Where are yesterday’s Super Bowl heroes?
A look at what former Super Bowl Most Valuable Players are doing these days, including multiple award-winners and one who played on the losing team.
There are only eight current players who have been selected as Super Bowl MVPs – Tom Brady, Eli and Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Deion Branch, Ray Lewis, and Santonio Holmes. All the rest have retired, but where have they gone? Many, naturally, have kept a connection to football. Here is a rundown of the 33 who have retired.
Super Bowl I and II - BART STARR
QB, Green Bay Packers
Games played Jan. 15, 1967 and Jan. 14, 1968
Now: Starr is chairman of Healthcare Realty Management and co-founder of the Rawhide Boys Ranch in New London, Wis., a faith-based, nonprofit that offers help to at-risk youth and their families.
Then: In Super Bowl I Green Bay beat Kansas City, 35-10, as Starr completed 16 of 23 passes, including two for touchdowns. He had one pass intercepted, only the fourth all season. In SB II, he completed 13 of 24 for 202 yards and one touchdown.
III – JOE NAMATH
QB, New York Jets
Game played Jan 12, 1969
Now: Mainly Namath seems to enjoy retirement in Florida and occasionally serves as an unofficial celebrity ambassador for the New York Jets.
Then: In the Jets’ 16-7 upset of the Baltimore Colts, which Namath famously guaranteed, he outdueled Johnny Unitas and Earl Morrall by completing 17 of 28 passes for 206 yards, but he didn’t have a TD pass.
IV – LEN DAWSON
QB, Kansas City Chiefs
Game played Jan. 11, 1970
Now: For the last 16 years, Dawson has been a member of the Chiefs’ radio broadcast team. In addition, he was sports director for KMBC 9 NEWS in Kansas City until 2009, and hosted “Inside the NFL" on HBO from 1977 to 2001.
Then: In the Chiefs’ 23-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings, Dawson completed 12 of 17 passes for 142 yards and one touchdown.
V – CHUCK HOWLEY
LB, Dallas Cowboys
Game played Jan. 17, 1971
Now: A true cowboy, Howley owns Happy Hollow Ranch, which produces foundation bred quarter horses in Wills Point, Texas.
Then: Howley became the first defensive player and the first and only player on a losing team to win the Super Bowl MVP when he intercepted two passes and recovered a fumble in a 16-13 loss to the Baltimore Colts.
VI – ROGER STAUBACH
QB Dallas Cowboys
Game played Jan. 16, 1972
Now: In 2008, Staubach ensured himself of a comfortable retirement by selling The Staubach Company, a real estate advisory firm that was headquartered in the Dallas suburb of Addison, to Jones Lang LaSalle for $613 million.
Then: Staubach earned MVP honors by completing 12 of 19 passes, including two for touchdowns, as the Cowboys defeated the Miami Dolphins, 24-3.
VII – JAKE SCOTT
DB, Miami Dolphins
Game played Jan. 14, 1973
Now: The University of Georgia graduate retired to Hawaii, where he fishes and golfs on Kauai, the northernmost of the Hawaiian islands.
Then: Scott clinched Miami’s perfect 17-0 season when he intercepted a fourth-quarter pass in the end zone against the Washington Redskins and returned it 55 yards in a 14-7 victory. It was his second interception of the day for the Dolphins' famed No-Name Defense.
VIII – LARRY CSONKA
RB Miami Dolphins
Game played Jan. 13, 1974
Now: The Ohio native now lives in Anchorage, Alaska, where he hosts and produces “North to Alaska,” an outdoor adventure TV series. Csonka maintains a farm in Ohio and is an owner of the Goodrich Seafood Restaurant & Oyster House in Oak Hill, Fla., where he spends the winter.
Then: Csonka was the workhorse in Miami’s second consecutive Super Bowl win, a 24-7 domination of the Minnesota Vikings. He ran the ball a then-SB record 33 times, gained 145 yards, and scored two touchdowns.
IX – FRANCO HARRIS
RB Pittsburgh Steelers
Game played Jan. 12, 1975
Now: Harris has been actively involved in the food industry for a number of years, now as an executive with RSuper Foods, which does a national business selling what it markets as nutritional donuts and baked products. He also is listed as a Conti Professor of the School of Hospitality and Management at Penn State University, his alma mater. In 2008, Harris was part of the Pennsylvania delegation at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, and in 2009 his son, Franco “Dok” Harris, ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Pittsburgh.
