned into such a ferocious defensive player because he was a very soft-spoken, gentle type of young man,” Gamble said. “Knowing Aaron, nothing that he did that was quality would surprise you — that was the type of person that he was. He was a big, strong man, big and physical. He did well and he had a lot of determination. His work ethic was outstanding.”
Gamble said Brown was a three-sport athlete, competing in football, basketball and running track during his senior year. Getwood said Brown hadn’t even played football until he was an upperclassmen.
“I guess he wasn’t at the time interested,” Getwood said. “We would talk all the time and we hung out a lot together coming up and he just showed no interest in participating in football. He played basketball, and I think one of the coaches talked to him and asked him about coming out and giving it a try, and he did and had very much success with it.”
Getwood remembers Brown as an “outrageous personality,” a great student and a great friend.
“Very smart, very likeable,” Getwood said. “He was the type of guy that once you knew him or talked with him, he’d give you the clothes off his back. His personality was outrageous, just great.”
Though he didn’t keep up with Brown after he left for Minnesota, Gamble said he wasn’t surprised Brown was able to become a professional athlete.
“He was big and strong and fast,” Gamble said. “He had sprinter-type speed. He was athletic, he played a good brand of basketball, he had good hand-eye coordination, so it’s not surprising to me that got drafted and played in the NFL. I’m sure he had real good coaching up there in Minnesota and also in Kansas City.”
Brown spent his last two years in the NFL with the Green Bay Packers in 1973-1974 before moving back to Southeast Texas. He was killed by a motorist while walking home in Atascocita in 1997.
Brown was a good friend to Getwood, who remembers him fondly.
“We had a very close relationship with out athletes and our coaches,” Getwood said. “Just playing with Aaron was great and we learned a lot from each other. It was a totally great experience all around, not only as a friend but as an athlete and student.”
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