While watching the Super Bowl this evening, I noticed how the NFL mentioned previous Super Bowls the Broncos have participated in. However they ‘forgot’ to mention one of the most important ones; one that directly correlates to this year’s.
We now know that Russel Wilson is a Super Bowl champion and only the 2nd Black man to achieve it. Douglas Lee Williams was the first.
In 1987, Williams and the Redskins beat John Elway and the Broncos in Super Bowl XXII 42-10. Williams, who was named the Super Bowl MVP, passed for a Super Bowl record 340 yards and four touchdowns, with one interception. He also became the first player in Super Bowl history to pass for four touchdowns in a single quarter, and four in a half.
I won’t mention his accomplishments without mentioning his journey as well:
Williams was drafted in the first round (17th overall) of the 1978 NFL Draft, chosen by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers out of Grambling State University. The Bucs, who had never been to the playoffs before Williams arrived, went to the playoffs three times in four years and played in the 1979 NFC Championship Game. Williams improved his completion percentage each year with the Bucs and was regarded as the heart and soul of the team.Doug Williams was the only starting African-American quarterback in the NFL at that time. During his tenure with the Buccaneers, Williams was only paid $120,000 a year—far and away the lowest salary for a starting quarterback in the league, and behind 12 backups. After the 1982 season, Williams asked for a $600,000 contract. Bucs owner Hugh Culverhouse refused to budge from his initial offer of $400,000 despite protests from coach John McKay. While Culverhouse’s offer was still more than triple Williams’ previous salary, he would have still been among the lowest-paid starters in the league. Feeling that Culverhouse wasn’t paying him what a starter should earn, Williams bolted to the upstartUnited States Football League. The next year the Bucs went 2-14, and they would not make the playoffs again for 14 years until after the 1997 season, and lost ten games in every season but one in that stretch.
Football is one of my last guilty pleasures. I see the politics in it as I do just about everything else. But I’m such a sports fanatic that I havent stopped watching yet. I’m also ecstatic for Russell Wilson for becoming the second black quarterback to win it all. It’s been along time coming. That’s a civil wrong!