Then: Franco Harris broke the one-year-old Super Bowl record by carrying 34 times, while gaining 158 yards and scoring one touchdown. The effort was the key offensive contribution in Pittsburgh’s first Super Bowl championship.
X – LYNN SWANN
WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Game played Jan. 18, 1976
Now: In 2006 he ran unsuccessfully as the Republican candidate for governor of Pennsylvania, but he has kept a lot of other irons in the fire. Besides being the co-owner of the Arena Football League’s Pittsburgh Power franchise, he sits on the boards of a number of corporations, including H.J. Heinz Company. He also is managing director of Diamond Edge Capital Partners, a financial market firm, and has been a national spokesman for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America since 1980.
Then: Swann made only four catches in Pittsburgh’s 21-17 victory over Dallas, but he was named the Super Bowl’s MVP because of his 161 receiving yards , including one on a 62-yard, fourth-quarter TD grab. A spectacular first-half reception in which he is stretched out horizontally over a fallen defender is is captured in one of the most famous photographs in Super Bowl history.
XI – FRED BILETNIKOFF
WR Oakland Raiders
Game played Jan. 9, 1977
Now: In June Biletnikoff spoke at the sentencing hearing of the man convicted of murdering his daughter, Tracey, 13 years ago. Since a boyfriend took her life, Biletnikoff has devoted his efforts to the Biletnikoff Foundation in Dublin, Calif., which supports young women recovering from substance abuse and providing domestic-violence prevention education.
Then: In Oakland’s 32-14 Super Bowl win over Minnesota, Biletnikoff made four catches for 79 yards. Three set up touchdowns.
XII – RANDY WHITE and HARVEY MARTIN (deceased 2001)
Defensive linemen, Dallas Cowboys
Game played Jan. 15, 1978
Now: White, who was named MVP the only time the award was shared, is a spokesman for Smoky Mountain Snuff. His late teammate and co-MVP established the Harvey Martin Dream Foundation with his sister before his death. The mission of the foundation, based in DeSoto, Texas, is to improve the educational experience of marginal minority high school students.
Then: White and Martin wreaked havoc along the line of scrimmage and while rushing the passer against Denver, forcing the Broncos into eight turnovers in Dallas’s 27-10 Super Bowl victory. It is the only time two players have shared MVP honors.
XIII and XIV – TERRY BRADSHAW
QB Pittsburgh Steelers
Games played Jan. 21, 1979 and Jan. 20, 1980
Now: Bradshaw is a studio analyst on “Fox NFL Sunday.” He also has recorded country and gospel music.
Then: In Super Bowl XIII, Bradshaw threw for four touchdowns and 318 yards in a 35-31 shootout with Dallas. The next year he copped the award again by throwing two more touchdown passes, to bring his total to nine, as Pittsburgh beat the Los Angeles Rams, 31-19.
XV – JIM PLUNKETT
QB, Oakland Raiders
Game played Jan. 25, 1981
Now: Plunkett does radio and TV work for Raiders’ postgame and highlight shows, and owns a beer distributorship in Stockton, Calif.
Then: Plunkett threw for 261 yards and three touchdowns as Oakland beat Philadelphia, 27-10, to become the first wild-card team to win the Super Bowl.
XVI, XIX, and XXIV – JOE MONTANA
QB San Francisco 49ers
Games played Jan. 24, 1982; Jan. 20, 1985; and Jan. 28, 1990;
Now: The Notre Dame grad has dabbled in the northern California winery business in recent years. Days before this year’s Super Bowl, his former bachelor-pad condo in San Francisco from his playing days with the 49ers was put on the market.
Then: Montana led the 49ers to their first Super Bowl title by throwing for one TD, running for another, and leading several impressive scoring drives, including one of 92 yards, in a 26-21 win over Cincinnati. … In San Francisco’s 38-16 victory over Miami in SB XIX, Montana threw for a Super Bowl record 331 yards, completing three for touchdowns while also rushing for a TD. … His performance in SB XXIV made Montana the game’s MVP for an unmatched third time. In that game he set Super Bowl record with five touchdown passes in a lopsided 55-10 win over Denver.
