Tag Archives: running back

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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History Now: Samaje Perine Breaks NCAA Single Game Rushing Record

On November 22,2014 in Norman, OK NCAA history was Made. Oklahoma Sooner running back Samaje Perine set a new NCAA record for rushing yards in a single game with 427-yards. Perine did so in a blowout game where his Sooners defeated Kansas by a score of 44-7. Perine also scored 5 touchdowns during this incredible performance.

New NCAA record holder Samaje Perine. (Getty Images)

New NCAA record holder Samaje Perine. (Getty Images)

An interesting note to this accomplishment is how new the previous record was that Perine broke. Just one week earlier on November 15, 2014 Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon broke the previous record with a 408-yard rushing performance. With that performance Gordon broke a record Ladainian Tomlinson had held with a 406-yard performance in 1999.

It is pretty amazing that a record that stood for 15 years was broken twice in one week. Samaje Perine set the bar far higher than Melvin Gordon did just one week earlier. This record will be very hard to beat and will not likely be done any time soon.

Historic Rookies: Gale Sayers In 1965

With the 4th overall pick in the 1965 NFL Draft the Chicago Bears selected running back Gale Sayers from the University of Kansas. Sayers had been a two time All American and was highly touted coming out of college. The Bears were in need of a solid running back following the 1964 season in which the teams leading rusher was Jon Arnett who finished the season with 400 yards on the ground. Ronnie Bull was the second rusher in terms of yards with 320. Sayers would come in and rush for more yard than both backs combined.

40-gale-sayers

Gale Sayers was a very influential running back that changed how the game was played from the back field. Sayers was an explosive rusher with the ability to stop, move and go at practically any given moment. Sayers would also become one of the best kick returners the game had seen up to that point.

Gale Sayers had a phenomenal debut season in 1965. On the ground Sayers was practically unstoppable with 867 yards, 14 touchdowns. Sayers also gained 507 yards receiving and scored 6 touchdowns. Lastly Sayers returned 16 kicks for a total of 898 yards and 2 touchdowns on kickoffs and punt returns combined. Despite the incredible season Sayers had he could only help the Bears so much. The Bears finished that season with a record of 9-5 and placed 3rd in the NFL Western Conference.

Gale Sayers was named the NFL Rookie of the at the end of the 1965 season. That season he set the record for the most touchdowns scored by a rookie with 22, a record that still stands today, almost five decades later. Sayers would only play seven total seasons before retiring after the 1971 season. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame in 1977.

How Mike Ditka Stole Super Bowl Glory From Walter Payton

Walter Payton was one of the greatest running backs in the history of the National Football League.  He retired after the 1987 season with the Chicago Bears.  Payton finished his career with 110 rushing TD’s, 15 receiving TD’s and 16,726 rushing yards.  He was also on one of the best bears teams ever, the 1985 Chicago Bears.  The Bears won Super Bowl XX and cemented Payton’s place in the Hall Of Fame as a Super Bowl winner.  There however is one thing missing from his career.  Payton never scored during the only Super Bowl appearance and you might be suprised to find out it was no fault of his own.

Walter Payton in Superbowl XX. (Getty Images)

Walter Payton in Superbowl XX. (Getty Images)

When the season began Head Coach Mike Ditka was very high on his 1st draft pick William “the refrigerator” Perry.  Perry came into camp very unimpressive and was overweight at 380lbs.  The Defensive coach Buddy Ryan was not impressed by Perry and did not want to play him.  During the early part of the season Ditka got the idea to use Perry in offensive plays to block for Walter Payton.  Perry sometimes even rushed with the ball himself.  He was later put into the defense and played well.  During the season Perry became an offensive gimmick.  He was the funny fat guy that the fans cheered for.  Perry almost overshadowed the rest of the team in popularity.

William Perry (Getty Images)

William Perry (Getty Images)

The Bears made it through the season with a 15-1 record.  They plowed through the divisional and championship games to make it to Super Bowl XX in New Orleans.  Their challengers were the Cinderella team of that season,  the New England Patriots.  Nobody expected the Pats to make it as far as they did.  They were the underdogs going into the title game.  The Bears dominated the Pats on the defensive side of the ball.  The Offense of the Bears was stifled a bit, although the score tells a different story.  The Patriots based their defense around stopping Walter Payton.  They did just that, Payton was held to 66 yards on 22 carries.  Even with the lack of success Payton was still the Bears leading rusher in the game.

Mike Ditka made two decisions during that game that haunt him to this day.  On the two opportunities where the Bears were close to the goal line and a rush for the touchdown seemed the best choice, Ditka chose William Perry and Quarterback Jim McMahon to make those TD’s.  The most disappointing TD for Walter Payton was the Perry rush for the TD.  Perry had been primarily a defensive player and a gimmicky running back.  For Payton not to be allowed to gain the glory of scoring a TD in the biggest game of his career is a complete disgrace.

