While there is no love lost between fans of the Denver Broncos and those of the Kansas City Chiefs, there is at least one member of Broncos Country who once had loyalties of the highest order to the new world champions.
That person is former Broncos general manager John Beake, and the reason is that he was an assistant coach on the Kansas City staff back when they won Super Bowl IV 50 years ago.
Beake had a 22-year career with the Broncos in player personnel, including his last 15 as general manager before departing for the National Football League to head up NFL Europe in 2001.
Beake knows a thing or two about winning. Besides that championship ring from Kansas City, he was an integral part of the Broncos team that went back-to-back in winning Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII.
A tremendously successful high school coach in New York state, Beake went from the preps directly to Hank Stram's staff at the personal request of the legendary Kansas City coach.
"I love Pat Bowlen and the Broncos deeply, but it all began for me with Lamar Hunt, the Hunt family, Hank and all those players and fans in Kansas City," Beake said after watching the Chiefs win Super Bowl LIV over San Francisco on Sunday.
"I was so gratifying to see the faces, tears of joy on members of the Hunt family," Beake added, "winning again after so many years.
"They were all so very kind to me and my family," he added, having been a part of 51 victories in his six years in Kansas City.
Added to the 152 wins as a Bronco and with two years in New Orleans as well, Beake has been a coach or executive for 286 NFL (or AFL) wins and three world championships.
His postseason totals between Kansas City and Denver form a robust 17-8 record.
"But that all started in Kansas City, and have great respect for the Hunt family and deep admiration for Andy Reid, whom I have known for many years."
The pro football fraternity can be a small one, and Beake has been a member since 1969, so he has met a great many.
Beake was one of the guys who pushed the hardest to get Hank Stram into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, though no such pushing was necessary for Chiefs and American Football League founder Lamar Hunt.
"It is great to see the Chiefs still in the Hunt family," says Beake, "they were all so nice to my family and me during our time there. It was a wonderful start to my pro career."
He has always taken a background role with great modesty, but when Pat Bowlen bought the Broncos, two of Beake's suggestions from his Kansas City years came fruition with Denver's aggressive and attentive new owner.
Those would be "Thunder," whose genesis at least in part came from the Kansas City horse, "Warpaint," and the Ring of Fame, with the Chiefs having started their own very impressive version.
So he had deep feelings for the Kansas City win Sunday.
"You could look at, almost feel and tough those Hunt family members and fans, and I was delighted for them."
"Don't get me wrong. Nothing would make me happier than seeing us get back to domination over the Chiefs and back to the Super Bowl ourselves, but I was very happy for them in making the most of these opportunity this year," our still ultra-competitive former general manager said.
"The years have gone by, but 10 members of that Super Bowl IV team are now in the Hall of Fame, and great players create great memories. A lot of those flashed through my mind on Sunday.
"Lamar Hunt and his family were so good to all of us. He dearly loved his team and it was wonderful to see them have this success. I am very happy for them," said Beake, who then added, "Now, let's go out and beat them in 2020!"