XVII – JOHN RIGGINS
RB, Washington Redskins
Game played Jan. 30, 1983
Now: A passionate outdoorsman, Riggins is the host of “Riggo on the Range,” a show on the Sportsman Channel that features his hunting trips around the country.
Then: Riggins capped a string of four-straight postseason games with more than 100 rushing yards by carrying 38 times for 166 yards in Washington’ s 27-17 win over Miami.
XVIII – MARCUS ALLEN
RB Los Angeles Raiders
Game played Jan. 22, 1984
Now: Allen enjoys playing a lot of golf, sometimes with another great NFL running back and friend, Eric Dickerson.
Then: In one of the most memorable runs in Super Bowl history, Allen reversed field and sprinted 74 yards on the final play of the third quarter in the Raiders’ 38-9 victory over Washington. Allen’s 191 yards on 20 carries was a new SB record.
XX – RICHARD DENT
DE Chicago Bears
Game played Jan. 26, 1986
Now: Dent heads up the Make a Dent Foundation in Chicago, a community-service organization that “facilitates the advancement of inventive and effective ways of helping people help themselves.”
Then: Dent led a dominating Bears defense in holding New England to just seven rushing yards in a 46-10 Super Bowl blowout. Dent was credited with 1-1/2 quarterback sacks and with forcing two fumbles.
XXI – PHIL SIMMS
QB, New York Giants
Game played Jan. 25, 1987
Now: Since retiring as a player, Simms has developed into a first-rate analyst who currently works for CBS alongside play-by-play man Jim Nantz and on Showtime’s “Inside the NFL,” where he teams with James Brown and Cris Collinsworth.
Then: Simms led the Giants to their first Super Bowl championship, a 39-20 win over Denver, with a spectacular performance. He completed 22 of 25 passes, including 10 in a row during one stretch, and wound up with 268 passing yards and one TD.
XXII – DOUG WILLIAMS
QB, Washington Redskins
Game played Jan. 31, 1988
Now: After a short stints as a scouting director for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and as the general manager of a United Football League expansion team in Virginia, Williams returned to his alma mater in 2011 to take up the head football coaching reins at Grambling State University in Louisiana.
Then: Williams helped Washington to seal an early Super Bowl victory by throwing four touchdown passes in the second quarter of the Redskins’ 42-10 win over Denver. He also compiled a SB record 340 passing yards.
XXIII – JERRY RICE
WR, San Francisco 49ers
Game played Jan. 22, 1989
Now: TV appearances of various kinds have kept Rice in the public eye, including on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” where he finished second. He’s been seen working for ESPN during the current Super Bowl week.
Then: Rice racked up a Super Bowl record 215 receiving yards on 11 catches as the 49ers beat Cincinnati, 20-16.
XXV – OTTIS ANDERSON
RB, New York Giants
Game played Jan. 27, 1991
Now: Anderson is the president of Ottis J. Anderson Enterprises, which he set up in retirement to channel some of his entrepreneurial, community outreach, and philanthropic efforts. He has a store in West Orange, N.J., that sells a line of products for sports fans under the name Mooda Chainz, a reference to football’s “move the chains” mantra.
Then: Anderson was the key to a clock-eating, ball-control offense that led the Giants’ to their second Super Bowl victory, a 20-19 nail-biter over the cross-state Buffalo Bills. His 102 yards on 21 carries allowed New York to possess the ball for a record 40:33.
XXVI – MARK RYPIEN
QB, Washington Redskins
Game played Jan. 26, 1992
Now: The loss of a young son led Rypien to found the Rypien Foundation in Spokane, Wash., which helps families dealing with childhood cancer. He also has been the lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit brought against the NFL that seeks compensation for head injuries sustained playing football.
Then: Rypien helped the Redskins to win their third Super Bowl by throwing for two touchdowns, while completing 18 of 33 passes for 292 yards, in a 37-20 victory over Buffalo.
XXVII – TROY AIKMAN
QB, Dallas Cowboys
Game played Jan. 1, 1993
Now: Besides being the analyst who teams with Joe Buck in working NFL games for Fox Sports, Aikman oversees various real estate and business activities through Aikman Enterprises, based in Dallas.
