Last year In Super Bowl L, the Denver Broncos’ starting left tackle Ryan Harris and safety/special teams captain David Bruton became the 42nd and 43rd former Notre Dame players (not including coaches) to earn a Super Bowl ring.
Had Carolina defeated Denver last year, then long-snapper J.J. Jansen would have been the 42nd.
This year’s New England-Atlanta battle has no Notre Dame alumnus on the active roster for either team. Receiver Michael Floyd, who became the all-time top Fighting Irish pass catcher from 2008-11 and is from the same high school as Harris (Cretin-Derham Hall), was picked up on waivers by New England in December from Arizona after his DUI arrest. Floyd has played for the Patriots and has been practicing with them, but he also was listed as inactive in the NFC Championship game versus Pittsburgh (where Harris now plays).
Should the Patriots win, it would be up to the organization to decide whether Floyd would receive a ring. Many times a player on the practice squad, injured reserve or who was a participant at some point will receive one.
One of the closer connections relating to Notre Dame in this year’s Super Bowl is current starting Irish offensive tackle and third-team AP All-American Mike McGlinchey. His cousin, Matt Ryan, is the quarterback for the Falcons and a front-runner to be named MVP in the NFL.
Another point of interest is New England quarterback Tom Brady could separate himself from Notre Dame’s Joe Montana and former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw by becoming the first signal-caller to start in five Super Bowl victories.
Here is some Notre Dame football trivia regarding the Super Bowl, with the answers listed below:
1) Who was the Notre Dame graduate that made the first tackle in Super Bowl history, stopping Kansas City’s Mike Garrett on the opening kickoff? a) Bill “Red” Mack, b) Paul Hornung, c) Mike McCoy, d) Myron Pottios.
2) This Super Bowl champion head coach served as an assistant on Terry Brennan’s Notre Dame staff in 1957-58: a) Weeb Ewbank, b) Hank Stram, c) Don McCafferty, d) Don Shula.
3) Who was the first Notre Dame alumnus to score a touchdown in a Super Bowl? a) Daryle Lamonica, b) Alan Page, c) Rocky Bleier, d) Dave Casper.
4) There are eight Notre Dame alumni who won both a national title with the Irish and a Super Bowl championship. Who was the first? a) Jim Lynch, b) Paul Seiler, c) Rocky Bleier, D) Dave Casper.
5) Who was the most recent Notre Dame player to win a Super Bowl after having also won a national title with the Irish? a) Ricky Watters, b) Frank Stams, c) Todd Lyght, d) Rocket Ismail.
6) This former Notre Dame standout holds the record for most unassisted tackles in a Super Bowl game by a defensive lineman (10): a) Alan Page, b) Ross Browner, c) Eric Dorsey, d) Justin Tuck.
7) He is the lone Notre Dame alumnus to start on a Super Bowl champion as a rookie: a) Mark Bavaro, b) Aaron Taylor, c) Bryant Young, d) Junior Bryant.
8) Only one Notre Dame player has caught a touchdown pass in two different Super Bowls: a) Dave Casper, b) Mark Bavaro, c) Derrick Mayes, d) David Givens.
9) The Notre Dame alumnus with the most career touchdowns in a Super Bowl is: A) Rocky Bleier, b) Joe Montana, c) Ricky Watters, d) Jerome Bettis.
10) Which of these former Notre Dame quarterbacks never was on a Super Bowl champion? a) Paul Hornung, b) Terry Hanratty, c) Steve Beuerlein, d) Rick Mirer.
11) Running back Rocky Bleier and quarterback Joe Montana are the only two Notre Dame players who played on four Super Bowl champions. Who is second among Irish players with three Super Bowl titles? a) Nick Buoniconti, b) Terry Hanratty, c) Steve Sylvester, d) Bobby Leopold.
12) Who was the first Notre Dame alumnus to play on two different franchises that won the Super Bowl? a) Junior Bryant, b) Tom Thayer, c) Dave Duerson, d) Marc Edwards.
13) Who is the lone Notre Dame alumnus to win Super Bowl rings in consecutive years — with different teams? a) Anthony Peterson, b) Jabari Holloway, c) Steve Beuerlein, d) Jerome Collins.
14) In 1981 and 1982, Joe Montana (San Francisco) and Joe Theismann (Washington) became the second quarterback tandem from the same school to direct Super Bowl titles in back-to-back years. Which school was the first? a) Alabama, b) Purdue, c) BYU, d) Stanford.
15) Three Notre Dame offensive lineman played for the New York Giants when they lost the 2001 Super Bowl to the Baltimore Ravens. Which one wasn’t on the Giants roster? a) Mike Rosenthal, b) Jeremy Akers, c) Luke Petitgout, d) Dusty Zeigler.
1) A. Mack played for Joe Kuharich’s Irish from 1959-61 and was on Vince Lombardi’s first Super Bowl winner.
2) B. Stram was the Irish backfield coach before the staff was fired.
3) D. Casper scored the game’s first TD on a one-yard pass from Ken Stabler in Oakland’s 32-14 victory versus Minnesota.
4) A. Lynch was the captain of the 1966 national champs and started at linebacker for the 1970 Super Bowl champ Kansas City Chiefs.
5) C. Lyght, Notre Dame’s third-year defensive backs coach, was a Pro Bowl pick at cornerback for the St. Louis Rams that won the 2000 Super Bowl.
The other seven to win both a national title and Super Bowl were Lynch, Rocky Bleier, Terry Hanratty, Casper, Steve Sylvester, Joe Montana and Bobby Leopold.
6) B. Browner’s total with the Cincinnati Bengals in 1982 included a sack of former 1977 national champ teammate Joe Montana in a 26-21 loss to San Francisco.
7) C. Young was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year for the 49ers when they won their fourth title.
8) D. Givens snared scoring passes from Tom Brady in New England’s 2004 and 2005 Super Bowl conquests.
9) C. Watters scored all three of his touchdowns in San Francisco’s 49-26 victory over San Diego in 1995.
10) D. Mirer was a backup on the 2003 Oakland Raiders team that lost to Tampa Bay.
Hornung was unable to play in Super Bowl I because of an injury, but both Hanratty and Beuerlein took late snaps in Super Bowl victories by Pittsburgh (1976), when starter Terry Bradshaw was injured, and Dallas (1993), which blew out Buffalo.
11) C. Sylvester was an offensive tackle for the Oakland Raiders in 1977 and 1981, and the Los Angeles Raiders in 1984.
12) C. Duerson was a Pro Bowl safety for the peerless 1985 Chicago Bears defense and also won a Super Bowl with the New York Giants in 1991.
13) D. A backup tight end at Notre Dame in 2004 behind the likes of Anthony Fasano, Marcus Freeman and John Carlson, Collins still latched on to NFL rosters and won back-to-back rings. He was on injured reserve for the 2006 Indianapolis Colts and was on the New York Giants’ active roster in 2007, but did not play a down.
14) A. Crimson Tide alumnus Bart Starr directed Green Bay to the first two Super Bowl titles in 1967-68, followed the next year by former Alabama QB Joe Namath for the New York Jets.
15) B. Petitgout and Zeigler started for the Giants, while Rosenthal was a backup who started a couple of games.
14-15 correct — Hall of Famer
12-13 correct — Pro Bowl
10-11 correct — starter
8-9 correct — made the roster
Less than 8 — put on waivers
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