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SUPER SUNDAY TRIVIA: Tom Brady, Terrell Davis, Joe Namath headline the uber-fun facts for Super Bowl LIV

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Patriots legend Tom Brady owns a slew of Super Bowl records -- such as most victories (6), most appearances (9), along with the greatest marks for completions, passing yards and passing touchdowns.

We have plenty of ground to cover here with BATSBY Sports’ super-sized version of the weekly Fun Facts … so let’s get rolling with some cool trivia:

FUN FACT #1

Only 12 NFL quarterbacks have started three or more Super Bowls: Bob Griese, Roger Staubach, Fran Tarkenton, Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana, John Elway, Jim Kelly, Troy Aikman, Kurt Warner, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger and Peyton Manning.

FUN FACT #2

Among starting quarterbacks, Tom Brady (six-time Lombardi Trophy winner — 2001, 2003-04, 2014, 2016, 2018) owns the record for Longest Gap Between Super Bowl victories … at 13 years. 

Before Brady and the Patriots got rolling on their second trifecta of titles five years ago (beating the Seahawks, Falcons and Rams), the previous record-holder was Peyton Manning (nine years between Super Bowl triumphs).

FUN FACT #3

Most people can identify Peyton Manning as the only starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl with multiple franchises (2006 Colts, 2015 Broncos).

However, did you also know that Manning’s just one of two starting signal-callers to a lose a Super Bowl with multiple clubs?

The other QB: Hall of Famer Kurt Warner … who incurred gut-wrenching Super Bowl defeats with the Rams and Cardinals.

FUN FACT #4

The Steelers and Patriots share the record for most Super Bowl victories (six) – one Lombardi Trophy more than both the Cowboys and Niners.

On the flip side, the Broncos have racked up the most Super Bowl losses – five – despite having a Hall of Fame quarterback/Canton shoo-in for four of the Super Sunday setbacks (Peyton Manning for one … John Elway for three).

FUN FACT #5

NFL fans have a flood of enduring images from Super Bowl I — such as Max McGee’s reach-behind, one-handed circus catch for the opening touchdown, the second-half kickoff that didn’t count (NBC-TV wasn’t back from a commercial break) and Packers head coach Vince Lombardi walking off the field amid the Los Angeles Coliseum patrons, shaking hands without any security detail.

But here’s a little factoid that rarely, if ever, gets mentioned:

Along with McGee (seven catches, 138 yards, two TDs), Packers tailback Elijah Pitts also scored a pair of touchdowns in the inaugural Super Bowl.

FUN FACT #6

The 1970 Dallas Cowboys are the first team in history to lose a Super Bowl … when taking a lead into the fourth quarter.

But then again, we shouldn’t expect anything less from the infamous Blunder Bowl (Super Bowl V) — with the Cowboys and Colts netting 11 turnovers (five fumbles lost, six interceptions).

FUN FACT #7

Speaking of Super Bowl V, played on the short-lived Astroturf at the old Orange Bowl, Cowboys linebacker Chuck Howley stands as the only MVP from the losing club.

Given the uniqueness of Howley’s award, it only makes sense for the Cowboys to be involved with this other distinction:

Randy White and the late Harvey Martin are the only co-MVPs in Super Bowl history — a reward for the Cowboys’ thorough dissection of the Broncos in SB XII.

FUN FACT #8

Two weeks ago marked the 51st anniversary of the New York Jets’ landmark victory over the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III — easily pro football’s greatest upset of the last half-century. 

We all know the legend of Hall of Famer Joe Namath successfully guaranteeing a win during the mid-week hype (greatest prediction ever), but here’s something that has been largely forgotten, over time:

For the Jets’ 16-7 win at The Orange Bowl, Namath didn’t attempt a single pass in the fourth quarter.

FUN FACT #9

Strange but true: No head coach in history has won a Super Bowl with multiple franchises.

FUN FACT #10

How many quarterbacks claim the top four spots, in terms of single-game passing yards for the Super Bowl?

