RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - It's been 35 years since Willie Lanier last suited up in the NFL, but the Richmond native and Hall of Famer continues to impact the sport that he loves.
This weekend marks the 42nd anniversary of Super Bowl IV, when Lanier's Chiefs of the AFL, beat the NFL's Vikings 24-7, in the final game before the merger. Kansas City was 13 point underdogs in the game, and that Super Bowl marks the only one that the proud franchise has won.
Lanier would play a decade for the Chiefs, and he was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1986.
But Lanier remains an important part of the NFL. Unlike many of his counterparts, Lanier remains incredibly healthy and of sound mind. The Maggie Walker School graduate says its because he was a smart player, and tackled correctly.
He's used that knowledge to become an integral part of the Player Safety Advisory Council, which has helped to strengthen the rules on the illegal hits in the NFL. He has also worked to raise money for NFL veterans who are not as fortunate as him, and are battling a wide number of football-related maladies.
Lanier will be in Indianapolis this weekend for Super Bowl XLVI, keeping an eye on the way the NFL players of today respect the rules of the game. But he'll also remember fondly, that 42 years ago it was him and his teammates that were the victors.