Mike Ditka after Superbowl XX. (Getty Images)

Mike Ditka after Superbowl XX. (Getty Images)

Walter Payton was always a stand up man and until the day he died he never openly questioned Mike Ditka for not letting him run in a TD in the Super Bowl.  Ditka has come out in recent years an said if he could do it all over again he would have opted for Payton to get the Super Bowl glory.  While Ditka can own up to his mistakes he will never be able to give those moments to the great Walter Payton.

Dan Marino: Did The Lack Of An Elite Running Back Really Cost Him Super Bowl Rings?

The day is January 20th, 1985 and the location is Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, California.  It was Super Bowl XIX and the Maimi Dolphins took on the San Fransisco 49ers.  It was a battle between two Hall Of Fame quarterbacks,  Dan Marino and Joe Montana.  It was a very one sided game with the 49ers coming out victorious.  The final score was 38-16 as seen on the scoreboard while Dan Marino jogged back to the locker room.  Marino had an incredible second season and even though the Dolphins lost the big one it appeared he would be back again.  As history would have it Marino and the Dolphins never made it back to the Super Bowl.

Dan Marino (Getty Images)

Dan Marino (Getty Images)

Dan Marino retired in 1999 after 17 seasons.  Holding almost all of the records at his position, Marino was considered one of the best to ever play the game.  There are many who consider Marino not to be one of the best because he never won a Super Bowl ring.  Over the years the perception has been that Marino was talented enough to win a championship but never did because he never had an elite level running back.

I decided to crunch the stats and draft history to prove or disprove this theory.  Here are the results I found while I plunged deep into the various statistical categories that would help me solve this mystery.

There is evidence that the Dolphins never made a play for a high level free agent running back.  The Dolphins also never made a trade for a play maker at that position either.  They were and are still to this day a team that is not willing to make trades of future draft picks to acquire top talent.  The draft is a place where organizations can gain players that can affect their future.  The Dolphins drafted Marino in 1983 when he retired in 1999 they missed numerous opportunities to achieve greatness at the running back position.

In 1983 the very draft where they acquired Dan Marino they missed out on on two pro bowl running backs.  One of those running back was Roger Craig who turned out to be one of the best running backs of the 1980s.  Craig was also on the 49ers team that defeated the Dolphins at Super Bowl XIX.  Their draft picks only get worse from there.

The Dolphins only drafted 23 running backs of the 174 picks during the Marino era.  A total of 9 of those 23 backs never played a down in the NFL.  The dolphins did not draft one running back in 1994, 1995 and 1997.  With the exception of the 1997 draft the Dolphins had not so great performances at the back position the previous season, Mark Higgs was the leading rusher in 1993 with just 693 yards and in 1994 Bernie Parmalee was the leader with 878 yards.  The biggest blunder they made in one single draft would have to be the 1988 Draft.  In that draft the Dolphins could have selected the Hall Of Fame running back Thurman Thomas but instead selected three players that would never play in the NFL. Thomas wound up as a Buffalo Bill and won 4 AFC Championships with the team from 1990-1994.  In total the team missed out on 2 Hall Of Fame and 44 Pro Bowl running backs from 1983-1999.

During Marino’s time with the team they had only one season with a 1,000 yard rusher, Karim Abdul-Jabbar in 1996.  If you look at all of the teams that won the Super Bowl from 1983-1999 only 3 of the 16 teams that won did not have a 1,000 yard rusher.

The Dolphins made the playoffs 10 times during Marino’s Career.  They were 8-10 in all of those post season games.  Some blame many of the playoff losses to playing the Bills in the winter in freezing Buffalo, NY, which they did lose there many times.  The fact of the mater is if the Dolphins had at least a couple of the many running backs they passed up in the Draft history might have gone a little differently.

After looking at the stats, draft and history it leaves only one conclusion.  Dan Marino was one of the best,  unfortunately the Dolphins front office was not as skilled at what they did.  The blame must shift to the general managers and Don Shula especially.  Don Shula relied to much on Marino’s skill and talent and did not do enough to protect and enhance that talent.  Marino would have had more opportunities to win he was if the opposing defenses did not know he was going to pass most of the time.  They also would have been weary of a running attack if the Dolphins had one.  If Marino had a top level running back he not only would have made it to more Super Bowl’s he would have won at least one Super Bowl ring.

Top 3 Stories From Week 4 Of College Football

College Football had their fourth week of action on the 22nd of September.  We had an upset of a top 25 team, Heisman level performances and a one of the best games of the season this past Saturday.  So without further a do, 2centsworthofsports.com presents it’s top 3 stories.

