Arizona Football

Arizona Wildcats Super Bowl data: A look at former UA players in biggest game



The only touchdown by a former Arizona player in Super Bowl history — a 47-yard pass from John Elway to Vance Johnson in Super Bowl XXI, with 2:06 left in the Broncos’ 39-20 loss to the New York Giants in 1987 (click on photo to access video of game).

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New England tight end Rob Gronkowski will attempt to achieve today something that’s only been done once by an Arizona player in the Super Bowl — score at least one touchdown.

Vance Johnson holds the distinction of being the lone Arizona player to reach the end zone in the Super Bowl. He did that in 1987 in Super Bowl XXI in Pasadena, Calif. The touchdown, a 47-yard strike from John Elway, happened late in the game after the New York Giants were well on their way to a 39-20 win.

Gronkowski, making Arizona’s 44th player appearance in pro football’s biggest game, is playing in his second Super Bowl after catching two passes for 26 yards in the Patriots’ loss to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI three years ago.

Some other Arizona Wildcats Super Bowl Did-You-Knows?

— Only one running back — Mike Bell — has carried the ball in the Super Bowl. Bell did that twice for four yards in New Orleans’ 31-17 win over Indianapolis in Super Bowl XLIV.

— Former Arizona running back Trung Canidate did not carry the ball when St. Louis lost to New England in Super Bowl XXXVI, but he made a tackle on special teams.

Chris McAlister has the lone interception for a former Arizona player in the Super Bowl, achieving that in Super Bowl XXXV when Baltimore defeated the Giants.

— Offensive tackle Glenn Parker, now a Pac-12 Networks analyst, reached the Super Bowl five times (tying Tedy Bruschi for the most among Arizona players) and was unable to come away with a victory.

— The cumulative record of Arizona players in the Super Bowl is at 12-31 mostly because the Wildcats had a few players who were part of the Denver Broncos and Buffalo Bills when the franchises started a combined 0-8 in the Super Bowl. Parker lost four Super Bowls with the Bills.

From the Arizona media relations department:

Former Arizona players have 44 overall player appearances in the NFL Championship game. Three former Wildcats played in Super Bowl XLII in 2008 in Glendale, Ariz., for the most in any one season. Retired linebacker Tedy Bruschi and offensive lineman Glenn Parker lead all Arizona players with five Super Bowls – all of Bruschi’s with the New England Patriots and Parker in four with the Buffalo Bills and one with the New York Giants. Bruschi, the NCAA career sack leader when he left college, has the most Super Bowl rings with three championship rings as the starting middle linebacker for the Patriots in the 2000s. In 2008, starting linebacker Antonio Pierce and backup defensive back Michael Johnson took home the title for the New York Giants over Bruschi’s Patriots.

The list of Arizona’s Super Bowl players:
*When Colts were in Baltimore
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Site founder and award-winning sports journalist Javier Morales has published his first e-book, “The Highest Form of Living”, a fiction piece about a young man who overcomes a troubled upbringing without his lost father and wayward mother through basketball and hope. His hope is realized through the sport he loves. Basketball enables him to get past his fears. His experience on the court indirectly brings him closer to his parents in a unique, heartfelt way. Please order it at Amazon (for only $4.99) by clicking on the photo:

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Tackling stats not available until 2001
*Tackle made on special teams

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Punt Returns
*Fair catch
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Click on photo to access video

Ricky Hunley during introductions to Super Bowl XXI

Ricky Hunley during introductions to Super Bowl XXI

Chris McAlister leaps for an interception in Baltimore's victory in Super Bowl XXXV

Chris McAlister leaps for an interception in Baltimore’s victory in Super Bowl XXXV

Tedy Bruschi hugs the Super Bowl trophy after winning in Super Bowl XXXIX

Tedy Bruschi hugs the Super Bowl trophy after winning in Super Bowl XXXIX publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He has also written articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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