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Thread: Lost Super Bowl Heroes

  1. #1
    shower beers's Avatar
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    Lost Super Bowl Heroes

    Nice article up on ESPN's front page about lesser known names who made big impacts on the game.

    Obvious Rams choice included.

  2. #2
    Vinnie25's Avatar
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    Re: Lost Super Bowl Heroes

    Mike Jooooooones... who???

  3. #3
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    Re: Lost Super Bowl Heroes

    the link if you can not find it

    Lost Heroes of the Super Bowl - ESPN

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    Re: Lost Super Bowl Heroes

    Thirteen years later, in various parts of Missouri, Mike Jones can still command a free meal, a drink on the house and a small following. He almost seems embarrassed by this, how one play in a football game can define a man's life. Before Super Bowl XXXIV, Jones was a nondescript linebacker with a common name who quietly did his job for the St. Louis Rams. Now he's immortalized. Jones is the Super Bowl champ who made "The Tackle."
    After that, anything is possible. He went on to coach a high school team in St. Louis, Hazelwood East. The team won a state championship on a Hail Mary pass. Jones moved on and became a college assistant, and a year later he got his first head coaching gig, in his home state of Missouri.

    That's when things started to look impossible. Jones would never say that, of course. When you play football at the highest level, when you stop a lunging receiver at the 1-yard line and a give a city its first Super Bowl championship, you are not programmed to fail.

    Jones, 43, is the head coach at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo. In November, his team wrapped up a season that yielded just one victory. It wasn't all that much of a surprise; Lincoln hasn't had a winning campaign in four decades, suspended its program in the 1990s, and plays in a conference that is known as the SEC of Division II. When Jones arrived on campus, he took a tour of the weight room, which is in the ROTC building. The room used to be a gun range.

    After a 12-year NFL career, Mike Jones rose from high school coaching to the college level.
    Dominic DiSaia for ESPN

    "The weight room had equipment in there that was over 40 years old," Jones said. "It was older than me."

    Jones did what he always does. He quietly went to work. He gathered his new players and staff, and they helped pour concrete and grabbed some paintbrushes. In February, Lincoln had a ribbon cutting for a new, state-of-the-art weight room. In the ceremony, Jones tried to drift in the background.

    But Jones knows that if Lincoln is going to change history, his history will be a big part of it. Jones needs to win some in-state recruiting battles, and it doesn't matter if the kids he's talking to were barely in preschool in 2000, when he won his ring.

    "I use that a lot," said Lincoln running backs coach Tony Van Zant, who played with Jones at Missouri. "I tell them about his Super Bowl. Those kids, they like that they get a chance to be coached by someone who's played in the Super Bowl.

    "Anywhere we go, people want his autograph."

    That wasn't necessarily the case before Jan. 30, 2000. Jones was on a Rams team famously known for its offense, called "The Greatest Show on Turf." But defense became the story that night.

    Jones has presumably told the story of "The Tackle" at least a thousand times. First-and-goal at the 10-yard line, six seconds to go, final play of the game, the Rams' 23-16 lead over the Tennessee Titans on the line. There are not a whole bunch of profound thoughts that go through a man's head in that position, Jones says, even with millions watching around the world, and one man - you - between Kevin Dyson and the goal line.

    Kevin Dyson caught a pass in stride at the Rams' 3-yard line on the final play of Super Bowl XXXIV, but Jones wrapped up Dyson and left him reaching in vain for pay dirt.
    Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

    The Rams' defense was gassed that night. Jones played every defensive snap and was running around on a bad ankle. Titans quarterback Steve McNair was determined, Jones said. McNair had rallied his team from a 16-0 deficit, and three plays turned into four and into five. "He was not going to be denied," Jones said. On the last play of the game, Frank Wycheck ran straight up the field, drawing Jones, and the plan was for McNair to hit an open Dyson near the goal line. He was open, but Jones switched direction.
    Jones wrapped him up, and Dyson's knee hit the ground at the 1-yard line. Dyson stretched his arm out with the ball, but it was over. It gave coach Dick Vermeil, who was miked up for NFL Films, his first Super Bowl title. As Jones made the tackle, he said, "Didn't make it. Didn't make it. No, no. That's it. We won it. Woo-hoo!"

    The play still accounts for one of the most dramatic endings in the history of the Super Bowl. But Jones, for his part, is subdued. He knows it helped him stay in the league longer in a career that lasted 12 years. He knows it will help him as he climbs this gigantic mountain at Lincoln.

    But Jones said he never thought about what would happen that night if didn't make the tackle, and he hasn't since.

    "If I didn't," he said, "I wouldn't be talking to you."
    RAMS134 and gap like this.

  5. #5
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    Re: Lost Super Bowl Heroes

    A little offtopic...

    Anybody have a nice highres digital version of a picture of "THE tackle" like the one Jones has in his hand or similar? Would love that as my wallpaper

    And nice article

  6. #6
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    Re: Lost Super Bowl Heroes

    Best I could find in a short time looking was at this location:

    Sorry for URL, but image is too big to share.
    This space for rent...

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