The Hurricanes Defeat Georgia Tech In A Wild Game

The University of Miami and GA Tech squared off in an ACC battle on Saturday afternoon.  No one had any idea they were about to have one of the most exciting games of the season thus far.  Miami came out strong racking up a 19-0 lead in the first quarter.  Both touchdown passes of the first quarter came from Miami’s starting QB Stephen Morris.  GA Tech turned the tables in the second quarter scoring 22 unanswered points.  Two of those scores were rushing TD’s from Tech’s running back Tevin Washington, the first was a 2-yard run and the second a 10-yard run.  The score at halftime was 22-19 in favor of GA Tech.  The third quarter brought more success for Tech who had 2 rushing TD’s, from Tony Zenon and Tevin Washington.  Miami had only one field goal during the third quarter.  Tech led 36-22 going into the final quarter.  Miami came back in the fourth quarter with a rushing TD and passing TD to tie the game at 36 all and send the game into overtime.  In overtime running back Mike James rushed for a 25-yard game winning touchdown, the game ended with Miami on top 42-36.  This game was incredible and was a win the Hurricanes needed after starting the season with two disappointing losses.

#15 Kansas State upsets #6 Oklahoma

Kansas State came into Oklahoma on Saturday night with one objective.  The objective was to avenge a heartbreaking loss last season at the hands of the Sooners.  K State took the lead in the second quarter 7-3 with a 2 yard fumble recovered touchdown by Jarell Childs.  K State kept the lead for the most of the game.  The final score was 24-19 for K State.   K State’s QB Collin Klien was the star of the game with 149 yards passing and 79 rushing.  Klien also had a passing TD and scored a rushing TD with a 5-yard run into the end zone in the early part of the fourth quarter.  The Sooners’ QB Landry Jones had a bad game giving up a fumble and throwing for an interception.  The game puts Kansas State’s record at 4-0 and the win should put them in the top ten if not they will be very close.

#4 Florida State’s EJ Manuel Has A Great Game Against #10 Clemson

Florida State defeated Clemson 49-37 on Saturday night.  The win puts the Seminoles at 4-0 for the season and has them charging through the season after the National Championship.  The break out star of the night was FSU’s QB EJ Manuel.  Manuel passed for 380 yards and ran for 102.  He had two passing touchdowns while leading the Seminoles to the victory.  This was a great win for FSU against a top ten opponent at home.  The FSU faithful finally have a team that could capture the National Championship after years of not contending for the crown.  This game also showed that the Seminoles have a possible Heisman candidate in EJ Manuel.

Top 3 Stories From Week 3 Of College Football

Week 3 of NCAA action has come to a close. It was the most eventful week of the season thus far. There were a few ranked teams that were dethroned, many of which by other ranked teams. This was also the toughest week to narrow down all of the excitement into 3 stories. So let’s take a look at 2centsworthofsports.com’s top 3 stories.

#21 STANFORD UPSETS #2USC

Stanford Stadium was rocking as #21 Stanford Cardinals played host to #2 USC Trojans. Stanford has gotten the best of USC in the last three years, but those were teams led by now NFL rookie Andrew Luck. It was unknown if Stanford could keep the streak alive on Saturday night. The Cardinals proved they still have USC’s number in a 21-14 win over the Trojans. Cardinals running back Stepfan Taylor had a great performance, rushing for 153 yards and scoring 2 touchdowns. Stanford’s Quarterback Josh Nunes threw the game winning 37-yard TD pass to Zach Ertz with 11:10 remaining in the final quarter. With this win Standford moves to 3-0 for the season while USC now has a 2-1 record. USC is bowl eligible for the first time in 2 years and will now need to fight if they want to make it to the National Championship this year.

PITT SHOCKS #13 VIRGINIA TECH

Pitt came out strong on Saturday against #13 Virginia Tech. Pitt scored 14 unanswered points on Tech in the 1st quarter and led the game at halftime by a score of 21-3. Pitt won the game 35-14 and received strong performances from QB Tino Sunseri and running back Ray Graham. Sunseri was 19-28 passing and threw for283 yards with 3 touchdown passes and only 1 interception. Graham rushed for 94 yards and had 2 touchdowns. It was another story for the Hokies who struggled early on defense and their offense could not bring them back into the game. Hokies QB Logan Thomas was 14-31 and threw 3 interceptions. This win will likely put Pitt in the top 25 ranking and move the Hokies into the back of the top 25.

ARKANSAS DESTROYED BY #1 ALABAMA AT HOME

Arkansas went into last week ranked #8 and were upset by LA Monroe. That loss had the Razor Backs plunge out of the top 25 rankings. This game was expected to be tough for Arkansas but not a complete blow out. The Tide beat the living crap out of the Razorbacks winning the game 52-0. Alabama’s leading scorer was running back Eddie Lacy who rushed for 3 touchdowns. The Razorbacks did not have one single decent performance. Their leading rusher in the game was Johnathan Williams only ran for 6 yards. Their leading receivers were Chris Gragg and Austin Tate who only had 19 yards receiving a piece. The Razor back had high hopes for the season which have been completely crushed in Weeks 2 and 3. It will be a long season for the Razorbacks this year.