The Bizarro Super Bowl MVPs: 6 People Who Determined Super Bowl Outcomes … But Weren’t Properly Recognized

When I originally sat down to write this column, I intended to delve into the depths of Super Bowl history in search of the most unlikely Super Bowl MVPs of all time.

However, as I clicked from page to page, sifting through Super Bowl lore, I couldn’t help but notice the players who made the biggest differences, yet, were robbed of the MVP trophy that they deserved.

Seeing as how today’s youth is all about rebellion and taking on The Man, why not give out a few Bizarro Super Bowl MVP awards?

No, these guys’ teams didn’t always win the game. And no, these guys didn’t always have the best stats or make the most plays. But, without question, the performances of these nine players – be they good or bad – tipped the scales of victory.

So here are six players who did not win the Super Bowl MVP award, but should have … in the bizarro world of this post, anyway.

6. Neil O’Donnell – Super Bowl XXX

For the first Bizarro Super Bowl MVP award, we travel back to Super Bowl XXX. Let us take a moment to remember the days when the Cowboys and Steelers actually made the Super Bowl, let alone the playoffs. They were actually fun to watch in those days, too.


Larry Brown may have won the MVP award, but Neil O’Donnell – with his errant passing – is the one who really determined the game’s outcome.

Cowboys cornerback Larry Brown walked away with the MVP Award after this game for his two-interception performance. Wow, two interceptions in the Super Bowl? Oh man, we have to give him the award!

Eh, no you don’t.

Anyone who remembers watching that game, or who has taken a look at the film, realizes that Brown intercepted two of the most poorly thrown passes in NFL History.

Sure, O’Donnell’s performance that day wasn’t all that bad. But his terrible passes to Brown are what iced the victory for Dallas.

5. Bill Callahan – Super Bowl XXXVII

For our next guy, we travel forward seven years to Super Bowl XXXVII.

Originally, I didn’t have this pick in here. However, when the Tim Brown-Bill Callahan story broke, I simply had to throw it in somewhere.

For picking off two Rich Gannon passes, Dexter Jackson was awarded the Pete Rozelle Trophy. However, if you believe what Jerry Rice and Tim Brown are saying, then the only reason Dexter Jackson picked off those two passes was because Bill Callahan is a loser-face who threw a Super Bowl so his good buddy Jon Gruden could win.

Because, you know, changing your entire offensive gameplan 36 hours before the big game isn’t really a good idea. Who knew?

Look, I would die for my best friend, but if we’re in the Super Bowl against each other, I’m eviscerating him.

Anyways, in giving Rich Gannon the benefit of the doubt and assuming all of his picks were because of a brand new game plan designed a day and a half before by one Bill Callahan, we have to hand Callahan a Bizzaro Super Bowl MVP award.

4. Mike Jones – Super Bowl XXXIV

First off all, let’s recognize the fact that there was a NFL player named Mike Jones. What a normal name. I don’t think you can get more normal than that.

A Mike Jones should have a normal person’s job. Something like an accountant, a banker, or an office guy who drinks coffee and tells terrible jokes at the water cooler.

Nope, in this case, Mike Jones saved Super Bowl XXXIV for the St. Louis Rams.

Down 23-16, McNair and the Titans were driving quickly down the field, looking as though they were going to tie the game up and send it to overtime. With about 5 seconds left, Mike Jones, in an effort to avoid become just another normal, run of the mill “Mike Jones,” tackled Titans receiver Kevin Dyson one yard short of the endzone.

It’s one of the most memorable moments in Super Bowl history, and it’s all because this Mike Jones decided he didn’t want to conform. What a guy. Congrats on your Bizarro Super Bowl MVP award, Mike.

3. Adam Vinatieri – Super Bowl XXXVI

A kicker has never won the Super Bowl MVP, and one probably never will if Adam Vinatieri hasn’t. I can’t imagine another kicker will win his team not one, but TWO Super Bowls.

Sure, Tom Brady looks cool and is good at football and gets pretty girls and all that. He’s the quintessential football-playing superstar. However, Adam Vinatieri is the quintessential football savior.

(Image via

(Image via

He is the God of All Things Clutch!

For this particular award, we’re referencing Super Bowl XXXVI, when in the last seconds, Vinatieri buried a 48-yard field goal to help the Patriots beat the Rams 20-17. He’s been called the clutchest (yes, I made that word up) player in NFL Playoffs history.

Not to mention, the Patriots have yet to win a Super Bowl since he went to Indy.

Don’t worry, Adam, I’ve got your back in the fight against the evil Tom Brady. I have an idea. Hit him over the head with your new Bizarro Super Bowl MVP trophy.

2. New York Giants Defensive Line – Super Bowl XLVI

I was incredibly close to giving this spot to Tom Brady and Wes Welker. Everyone remembers Wes dropping that 10-yard dump off pass that seemingly gave the game to the Giants.

Usually, I’ll take any chance I can get to say something mean about the New England Patriots. However, I don’t want Anna Welker to say any rude things about me, so I won’t.

Eli Manning walked away with this award in reality, but when he has a helmet on he looks like the Great Gazoo. We can’t possibly give this award to someone who looks like the Great Gazoo (Upon further review, it has been decided that Peyton looks even more like the Great Gazoo).

Also, Eli’s play would have meant nothing if it were not  for the Giants’ defensive line holding Brady, Welker, Aaron Hernandez and a one-legged Rob Gronkowski to 17 points.

So, congratulations, Tuck, Joseph, Canty, Pierre-Paul and Blackburn. You get one Bizarro Super Bowl MVP award. Split it up amongst yourselves however you please, just don’t make a mess.

1. David Tyree – Super Bowl XLII

I promise, Patriots fans, I absolutely am…trying to make you as angry as humanly possible as you read this column.

Seriously, though, Tyree made probably the best catch in Super Bowl History. Hell, it’s arguably the best catch ever.

The crazy thing is that Eli Manning almost upstaged him. Manning took the snap and was immediately bombarded by a gaggle of Patriots. He somehow breaks free, stumbles to his right a few yards, and hurls a 60-yard pass off of his back foot that is somehow caught by Tyree.


Congratulations to David Tyree for making the greatest catch ever, and congrats to Rodney Harrison for sucking at football and not being able to jar the ball lose even though Tyree had one hand on the ball and was falling backwards with a million camera bulbs flashing all at once.


Now that’s you’ve seen who my Bizarro Super Bowl MVP choices are, I ask: who are yours? Who determined the outcome of a Super Bowl – positively or negatively – but was not properly rewarded?

The comment section is yours.

About Daniel Young