Super Tiders

At the end of the 1966 football season, on January 15, 1967, the Green Bay Packers of the NFL met the Kansas City Chiefs, champions of the new AFL, in what was NOT known as the Super Bowl. Three former Alabama players participted in that first championship game. And in today's title game from Detroit there will also be three former Crimson Tide players.

There have been 35 former Alabama players participating in what has become the biggest event in sports, the Super Bowl, and which is now designated using Roman numerals so that this 40th is Super Bowl XL. Those 35 players have made a total of 57 appearances.

Bart Starr (who played at Alabama 1952-55) was quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, who won the inaugural championship game, and Steve Wright (1962-64) was an offensive lineman on that squad. Starr was the Most Valuable Player in that inaugural game. Tommy Brooker (1959-61)was a tight end and placekicker for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Starr also quarterbacked the Packers to victory in the second such championship game and repeated as the MVP.

Today's game features running back Shaun Alexander (1996-99), the Most Valuable Player in the NFL this year, starring for the Seattle Seahawks. His teammate is former Tide linebacker Cornelius Wortham (2000-04). And playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers is defensive back DesheaTownsend (1994-97).

Linebacker Cornelius Bennett (1983-86) played in five Super Bowls, four (XXV-XXVIII) with Buffalo and one with Atlanta (XXXIII).

Punter Chris Mohr (1985-88) was Bennett's teammate on the four Buffalo Super Bowl teams.

The most famous Super Bowl participant is former Alabama player Joe Namath (1962-64), who established not only the championship game, but brought about the merger of the NFL and AFL with his quarterback heroics in Super Bowl III. Namath led the New York Jets to an upset victory of the Baltimore Colts of Coach Don Shula and was the MVP. Namath's teammates included linebacker Paul Crane (1963-65), while the Colts had wide receiver Ray Perkins (1964-66).

Coach Don Shula later went to the Miami Dolphins, and a number of former Alabama players made it to Super Bowls with those fine teams. They include defensive tackle Bob Baumhower (1974, 76), cornerback Don McNeal (1977-79), and center Dwight Stephenson (1977-79) in both XVII and XIX; running back Tony Nathan (1975-78) in XVII; and running back Joe Carter (1980-83) in XIX.

Four Denver teams made the Super Bowl with Alabama players, but never with former Crimson Tiders as teammates for the Broncos. Cornerback Jeremiah Castille (1979-82), father of current Bama players Tim and Simeon, played for Denver in Super Bowls XXI and XXII. Running back Bobby Humphrey (1986-88) was with the Broncos for Super Bowl XXIV. And running back Curtis Alexander (1994-97) was on Denver's Super Bowl XXXIII team.

Three Alabama players were on the New York Giants Super Bowl XXI team. They were linebacker Robbie Jones (1979-82), defensive tackle Curtis McGriff (1977-79), and quarterback Jeff Rutledge (1975-78).

Rutledge also played in Super Bowl XIV with the Los Angeles Rams and in Super Bowl XXVI with the Washington Redskins.

Other New York Giants Super Bowl teams with former Alabama players included XXV and XXXV with tight end Howard Cross (1985-88) playing in those Super Bowl games a decade apart. He was joined in the second by Cornelius Griffin (1998-99).

The Dallas Cowboys have played in a number of Super Bowls. Linebacker Lee Roy Jordan (1960-62) played in three for Dallas–V, VI, and X. Wide receiver Dennis Homan (1965-67) was also in V. Running back Derric Lassic (1989-92) XXVIII and running back Sherman Williams (1991-94) in XXX also played for Dallas.

The Raiders have been in Oakland and in Los Angeles. Quarterback Ken Stabler (1965-67) led Oakland in Super Bowl VI and defensive tackle Charley Hannah (1974-76) was with the Los Angeles team in Super Bowl XVIII.

Charley's brother, the most famous Hannah, John (1970-72), was an offensive guard for New England in Super Bowl XX.

Fullback Johnny Davis (1975-77) played for the San Francisco 39ers in Super Bowl XVI. San Francisco also played Super Bowlx XXIII and XXIV with defensive tackle Larry Roberts (1982-85).

Running back Wilbur Jackson (1971-73) played for Washington in XVII.

Defensive end Emanuel King (1982-84) played for Cincinnati in XXIII.

Center Alonzo Ephraim (2000-02) played for Philadelphia in XXXIX last year.

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