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Willie Lanier Speaker Profile

Former Linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs

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Willie Lanier Biography

Willie Lanier was born August 21, 1945, in Clover, Virginia and is a former American football middle-linebacker who played for the Kansas City Chiefs from 1967 through 1977. He won postseason honors for eight consecutive years, making the American Football League All-Star team in 1968 and 1969 before being selected to the Pro Bowl from 1970 through 1975. He was inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986.

On January 15, 1967, the Chiefs lost Super Bowl I to Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers by a 35-10 score, forcing head coach Hank Stram to look for defensive players in the upcoming draft. Stram picked Lanier in the second round, after the team had selected another linebacker, Jim Lynch of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

Lynch had been chosen to play in the annual College All-Star game, forcing him to miss the first two weeks of Chiefs ' practice. By the time Lynch made it to camp, Lanier had already established himself as the team's middle linebacker, and the American Football League had another first, the first black middle linebacker in pro football history. In the midst of a solid first season, Lanier suffered an injury and missed the last four games of the year.

There were numerous great moments throughout his career, but none exemplifies his heart and desire as much as the Chiefs' goal line stand against the New York Jets in the 1969 divisional playoff game. Leading 6-3 in the fourth quarter, New York had a first-and-goal at the Chiefs' one-yard line after a pass interference call on Kansas City. It was then that Lanier made an emotional appeal to the rest of the Chiefs defense. They're not going to score! Lanier yelled at this teammates. They're not going to score! The Chiefs shut down the Jets on three straight plays and held them to a field goal. When Kansas City scored a touchdown on its next possession, the game was over. The first important step to the Super Bowl was complete.

The Chiefs would reach the NFL playoffs only one more time during Lanier's career, in 1971, winning the AFC Western Division title. On Christmas Day, in the final contest at Municipal Stadium, the Chiefs' season came to an end against the Miami Dolphins in a double overtime classic. The contest was the longest game in NFL history, clocking in at more than 82 minutes.

The linebacking trio of Lanier, Lynch and fellow Hall of Famer Bobby Bell is recognized as one of the most talented in professional football history, lasting until the arrival of new head coach Paul Wiggin in 1975.

Lanier was traded in April 1978 to the Baltimore Colts, but retired just three months later as training camp was set to get underway.



Willie Lanier Booking and Hiring Information

Football stars such as a Willie Lanier have taken the game to new heights by excelling at their respective position. The booking agents at AthletePromotions can assist with Willie Lanier speaking engagements or appearances from NFL stars. We have years of experience in booking gridiron greats for keynote speeches and autograph signings. Hiring a football speaker like Willie Lanier is not a hard process. Our agents can provide availability, fees and all costs associated in bringing out a successful football star to your next corporate event. We can find Willie Laniers agent to make this booking happen. A Willie Lanier appearance will add energy to your upcoming event and reward employees, customers and clients.Most likely, football fans and corporations can find Willie Lanier's official website, charity involvement, Twitter account, representation, publicist and management info at www.Willie Lanier.com.

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