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Does the Super Bowl MVP Have to Play for the Winning Team?

Many sports fans consider Super Bowl V to have been the ugliest championship football game of all time. Some refer to the 1971 game as the Stupor Bowl or the Blunder Bowl, pointing out the plethora of turnovers, numerous penalties, and one glaring officiating gaffe. Even stranger was the fact that even though the Baltimore Colts defeated the Dallas Cowboys 16-13, linebacker Chuck Howley -- a member of the losing team -- was named Most Valuable Player, the first and only time that has happened in the Super Bowl’s 53-year history.

How 'bout that Cowboy?:

  • Howley had two interceptions, but was shocked to learn that he had won the award. “It was just something that was hard to accept,” he said years later. “I would much rather have won the game.”
  • Howley was a first-round draft pick for the Chicago Bears in 1958, but retired after tearing up his knee in 1959. He came back with the Cowboys in 1961, and went on to play in the Pro Bowl six times.
  • Howley excelled in five sports at the University of West Virginia. In addition to football, he was a diving champion, a sprinter on the track team, and a top performer in gymnastics and wrestling.
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