Then: Aikman tossed four touchdowns, including two just 18 seconds apart in the second quarter, as the Cowboys routed Buffalo, 52-17, en route to the first of three titles within a four-year span.
XXVIII – EMMITT SMITH
RB, Dallas Cowboys
Game played Jan. 30, 1994
Now: The NFL’s all-time rushing leader is the president and CEO of Emmitt Smith Enterprises, an umbrella organization for various businesses, including its core construction and real estate ventures. He has twice competed on TV’s “Dancing with the Stars,” winning with his partner in 2006 and advancing to the semifinals in 2012.
Then: Smith was the tireless go-to guy for Dallas, especially in the second half in the team’s 30-13 victory over Buffalo. Nineteen of his carries came after the intermission, and on one eight-play, 64-yard touchdown drive he carried seven times. Altogether he ran for 132 yards and scored two TDs.
XXIX – STEVE YOUNG
QB, San Francisco 49ers
Game played Jan. 29, 1995
Now: Like so many other ex-sports stars, Young has hooked on with ESPN. Along the way, he has earned a law degree from Brigham Young, where he played collegiately.
Then: Young surpassed the Super Bowl record of his predecessor, Joe Montana, by throwing six touchdown passes as San Francisco defeated San Diego, 49-26. The first came just 1:24 into the game as he connected with the receiver who had been Montana’s favorite target, Jerry Rice.
XXX –LARRY BROWN
DB, Dallas Cowboys
Game played Jan. 28, 1996
Now: Brown has worked cohosting pregame and postgame shows on the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network.
Then: Brown set up a pair of Dallas touchdowns with interception returns of 44 and 33 yards as the Cowboys defeated the Steelers, 27-17, for the team’s record-tying fifth Super Bowl win.
XXXI – DESMOND HOWARD
Kick returner, Green Bay Packers
Game played Jan. 26, 1997
Now: Howard enters his ninth year as ESPN “GameDay” college football analyst. He also does speaking engagements, public appearances, and numerous endorsements.
Then: In the Super Bowl,, Howard returned a kickoff a record 99 yards for a third-quarter touchdown that knocked the wind out of rallying Patriots. Green Bay won, 35-21.
XXXII – TERRELL DAVIS
RB, Denver Broncos
Game played Jan. 25, 1998
Now: Davis has worked as an assistant coach for the fledging football program at the Rancho Christian School in Temecula, Calif.
Then: Davis ran for 157 yards and scored three touchdowns as the Broncos defeated the Packers, 31-24, for the franchise’s first Super Bowl victory
XXXIII – JOHN ELWAY
QB, Denver Broncos
Game played Jan. 31, 1999
Now: Before becoming the executive vice president of football operations of the Broncos, Elway established himself as an auto dealer in Denver.
Then: Elway threw for 336 yards and one touchdown in a 34-19 victory over Atlanta that gave Denver it’s second straight Super Bowl title.
XXXIV – KURT WARNER
QB, St. Louis Rams
Game played Jan. 30, 2000
Now: An analyst with the NFL Network, Warner also is active in Arizona running his First Things First Foundation, which is dedicated to improving lives by promoting Christian values.
Then: Warner threw for a Super Bowl record 414 yards in the Rams’ 23-16 victory over the Tennessee Titans.
XXXVII – DEXTER JACKSON
DB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Game played Jan. 26, 2003
Now: By 2009, Jackson was playing minor league football. Today he is a host of a sports talk show on WTAN radio in Clearwater, Fla. He also has worked at the children’s crisis center of Mental Health Care, Inc., in Tampa, Fla.
Then: Jackson intercepted two passes to key Tampa Bay’s 48-21 Super Bowl victory over the Oakland Raiders.
XL – HINES WARD
WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Game played Feb. 5, 2006
Now: Ward is an analyst for NBC’s “Football Night in America.” In 2011 he won “Dancing with the Stars” in the show’s 12th season. His Hines Ward Helping Hands Foundation was established to promote greater acceptance of mixed-race youth in both South Korea, where he was born to a Korean mother and African-American father, and in the US.
Then: Ward had five catches for 123 yards, plus a touchdown, as Pittsburgh defeated Seattle in the Super Bowl, 21-10.