Super Bowls are occasionally tied directly to Texas, but even as Super Bowl 50 takes place in Santa Clara, Calif. Between Denver and Carolina, there still is only one degree of separation with many players, coaches and key participants reaching down into Texas roots.
Among 16 people recognized at Super Bowl 50, is Dallasite Norma Hunt who is one of only 16 people to see every Super Bowl. Hunt is the widow of the late Lamar Hunt, whose Kansas City franchise first-started in Dallas in the 1960s and it was Hunt’s successful American Football League which was merged into the National Football League which created the genesis of the AFL-NFL showdown that has grown into one of the country’s most iconic cultural moments when the game is played every year.
Even though Hunt moved his Dallas Texans franchise to Kansas City in 1963 and, as the Dallas Cowboys blossomed into one of sports’ most recognized brands, the Texans ties to Dallas and the Super Bowl remain strong. The Hank Stram story is well-known that as an SMU assistant coach one of his players was Lamar Hunt, who eventually hired Stram with the Texans.
The late Stram’s son Dale Stram remembers the legacies left by the Texans in Dallas and the branches have sprouted over the last 50 years. After he and his brother Henry attended Christ The King school for elementary grades in North Dallas, Dale was on the field for the first Super Bowl with his dad and the Chiefs for the first Super Bowl against the Packers.
“I remember when (the Chiefs) beat Buffalo to get the AFL championship, we didn’t go back home to Kansas City,” Stram said. “I was with the team back at the hotel to watch the Packers and the Cowboys to see who we would play.”
Among Stram’s family mementos are original photos taken during the week of that first game, called the AFL-NFL World Championship and not yet the Super Bowl, with Vince Lombardi and Pete Rozelle and many key people in helping establish a red-letter tradition the event has developed into.
Dallas’ Bill McNutt III, was part of that first week as guests of the Hunts with whom his father was a business partner with including later in forming the Dallas Tornados soccer franchise. Bill McNutt III is attending another Super Bowl this week with his annual tickets from the Hunts.
“The face value of the ticket was $12,” McNutt said. “The game-day program was $1. It certainly has changed since.”
The algorithm of ties to each Super Bowl continues to extrapolate. Stram hopes Peyton Manning leads the Super bowl to a victory because he’s still family friends with Archie Manning, who played for his dad with the New Orleans Saints … Denver coach Gary Kubiak, in fact, is a former Texas high school player at St. Pius in Houston and played at Texas A&M … Denver receiver Emmanuel Sanders is from Bellville in Southeast Texas and played at SMU while Denver’s standout defensive end Von Miller played at DeSoto and at Texas A&M .. As McNutt likes to point out, the very first pregame handshake at Super Bowl I was filled with Texas ties as Green Bay captain Forrest Gregg and Kansas City captain Jerry Mays were both former SMU Mustangs.
With several Texas high school players participating in Super Bowl 50, some may have a performance to qualify for our unofficial All-Time Texas High School Football Super Bowl Team.
ALL-TIME TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL SUPER BOWL TEAM
- DL Bob Lilly Throckmorton Had that 29-yard sack of Bob Griese
- DL Von Miller Super Bowl 50 MVP
- DL Joe Greene Temple Dunbar Steel Curtain leader
- DL Bubba Smith Bmt. Charlton-Pollard Star on great Colt defenses
- DL Harvey Martin South Oak Cliff Lone Texan Def. MVP
- DL Michael Bennett Alief Tayor Seattle D swarmed over Denver
- LB Lee Roy Caffey Thorndale Part of Lombardi’s Packers
- LB Mike Singletary Houston Worthing Son will be ’07 Baylor signee
- LB Jessie Armstead Carter Interception for TD called back penalty
- DB Lyle Blackwood SA Churchill Started with brother Glenn for Miami
- DB Darrell Green Houston Jones Speedster covercorner for Washington
- DB Everson Walls Richardson Berkner Won ring with Parcells’ Giants
- DB Thomas Everett Daingerfield Two interceptions for Cowboys in XXVII over Buffalo
- DB Earl Thomas West Orange-Stark Leader of Seattle Seahawks D
- P Maury Buford Mt. Pleasant Won field position for Da’Bears
- QB Drew Brees Austin Westlake Led New Orleans to title with record game
- RB Duane Thomas Lincoln “Duane, are you that fast?” His answer: Evidently
- RB Kenny King Clarendon 80-yard TD catch
- RB Thurman Thomas Willowridge TDs in 4 SBs
- OL Guy Morriss Arl. Sam Houston Former Baylor coach started with Eagles’ Jerry Sisemore
- OL Gene Upshaw Robstown Great Raiders player (forget union work)
- OL Keith Bishop Midland Lee With Broncos in 2 SBs
- OL E.J. Holub Started SBs at LB and C
- OL Forrest Gregg Sulphur Springs 2 titles with Packers
- WR George Sauer Jr. Waco Jets’ leading WR in win vs. Colts
- WR Max McGee White Oak First SB TD catch
- K Chris Jacke Richardson Pearce 2 FGs as Packers won SB XXXI
- Tom Landry of Mission
- Jimmy Johnson of PA Jefferson
- Forrest Gregg of Sulphur Springs
- Raymond Berry of Paris
- Gary Kubiak Houston St. Pius