Tag Archives: NFL

The History Of The Super Bowl MVP Award

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)

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)

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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“Going Out On Top”: The Story Of Jim Brown’s Nine Season NFL Career

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)

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.

Record Holders: Willie “Flipper” Anderson – Single Game Receiving Yards

On November 26, 1989 the L.A. Rams visited the New Orleans Saints in a game that would make history. A record was broken on that day, a record that has stood ever since. The star of the game was Rams Wide Receiver Flipper Anderson. On that day he amassed 336 receiving yards and scored one touchdown.

NFL Record Holder - Willie "Flipper" Anderson (Getty)

NFL Record Holder – Willie “Flipper” Anderson (Getty)

The previous record had been held by Stephone Paige of the Kansas City Chiefs. Paige broke the previous record on December 22, 1985. Paige recorded 309 total receiving yards against the San Diego Chargers in that game.

Since Flipper Anderson’s incredible performance in 1989 only one player has had more than 300 yards receiving in a single game. That player is Detroit Lions star Calvin Johnson. On October 27, 2013 Johnson had 329 yards receiving in a game between the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys. Johnson missed the record by 7 yards but holds the second place position on the all time list for this particular record.

Flipper Anderson went on to have a respectable career after his amazing feat in 1989. He retired with a career total of 5,357 yards and 28 touchdowns. He played from 1988-1997 for the Rams, Colts, Redskins and Broncos. In fact his final season win the NFL was with the 1997 Denver Broncos who defeated the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXII to become the Champions.

1983 NFL Draft – “The Best NFL Draft Ever”

The first ever NFL Draft took place in 1936. That draft only consisted of 81 players. Four of those players would become Hall Of Famers. Since then the NFL has developed the draft into a giant event. Another one of the players selected in that draft, Paul “Bear” Bryant would later give up playing football to become a coach. He would become one of the greatest college football coaches ever while at the University of Alabama. There have been many great draft classes in the years since but they all pale in comparison to one in particular.

The 1983 NFL Draft took place on Arpil 26th and 27th of that year in New York City. It included twelves rounds and 335 players were selected. Over 30 of those players selected would go to the Pro Bowl. Eric Dickerson, Jim Kelly, John Elway, Dan Marino, Bruce Matthews, Darrell Green and Richard Dent who were all selected that day would later be inducted into the Hall Of Fame. Other than all of the things I have mentioned the draft is remembered for another reason, the Quarterbacks.

This was the best draft class of quarterbacks in the history of the NFL. It also holds the record for most quarterbacks selected in the first round with six. Three of those six would make it into the Hall Of Fame. The standout quarterbacks of the class were by far John Elway, Jim Kelly and Dan Marino.

John Elway (Getty Images)

John Elway (Getty Images)

John Elway was taken with the first overall pick by the Baltimore Colts. He was eventually traded before the season to Denver due to his unwillingness to play for the Colts head coach Frank Kush. During his career he established himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the league. When his career was over he won two Super Bowl Championships and was inducted to the Hall Of Fame in 2004.

Jim Kelly (Getty Images)

Jim Kelly (Getty Images)

With the fourteenth overall pick the Buffalo Bills selected Jim Kelly. Kelly played the season prior in the United States Football League after leaving the University Of Miami. Of the quarterbacks drafted that day Kelly made more Super Bowl appearances than any one else. Kelly lead the Buffalo Bills to the Super Bowl from 1990 through 1993. Unfortunately the Bills never won any of those Super Bowls. Nonetheless Kelly proved himself to be a great quarterback and was Inducted to the Hall Of Fame in 2002.

Dan Marino (Getty Images)

Dan Marino (Getty Images)

The final legendary quarterback taken in this draft was Dan Marino. He was projected to go early in the first round but fell back on a lot of teams boards due to reports of him using marijuana in college. The Miami Dolphins were willing to take a chance on this young man with a powerful arm and selected him with the twenty seventh overall pick. Marino played 17 season but only made one trip to the Super Bowl, the Dolphins lost that game to the San Fransisco 49ers. Marino did however finish career holding almost every quarterback record that existed. He was inducted into the Hall Of Fame in 2005.

An interesting note about this draft is all of the first round quarterbacks went to AFC teams. Also the three half Of Fame quarterbacks all played for only one team during their NFL career.

