Kansas City Chiefs Owner Lamar Hunt, who founded the American Football League and became an NFL owner after the AFL and NFL reached a merger deal in 1966, passed away Wednesday. He was 74 years old.
"It's a sad day for sports fans around the world. Lamar Hunt was truly a pioneer and had a lasting impact on a number of professional sports," said Jets Owner Mr. Woody Johnson in a statement. "In creating the AFL, he likely did more to change the NFL over the last half century than any other single person. Without Lamar Hunt, there would be no Super Bowl, a term he originally coined, and there would not be a New York Jets franchise. Lamar's energy and ideas have helped shape the American sports landscape over the past five decades. The entire New York Jets organization would like to express its deepest condolences to the Hunt family and the Kansas City Chiefs on the passing of Lamar Hunt."
"The first thing I'd like to say is how sad we were to hear about the passing of Lamar Hunt," said Jets head coach Eric Mangini at his Thursday morning press conference. "Obviously, losing a man like him - who was a pioneer and innovative and such an important part of the league - is an incredible loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this very difficult time."