Tag Archives: super bowl

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.

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.

The History Of The 1st Overall Pick In The NFL Draft

Getty Images

Getty Images

The tradition that is known as the NFL Draft came into existence in 1936.  The first player ever taken in the NFL Draft was Running Back Jay Berwanger.  The Philadelphia Eagles drafted Berwanger, unfortunately he would never play a pro football game due to salary disputes with multiple teams

Since then the NFL Draft has involved thousands of players, many of which have gone on to become all time greats.  Many more however went on to have careers that would earn them the dubious distinction of being called a “Draft Bust”.  The most coveted position for any team is the first overall pick.  The team that holds this position is usually in desperate need of a break out rookie that can turn their franchise around.  There is only one chance for first overall greatness every year.

There have been only 78 men who can call themselves the first overall pick in the NFL draft.  The positions picked the most may not surprise you but the positions that were picked the least  might shock you.

The quarterback position has the title of the most popular first overall pick in draft history.  Twenty seven QBs have been nabbed by teams with the most coveted draft spot.  Ten of those twenty seven became pro bowl players, names like Eli Manning (2004), Peyton Manning (1998), Drew Bledsoe (1993) and Vinny Testaverde (1987) just to name a few.  Only Troy Aikman (1989), John Elway (1983) and Terry Bradshaw (1970) had careers so great they were inducted into the Hall Of Fame.

Twenty five Running Backs have been picked first overall.  Seven of them became Pro Bowlers including Bo Jackson (1986), Billy Sims (1980) and Tucker Frederickson (1965).  The Running Backs hold the record of most Hall Of Fame inductees with five.  Running Back Bill Dudley (1942) was the first player at any position drafted first overall to become a Hall Of Famer.  The most recent Running Back to be inducted into the Hall Of Fame is Earl Campbell (1978) who was drafted by the Houston Oilers.

Defensive End’s have also been a very popular choice with eleven picked first overall.  Defensive Ends Mario Williams (2006), Ed “Too Tall” Jones (1974), Dave Parks (1964) and Leon Hart (1950) were all voted to the Pro Bowl.  Bruce Smith (1985) and Lee Roy Selmon (1976) were the only Defensive End’s to be inducted into the Hall Of Fame.

Positions that were drafted the least with the top pick are Defensive Tackle (4), Offensive Tackle (4), Line Backer (3), Center (2) and Wide Receiver (2).  Eight different positions have all seen the top choice.  Wide Receiver, Defensive Tackle and Line Backer are the only positions to never have a first overall player reach the Hall Of Fame.

A few of the players drafted in the last decade will more than likely find a home in the Hall Of Fame.  As of now the first overall pick has only been a future Hall Of Famer twelve of the seventy seven times.  Who knows, we might see the next great NFL player drafted with the first pick tonight in the 2014 NFL Draft.

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.

 

Super Bowl XLVIII: The 2nd Annual Prediction

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This year marks the 2nd annual Super Bowl pick for AmericanSportsHistory.com.  Last year the site predicted the Ravens would reign victorious over the 49ers by a score of 37-30.  My prediction was dead on and the score was really close too, the Ravens won last years big game 34-31.

For this years contest the Seahawks are the pick to win by a score of 24-22 over the Broncos.  The game everyone has waited for all year is just one day away.  Hope everyone enjoys the game and hope to see you back here soon.

-Justin

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.

Super Bowl XLVII: The Prediction

Getty Images

Getty Images

The Super Bowl today will be the first to take place since 2centsworthofsports.com’s inception. I can think of no better way to celebrate that fact than to make the 1st ever Super Bowl prediction on the site. So here is who we have.

The Ravens winning 37-30 over the 49ers.

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 2 Of The NFL

The incredible action of week 1 carried into week 2 on Sunday.  Week 2 brought many great match ups and answers to questions unanswered in week 1.  2centsworthofsports.com brings you the top 3 stories from the second week of the NFL.

Eli Manning Rallies His Giants Past The Buccs, Has A Career Game

Eli Manning
(Getty Images)

Eli Manning and the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants suffered a disappointing loss in week 1 to the Cowboys.  Anxious to prove they could repeat as Champions, the Giants played the Buccs in week 2 in what turned out to be a crazy game.  The Buccs came out strong in the 1st half leading the Giants 24-13 going into half time.  The Giants came out of half time only scoring 3 points in the 3rd quarter.  The 4th quarter is when the Giants picked it up a notch by scoring 25 points.  The Giants defeated the Buccs 41-34.  The game was one of the wildest of the first 2 weeks.  Eli Manning faltered early with 3 interceptions but made up for it with 510 yards passing and throwing for 3 touchdowns.  The 510 passing yards were a career record for Manning in one game.  The Buccs looked really strong in this game but lost due to Eli and his comeback heroics.  Eli and the Giants showed in week 2 that they are ready to attempt a repeat at the Championship this year.

Andrew Luck Wins 1st Career Game

Andrew Luck
(Getty Images)

The number 1 overall pick in April’s Draft Andrew Luck came in with high expectations.  In week 1 he did not meet them, week 2 was another story.  Luck helped his Indianapolis Colts win their 1st game of the season on Sunday against then Minnesota Vikings, winning by a score of 23-20.  Luck was 20-31 passing with 224 yards in the air and rushed for 21 yards.  Luck scored his first 2 touchdown passes of his career in this game, his first was to Dwayne Allen and his second to Reggie Wayne.  More importantly Luck threw no interceptions which was a huge improvement from week 1 where he threw 3.  Luck has definitely improved from week 1 and should develop into a really good NFL QB over the course of the season.

Matt Ryan And The Falcons Defeat Peyton Manning And The Broncos On Monday Night

Matt Ryan
(Getty Images)

On Monday Night the Broncos came into Atlanta to face the Falcons in Prime Time.  Matt Ryan and the Falcons were victorious and made a statement.  The Falcons are likely back to the form they were in a couple of years ago.  Matt Ryan led his team to the win with excellent passing.  Ryan had 219 yards passing and had 2 touchdowns.  Manning on the other hand had a rough night,  throwing only 1 TD pass and throwing for 3 interceptions.  The Falcons scored quickly and went into halftime with a 20-7 lead.  In the 3rd quarter the Falcons scored 7 points while the Broncos had 0.  In the 4th quarter Manning tried to lead his team to the comeback victory as his brother Eli did on Sunday but could not pull it off.  The Broncos were able to score only 14 points in the final quarter.  The final score was 27-21 in favor of the Falcons.  It was an interesting match up with and even more interesting outcome.  The Falcons are going to be a strong team for their NFC foes to compete with this season.