The answer: Only two.

1 — Tom Brady (505 passing yards in SB 52)

2 — Tom Brady (466 passing yards in SB 51)

3 — Kurt Warner (414 passing yards in SB 34)

4 — Kurt Warner (377 passing yards in SB 43)

FUN FACT #11

The Miami Dolphins are the only franchise of the Super Bowl era to post a perfect season (1972), from beginning to end (sorry, 2007 Patriots).

On the flip side …

Thanks to the 2018 Rams, the Dolphins are no longer the only club to reach a Super Bowl … and fail to register at least one touchdown.

**The anemic 1971 Dolphins lost to the Cowboys 24-3 in Super Bowl VI.

**Last year’s Rams had a really bad day at the office, falling to the Patriots 13-3 in Super Bowl LIII.

FUN FACT #12

The Dolphins were certainly a run-first operation in the 1970s, even with the Hall of Fame tandem of quarterback Bob Griese and receiver Paul Warfield.

Speaking of Griese, the Purdue legend holds the Super Bowl single-game record for fewest completions by the winning starting quarterback — six against the Vikings in SB VIII.

To his credit, Griese had just one incompletion on the day — an errant fly pattern to Warfield.

FUN FACT #13

Here a few Super Sunday records worth noting:

a) Tom Brady, a nine-time AFC champion, owns the Super Bowl record for most cumulative completions — 256 through nine games. 

(The next-highest completions tally: Peyton Manning with 103.)

b) Patriots tailback James White has the Super Bowl record for most single-game receptions (14 vs. Atlanta in SB 51).

c) Former Bills kicker Steve Christie holds the Super Bowl record for longest made field goal — 54 yards in Super Bowl XXVIII.

FUN FACT #14

Bill Belichick has now coached in 12 Super Bowls — two as a Giants assistant, once as a Patriots staffer and nine as New England’s head coach.

Is that an overall participatory record? Yes, by a long shot.

On a different plane, though, Dan Reeves boasts the all-time record for players AND coaches, participating in nine Super Bowls (two as a Cowboys player, three as a Dallas assistant under Tom Landry and four as head coach of the Denver Broncos or Atlanta Falcons).

FUN FACT #15

Jake Delhomme lays claim to a cool record that might endure for another decade or two — or be eradicated come Sunday:

The retired Panthers quarterback gets credit for the longest pass play in Super Bowl history — an 85-yard touchdown toss to Muhsin Muhammad in Super Bowl XXXVIII (against the Patriots).

For what it’s worth, Steelers tailback Willie Parker possesses the record for longest rushing play in Super Bowl history — a 75-yard touchdown jaunt against the Seahawks in SB XL.

FUN FACT #16

Legendary tailback Terrell Davis possesses a record that’ll likely never be replicated:

For the 1997 playoffs (a four-game run to Super Bowl glory for the Broncos), the Hall of Fame back notched eight rushing touchdowns in a single postseason campaign.

FUN FACT #17

Back-to-back Super Bowl victories aren’t as rare as one might think. 

The Packers, Dolphins, 49ers, Cowboys, Broncos, Patriots, and Steelers have all pulled off the feat. In fact, Pittsburgh has won back-to-back Super Bowls on two separate occasions (1974-75, 1979-80).

FUN FACT #18

Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw are the only perfect 4-0 quarterbacks in Super Bowl history.

The only difference between the pair of Hall of Famers: Montana never threw an interception on Super Sunday.

FUN FACT #19

From the department of Defensive Stars Can Never Catch A Break …

Raiders linebacker Rod Martin holds the Super Bowl single-game record for interceptions — three off Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski in Super Bowl XV.

And yet, Martin’s offensive teammate, quarterback Jim Plunkett (261 yards passing, three TDs against Philly), walked away with MVP honors.

Go figure. 

