Unsung Super Bowl Heroes
Not every Super Bowl legend goes to the Hall of Fame. Some Super Bowl players become school teachers, businessmen or radio hosts after their NFL days have ended. Here are 11 unsung Super Bowl heroes of the past and what they are doing now.
David Tyree: Super Bowl XLII
David Tyree made what may be the most memorable play in Super Bowl history when he hauled in a 32-yard pass from Eli Manning on a third-and-five with the New York Giants trailing the undefeated New England Patriots with barely over a minute to play. Four plays later, the Giants punched in what would be the winning score as they shocked the Pats, 17-14. Tyree was out of football the following year and officially retired as a Giant in 2010. A born-again Christian, Tyree has become an outspoken opponent of gay marriage and once even said he’d trade his miraculous catch to make sure gay marriage doesn’t become legal.
Willie Parker: Super Bowl XL
In addition to his 75-yard touchdown run, the longest rushing play in Super Bowl history, Willie Parker had 93 yards on 10 carries as the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Seattle Seahawks 21-10. Parker broke his leg at the end of the 2007 season and eventually was cut from the Redskins’ camp in 2010. Parker officially retired from football in 2012 and currently serves as as assistant coach for West Virginia Wesleyan College.
Dexter Jackson: Super Bowl XXXVII
Dexter Jackson intercepted two passes in Super Bowl XXXVII as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Oakland Raiders, 48-21. Thanks to the inclusion of a fan vote, Jackson won the game’s MVP honors instead of Simeon Rice. Jackson wound down his career with the Virginia Destroyers of the United Football League. In 2011, he also started a new radio show in Florida, ‘All Sports’ with Randy Harris and former World Boxing Organization cruiserweight world champion Tyrone Booze.
Muhsin Muhammad: Super Bowl XXXVIII
Muhsin Muhammad’s 85-yard touchdown reception in Super Bowl XXXVIII was the longest in Super Bowl history. Despite his efforts, the Carolina Panthers lost to the New England Patriots, 32-29. Muhammad later co-founded a private equity firm called Axum Capital Partners based in Charlotte, NC. He also works for several charities.
Larry Brown: Super Bowl XXX
In Dallas’ 27-17 win over Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XXX, Larry Brown became the first cornerback to win the Super Bowl MVP award. Brown intercepted two passes to help lead the Cowboys to the franchise’s fifth Super Bowl title. He started on all three of the Cowboys’ Super Bowl-winning teams in the 1990s. Brown is currently a co-host on the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network.
James Washington: Super Bowl XXVIII
In Super Bowl XXVIII, Dallas Cowboys safety James Washington made 11 tackles, intercepted a pass, returned a fumble 46 yards for a touchdown and caused another fumble by Thurman Thomas. Dallas beat Buffalo 30-13, while Cowboys’ running back Emmitt Smith won the MVP. Washington has co-hosted Fox Sports Radio’s flagship morning show ‘Out of Bounds’ with Craig Shemon. A UCLA alum, he’s also done color work for Bruins football games and founded SHELTER 37, which helps kids in Southern California learn life skills.
Timmy Smith: Super Bowl XXII
As a rookie, Timmy Smith — he’s number 36 in the photo — set a Super Bowl rushing record with 204 yards. He scored two touchdowns in Super Bowl XXII as the Washington Redskins beat the Denver Broncos, 42-10, although Washington quarterback Doug Williams won the MVP honors. Smith was often injured for the rest of his NFL career and left football in 1990. As a result of a 2005 incident during which he attempted to sell cocaine to an undercover police officer, Smith served two years in federal prison. He was released in 2008 and most recently lived in Denver.
Dan Bunz: Super Bowl XVI
Linebacker Dan Bunz, whose solo tackle of Charles Alexander at the 1-yard line in Super Bowl XVI helped the San Francisco 49ers beat the Cincinnati Bengals, 26-21, is remembered for being part of an underrated 49ers defense. Bunz now teaches physical education at Sutter Middle School in Sacramento, Calif.
Rod Martin: Super Bowl XV
The only player to make three interceptions in a single Super Bowl game, Rod Martin just narrowly missed MVP status as the Oakland Raiders beat the Philadelphia Eagles, 27-10. Martin now works at USC, his alma mater, where he is a manager of technical and user support services in the Information Sciences Institute.
Chuck Howley: Super Bowl V
The only member of a losing team to be named MVP, Chuck Howley intercepted two passes and recovered a fumble in the Cowboys 16-13 loss to the Colts in Super Bowl V. When Dallas beat the Miami Dolphins 24-3 in Super Bowl VI, Howley added a fumble recovery and another interception. Howley, 77, now participates in a foundation dedicated to breeding quarterhorses in Texas.
Otis Taylor: Super Bowl IV
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Len Dawson was named MVP of Super Bowl IV, but wide receiver Otis Taylor burned the Minnesota Vikings secondary for 81 yards and six catches. Currently suffering the effects of Parkinson’s disease, Taylor lives in Kansas City.