With Super Bowl XLII in Glendale rapidly approaching, the Tribune takes a look back at the previous 41 games and chooses our all-time All-Super Bowl team.
Each entry on this list was selected for his actual Super Bowl performances, with extra consideration for excelling in multiple games. The result is a lineup of elite players who played their best in the biggest games.
Don’t agree with some of our picks? Think someone else was more deserving? Share your opinions by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org (include your full name and the city you’re from). We’ll publish a sampling of opinions. Or, just sound off in our shout box on the Super Bowl home page.
Anyway, on to our selections:
QB – Joe Montana, 49ers: The only three-time Super Bowl MVP (and arguably greatest QB ever) led the Niners to four wins and holds the game’s career record for passing yards, touchdowns and passer rating.
RB – Terrell Davis, Broncos: Helped Denver win back-to-back Super Bowls. He was named MVP after rushing for 157 yards and three TDs vs. Green Bay in SB XXXII and then ran for 107 yards vs. the Falcons the following year.
RB – Larry Csonka, Dolphins: Bruising fullback played in three straight Super Bowls, with Miami winning the last two. He won the MVP in SB VIII with 145 yards rushing and two TDs.
WR – Jerry Rice, 49ers: The SB XXIII MVP holds the SB record for career receptions (28), career receiving TDs (7), career yards (512), most receptions in a game (11), single-game receiving yards (215) and most receiving TDs in a game (3). Enough said.
WR – Lynn Swann, Steelers: Just barely gets the nod over teammate John Stallworth. Played in four Super Bowls, with his best performance coming in SB X with 161 yards and a TD, which earned him the MVP.
TE – Jay Novacek, Cowboys: A key figure of Dallas’ dynasty in the 1990s, he caught a TD pass in two of the three Super Bowls in which he played.
OT – Art Shell, Raiders: Helped the Oakland offense dominate in two Super Bowls. With Shell blocking, the Raiders ran for 266 yards vs. the Vikings in SB XI.
OT – Joe Jacoby, Redskins: This member of the famed “Hogs” started in four Super Bowls for Washington. The Redskins ran for at least 270 yards in two of those contests.
OG – Larry Little, Dolphins: Prototypical pulling guard, along with fellow guard Bob Kuechenberg, helped Miami outscore its opponents 38-14 in the team’s two SB wins.
OG – Gene Upshaw, Raiders: The only person to play in Super Bowls in three different decades, Upshaw powered Oakland’s effective sweep to two SB victories.
C – Mike Webster, Steelers: Ironman won four SB rings with Pittsburgh while paving the way for the Steelers’ juggernaut teams of the 1970s.
DE – Richard Dent, Bears: The MVP of SB XX, he forced two fumbles, had 1 1/2 sacks and helped limit New England to just 7 yards rushing.
DE – Reggie White, Packers: The “Minister of Defense” had a SB-record three sacks in Green Bay’s SB XXXI win.
DT – Joe Greene, Steelers: The anchor of the “Steel Curtain” defense, “Mean” Joe helped Pittsburgh win four titles and had a fumble recovery and interception in SB IX.
DT – Randy White, Cowboys: Barely beats out Miami’s Manny Fernandez. White played in three Super Bowls and was co-MVP (with Harvey Martin) in SB XII for terrorizing Denver into eight turnovers.
OLB – Chuck Howley, Cowboys: How could we not include the only SB MVP from a losing team? He had two interceptions and a fumble recovery in Dallas’ loss in SB V and also had another fumble recovery and interception in SB VI.
OLB – Rod Martin, Raiders: Martin only played in one Super Bowl, but he came up huge with three interceptions (a Super Bowl record) in Oakland’s win over the Eagles in SB XV
MLB – Jack Lambert, Steelers: Ferocious backer was the sparkplug of the “Steel Curtain” that helped the Steelers to their four titles.
S – Ronnie Lott, 49ers: Big hitter who controlled the field for San Francisco in four Super Bowls (he was a cornerback in the Niners’ first two wins).
S – Jake Scott, Dolphins: He won the SB VII MVP award after picking off two passes, including a game-sealing interception in the end zone, to preserve the Dolphins’ perfect season.
CB – Mel Blount, Steelers: Blount shut down the opponents’ top receiver in each of Pittsburgh’s four SB wins.
CB – Eric Wright, 49ers: Underrated member of the 49ers’ dynasty who played on all four of their SB winners in the 1980s. Wright had an interception and knocked down several passes in SB XVI.
KR – Desmond Howard, Packers: The only returner to win MVP honors, Howard ran back a 99-yard kick for a score in SB XXXI to shift the momentum in Green Bay’s win over the Patriots.
P – Ray Guy, Raiders: Averaged more than 40 yards a punt in each of the Raiders’ three SB victories.
K – Adam Vinatieri, Patriots, Colts: First kicker to play in five Super Bowls and win four Super Bowl rings, he booted game-winning FGs in two of the Patriots’ SB victories.