FUN FACT #20

Dwight White, the late, great member of the famed Steel Curtain defense of the 1970s, gets official credit for the first safety in Super Bowl history — essentially two-hand-touching Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton in the end zone (botched handoff in Super Bowl IX).

But the story doesn’t end there: In the week leading up to the game in New Orleans, White ate some bad seafood and incurred a serious bout of food poisoning. 

White subsequently lost 20 pounds from his unplanned hospital stay … but rallied in time to suit up for the Steelers’ first of four Super Bowl titles.

(Unfortunately, you won’t find White in the official team photo, taken earlier that week.)

FUN FACT #21

The Dolphins’ Fulton Walker was the first player in Super Bowl history to record a kick-return touchdown (98-yarder in SB XVII) — breaking a 10-all tie in the first half against the Redskins.

Miami would fall apart in the second half, losing to Washington, 27-17.

FUN FACT #22

In 1982, the Bears selected Jim McMahon (No. 5 overall pick) as their passing savior … and a complement to Hall of Fame tailback Walter Payton. 

The surprisingly fleet-footed McMahon would also be proficient when escaping the pocket, tallying 16 rushing TDs in his 15-year NFL career.

Which brings us to this: McMahon holds the Super Bowl single-game record for most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback — two against the Patriots (SB XX)

One last note: McMahon and ‘Refrigerator’ Perry accounted for three rushing scores in the Bears’ 46-10 rout at the Superdome … but Payton never found the end zone. 

FUN FACT #23

Redskins tailback Timmy Smith holds the Super Bowl single-game record for rushing yards, rumbling for 204 yards (and two TDs) against Denver in January 1988 (SB XXI).

It’s a staggering stat, considering the unheralded rookie rushed for only 602 yards in three NFL seasons (1987-88, 1990).

In case you’re wondering, Redskins QB Doug Williams took home Super Bowl MVP honors, after tossing five TDs in a single quarter against the Broncos.

FUN FACT #24

One could easily make the case for Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (1,549 catches, 22,895 yards, 197 TDs) being the greatest player in NFL history, even though it’s a subjective rationale.

However, here’s something that cannot be disputed, at least right now:

Among non-quarterbacks, Rice holds the Super Bowl record for the most yards from scrimmage — 220 against the Bengals in SB XXIII.

And last but not least …

FUN FACT #25

The largest halftime deficit for a Super Bowl champion stands at 18 points (the 2016 Patriots trailed the Falcons, 21-3). 

The largest halftime deficit for any Super Bowl team .. belongs to the 1987 Broncos, who trailed by 25 points at the break (SB XXII).

About The Managing Editor

Jay Clemons remains the only sports writer on the planet to capture Cynposis Media’s national award for Sports Blog Of The Year (beating out NBA.com, MLB.com, PGATour.com, The Players’ Tribune in 2015), along with the Fantasy Sports Writers Association’s pre-eminent award for Best Writer (2008). Through the years, Mr. Clemons has been a key figure with numerous blue-chip sports/media brands, namely the Detroit Lions, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report and the NBC/Universal family. With Sports Illustrated (2006-11), Clemons served a triple role with SI.com‘s heralded football coverage—editing Peter King’s famed ‘Monday Morning Quarterback’ column, penning award-winning pieces for NFL and then writing/narrating scripted videos within the NFL and baseball realms. In 2013, Clemons’ first year with the company, FOX Sports South enjoyed a monumental increase of approximately 34 million Web hits in a 12-month cycle—merely posting 11 million hits the previous year. 

Then, over a two-month span in 2014, FOX Sports South amassed 19.5 million Web hits—a 60-day record for any FOX affiliate. And in 2015, Clemons claimed the aforementioned Cynopsis Media award on FOX Sports’ behalf, the company’s only national writing award during that period. Clemons, a graduate of Michigan State University  and Wayne State University, has been an on-camera Web-TV host for Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report and FOX Sports. In 2015, he also became the first-ever sports journalism professor at Kennesaw State University in suburban Atlanta.

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