The Draft is such an intriguing event. Full of Pro Bowlers, Busts and Hall Of Famers. There will probably never be a quarterback class this good again. Some might argue that the 2012 class will stand the test of time but until it does the 1983 Draft will remain the best ever.

The Quaterbacks Drafted Before Tom Brady

Tom Brady (Photo By Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Tom Brady (Photo By Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

With the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft the New England Patriots select from Michigan, quarterback Tom Brady.  Those words spoken by then NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue would change the future of the the Patriots and the NFL.  Tom Brady has gone on to have a great career and is considered to be one of the best quarterbacks of not only his era but in football history.  Brady has led the Patriots to 5 Super Bowl appearances and 3 Championships.  He is the biggest late round draft pick ever, being selected in the 6th round.  But their were 6 QB’s selected before Brady.  Here is a look at the six that came before Brady and the teams that missed out on greatness.

1st Round

18th Overall Pick – Chad Pennington, New York Jets

Pennington was the most hyped QB going into the draft.  Pennington had a solid college career with Marshall.  Pennington retired after the 2010 season.  He played for the Jets the majority of his career and played his final 3 season with the Miami Dolphins.  Pennington would play in 4 post seasons and had a post season record of 2 wins and 4 loses.  Pennington did make history during his career, holding the record for career passing percentage among QB’s with more than 1500 pass attempts at 66.0%.

2nd Round

No Quarterbacks Drafted

3rd Round

65th Overall Pick – Giovanni Carmazzi, San Francisco 49ers

Carmazzi played at Hofstra during his college years.  He would never play in a regular season NGL game.  Carmazzi finished his pro football career in the CFL in 2005.

75th Over All Pick – Chris Redman, Baltimore Ravens

Redman has played for the Ravens, Patriots, Titans and most recently the Falcons before his release in August of 2012.  He was lucky enough to win a Super Bowl ring as a backup to Trent Dilfer on the 2000 Ravens championship team.  Redman would best be described as a career back up QB.

4th Round

No Quarterbacks Drafted

5th Round

163rd Overall Pick – Tee Martin, Pittsburgh Steelers

Tee Martin played only one game for the Steelers and never started a game in his career.  He spent the 2002 season in NFL Europe playing for the Rhein Fire.  In 2003 he signed with the Oakland Raiders for his final NFL season.  Martin ended his professional career in 2005 as a part of the CFL.  In total Martin played only 3 games in the NFL.

6th Round

168th Overall Pick – Marc Bulger, New Orleans Saints

Marc Bulger was the only Pro Bowl QB selected before Tom Brady.  In the first of his two Pro Bowl appearances Bulger won the MVP award in that game. He went on a crazy ride after the draft by signing with the Saints, Falcons and the Ravens before the 2000 season began. Bulger took over at QB for the Rams when Kurt Warner retired.  Bulger retired in 2010 with the Ravens.

183 Overall Pick – Spergon Wynn, Cleveland Browns

Spergon Wynn spent his career as a back up QB.  He played for 2 NFL teams and 4 CFL teams.  Wynn retired from football in 2006.

The list QB’s selected before Tom Brady is pretty shocking.  Only one of those players made it to a Pro Bowl.  The majority were career back up QB’s and none of these players are still professionally active.  There was a lot of belief that Brady’s frame was not built for the NFL which was the greatest ding against him.  The Patriots saw something in Brady that no other team did and they were able to reap the benefits of that faith.  When Tom Brady retires he will undoubtedly head to the Hall Of Fame and the history books.  While all of the others before him are just history.

 

History Now: Matt Prater Breaks Record For Longest NFL Field Goal

Matt Prater, record holder of longest field goal in NFL history. (Getty Images)

Matt Prater, record holder of longest field goal in NFL history. (Getty Images)

On Sunday the 8th of December, 2013 Denver Broncos kicker Matt Prater made NFL history.  He made a 64-yard field goal in the final seconds of the 1st half in the Broncos game against the visiting the Tennessee Titans.  The previous record was held by four players, each with 63-yard field goals.  Those players he beat out for the record today were Tom Dempsey (1970), Jason Elam (1998), Sebastian Janikowski (2011) and David Ackers (2012).  With this field goal Prater becomes just the 13th man to kick a +60-yard field goal in an NFL game.

Sebastian Janikowski
Sebastian Janikowski
Sebastian Janikowski

The 1967 NFL Playoffs “The Ice Bowl And The First Real Post Season”

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 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.