Since it inception in 1967 the Super Bowl has been the game of the year. The game that has the world watching in anticipation of the crowning of a Champion. People also looking for exciting play and the player of the game. Every Super Bowl ever played has had an Most Valuable Player (MVP) in fact in 1978 Super Bowl XII had two of them, Dallas Cowboys defensive end Harvey Martin and defensive tackle Randy White. The MVP Award is the one constant and a distinction that could be a ticket into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame.
The Super Bowl MVP Trophy (Getty Images)
When you look at the history of the Super Bowl MVP Award the numbers and details of those numbers create an interesting legacy. Forty-eight Super Bowls have been played and forty-nine players have had the honor of being named MVP of the game. Nineteen of those MVP’s are now enshrined at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH. Nine different positions have won the award at least once with the quarterback position having the most with twenty-six. Running backs (7) and wide receivers (6) fall second and third respectively on the list of positions to win the award.
Two time Super Bowl MVP Bart Starr (Getty Images)
The first ever MVP was Bart Starr who led the Green Bay Packers to victory in Super Bowl I in 1967. He would also be the first player to win the MVP more than once when he was crowned after Super Bowl II. Only five players have won the MVP Award more than once and they are all quarterbacks. San Francisco 49er legend Joe Montana holds the record with three. He is followed by Starr, Terry Bradshaw, Tom Brady and Eli Manning who have all been honored twice.
Typically the MVP goes to someone on the winning team. However in 1971 linebacker Chuck Howley who was on the losing Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl V won the game’s big honor. That is the first and only time that scenario has occurred.
The four of the last five MVP’s have been quarterbacks. The most recent MVP was Seattle Seahawks Linebacker Malcolm Smith. Who will be next? Only time will tell but we don’t have to wait much longer because we are less than four days from Super Bowl XLIX in Phoenix, Aruzona. So be on the look out for the next big play because it could come from the next Super Bowl MVP.
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When football fans think of the greatest running backs of all time a few names usually come up. Names like Walter Payton, Emmitt Smith, Gale Sayers. There is a player some would consider greater than those previously named, Jim Brown.
The legendary Jim Brown. (Getty Images)
Jim Brown was taken by the Cleveland Browns with the 6th overall pick in the 1957 NFL Draft. Brown was a first-team All American at Syracuse University. His senior season at the school was the most impressive. During the 1956 College Football season Brown ran for 986 yards and scored 14 touchdowns in only eight games that season.
Jim Brown’s pro career would mirror the success of his college days. When he came to Cleveland the Browns had yet to find an incredible running back since Hall Of Fame running back Marion Motley quit the team in 1954. During his rookie season Brown ran for 942 yards and had 9 touchdowns. Brown really turned it up a notch in his second season in 1958, rushing for 1527 yards with 17 touchdowns.
This amazing running back went on to seven seasons with 1,000-yards or more during his nine year career. His highest rushing yardage season came in 1963 when he ran for 1,863- yards. Brown’s 1963 season became the running back record for most rushing yards in a single season. The record stood until 1973 when O.J. Simpson ran for 2,003-yards.
Jim Brown’s final season came in 1965. His final game was on January 2, 1965 in the NFL Championship game against the Green Bay Packers in Green Bay, WI. Brown ran for 50-yards, caught 3 passes for 44-yards but scored no touchdowns. The Packers defeated the Cleveland Browns by a score of 23-12.
During his final campaign Brown ran for 1,544 yards and once again recorded 17 touchdowns on the ground. Brown would decide to leave football following 1965 season to pursue an acting career. Many around football could not believe he would leave the NFL while still proving to be one of the best players in the game. At the age of 29 Jim Brown was retired from football and would never play again in the NFL.
His nine season career still stands out as one of the best in NFL History. Jim Brown amassed 12,312 yards (An NFL record not broken until 1984 by Walter Payton) while rushing for 80 touchdowns and caught 20 touchdown passes. Brown led the league in rushing for eight of his nine seasons and was selected as a Pro Bowler in every season he played in the NFL. In 1971 Jim Brown was inducted into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame.
When going back through the records and accomplishments during his playing days it is hard to deny that Jim Brown is one of the greatest players of all time. He may no lomger hold any of the amazing records he set during his career but they are still impressive 49 years after he retired. He was a bruising power back the likes we have never seen since and may never see again. Jim Brown truly left the game of football while still on top.
Posted in NFL, Sports History
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The National Football League’s 48th season began on September 17th, 1967. It was the first season in the history of the NFL to have a playoff after the regular season had ended. The previous 34 seasons had only included one post season game which was the championship game consisting of two teams with the best record (the NFL champion was the team with the best record during the first 12 seasons of the NFL). The NFL expanded to 16 teams with the newest being the New Orleans Saints. This allowed for a post season that included a four team playoff for the championship. The 1967 season paved the way for the current 12 team playoff structure.
The first game of the playoffs took place on December 23 and pitted the Los Angeles Rams against Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers. The game was played at County Stadium in Milwaukee, WI. The Rams drew first blood with the first touchdown of the game but would give up four consecutive touchdowns before the game was finished. The Packers would win by a score of 28-7. With that win the Packers were on their way to the NFL Championship Game.
The second playoff game took place at the Cotton bowl in Dalls, TX on December 24th. The teams competing for a trip to the NFL Championship game were the Cleveland Browns and the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys won the game in blowout fashion with the final score being 52-17. With that win the Cowboys would advance to what would become one of the greatest games in NFL history.
The Packers Bart Starr’s game winning QB sneak to win the “Ice Bowl” (Getty Images)
The NFL Championship Game was held at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WI on December 31st. The game was dubbed “The Ice Bowl” due to its game time temperature of -15 F, the wind chill was -48 F. The Cowboys took on the Packers in this epic contest. This game was a brutal and very close game that went into halftime with the Packers leading 14-10. The Cowboys took the 17-14 lead with a 50-yard touchdown pass by running back Dan Reeves to wide receiver Lance Renzel in the 4th quarter. But the biggest play of the game would be one of it last plays. With just 4:50 remaining in the game the Packers quarterback Bart Starr led his team down the field, Starr would be the man that won the game for the Packers when he ran the ball into the end zone with just seconds remaining on the clock. The final score was Packers 21 and the Cowboys 17. To this day it is considered by many the greatest game and from what the players endured and the result on the field there is no arguing that.
The Packers would not only go down in history that year for winning the first ever NFL Playoffs but would also win another important game in their history. Two weeks after the NFL Championship game the Packers played the American Football League Champions the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl II. The Packers would be the victor in that contest as well and continued what is viewed now as a “Dynasty Team”.
The NFL took an important step in their history in 1967. A step that has lead to some of the most iconic games in the sports history. Who know the next great NFL Playoff game might be the next.
Posted in NFL, sports, Sports History
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