Being named MVP of the Super Bowl is one of the greatest honors a professional football player can receive, but unfortunately those who vote on the award can be pretty mentally lazy. There's a HUGE tendency to just hand the award to the QB of the winning team (22 of 42 MVPs have been QBs). Here's my list of the 10 biggest injustices in the annals of Super Bowl MVP awards:
Official MVP: Dexter Jackson
Real MVP: Michael Pittman
Jackson snagged two of TB's five INTs of poor Rich Gannon that day, but Pittman had a career day with 124 yards on 29 carries.
Official MVP: Tom Brady
Real MVP: Adam Vinatieri
Brady wasn't very MVP-like until the game winning drive, posting an anemic 5.4 yards per pass attempt. I give this one to AV, who nailed the first game-winning FG in the Super Bowl since Jim O'Brien in Super Bowl V.
Official MVP: Roger Staubach
Real MVP: Duane Thomas
Poor Duane Thomas.. If he wasn't such a moody bastard, he would have gotten the MVP award he deserved after gaining 95 yards on 19 carries in Super Bowl VI. From the Time Magazine story about the game:
It remained for CBS-TV Commentator Tom Brookshier to provide some comic relief. While conducting the ritual post-game interviews in the jubilant Cowboys' locker room, he suddenly found himself staring into the baleful eyes of Duane Thomas. Sportswriters had unsuccessfully been trying to interview Thomas for weeks. Making the least of the moment, the visibly flustered Brookshier posed a long convoluted question that seemed to translate: Are you as fast as you seem to be? "Evidently," said the unsmiling Thomas while his teammates roared with laughter. 'I'm nervous," admitted Brookshier. He tried another less than incisive question: "You must like the game of football. Do you?" Said Thomas: "Yeah, I do. That's why I'm a football player."
Official MVP: Jake Scott
Real MVP: Manny Fernandez
DT Fernandez demolished DC's offensive attack, and was somehow denied the MVP award despite collecting 17 tackles, a sack and generally terrorizing the Redskins more than smallpox blankets.
Official MVP: Terry Bradshaw
Real MVP: John Stallworth
Maybe I'm just a stickler, but Bradshaw chucked three interceptions that day... I'd rather give the award to the underrated Stallworth and his 3 catches for 121 yards (including the go-ahead TD in the 4th quarter).
Official MVP: Fred Biletnikoff
Real MVP: Art Shell
The Raiders' amazing left tackle absolutely ERASED the great Vikings defensive end Jim Marshall, holding him without a single tackle, sack, QB pressure... nothing.
But an offensive lineman as MVP? Hahahahaha...
Official MVP: Larry Brown
Real MVP: Troy Aikman
Neil O'Donnell threw two passes right at the journeyman corner Larry Brown, and he caught them. Good for Brown, but that doesn't make him MVP-worthy. Aikman had a solid day in Tempe, posting a 108.8 QB rating and NOT throwing any passes directly to the other team without any of his own receivers within a 10 yard radius.
Official MVP: Peyton Manning
Real Co-MVPs: Tarik Glenn, Ryan Lilja, Jeff Saturday, Jake Scott, and Ryan Diem
Peyton's rainy night in Miami was pretty pedestrian, but the Colts offensive line obliterated the vaunted Chicago defense, blasting open running lanes for Rhodes/Addai while keeping Manning upright (except for a lone sack allowed).
Official MVP: Joe Namath
Real MVP: Matt Snell
Running Back Matt Snell scored NY's only TD and racked up 160 all-purpose yards. He contributed far more to NYJ's upset win than the overhyped and oversexed Broadway Joe.
Official MVP: Ottis Anderson
Real MVP: Thurman Thomas
Yeah yeah, the Bills lost... But it wasn't Thomas' fault. He kept Buffalo alive with 190 all-purpose yards and a spectacular TD run. How can such a performance be ignored because Norwood pushed that kick wide?