Deadspin’s Super Bowl trivia extravaganza will test your NFL fan cred & get you pumped for gametime

Deadspin’s Super Bowl trivia extravaganza will test your NFL fan cred & get you pumped for gametime

Which question is this photo an answer to? Find out ...
Which question is this photo an answer to? Find out ...
Image: AP

Before we all settle into our La-Z-Boys with a tall boy and too many wings for Super Bowl LV on Sunday, we need to do some exercise. But fear not, we just mean brain exercise — as in Super Bowl trivia! We’ll ask you about players, teams, venues and esoterica. When you think you know the answer to these 10 questions (or give up completely), head on over to the next slide for the answer and a little background info.

Here’s hoping these brain teasers get you fully into Big Game mode. The recliner, beer and wings you’re gonna have to get elsewhere ...

And here … we … go!

Deputy Editor, Deadspin. Author, "One Lucky Fan: From Bleachers to Box Seats, Chasing the Ultimate Sports Dream to Visit All 123 MLB, NBA, NFL & NHL Teams." Earthwalker.

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2 / 22

Q1: Four teams have never even made a Super Bowl. Who are these sad sack franchises?

Q1: Four teams have never even made a Super Bowl. Who are these sad sack franchises?

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There are 12 teams who have never won a Super Bowl — and four of them haven’t even been to the big game.

Super Bowl I kicked off on January 15, 1967. And while some of the teams listed have won “football” championships, none have won it all after ‘67 when it was given its hyperbolic moniker.

These four teams will have to wait another year for a chance to play in the big game. But they’re all used to that.

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3 / 22

A1: The four teams who haven’t made a Super Bowl

A1: The four teams who haven’t made a Super Bowl

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Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions are one of the oldest football teams in the NFL, but they have never been to a Super Bowl.

The team won an NFL championship against the New York Football Giants in 1935, and Detroit would go on to win three more in ‘52, ‘53, and ‘57, beating the Cleveland Browns every time.

But the closest the Lions have ever been to a Super Bowl was one NFC Conference title tilt in 1992. Barry Sanders was quiet in the game, rushing for only 44 yards on 11 attempts. As a result, the Washington Football Team previously called a racist name walloped Detroit 41-10 at RFK Stadium. Washington would go on to win the Super Bowl that year. The Lions? They haven’t won a playoff game since.

Houston Texans

The Texans became an NFL franchise in 2002. So you can’t knock the newest NFL team too hard for never making it to the Super Bowl. But Houston is the only NFL team that’s also never made a conference championship. They have lost four divisional round matchups — including last year’s game against the Chiefs. Knock the heck out of them for that.

With Deshaun Watson looking to get out of Houston, the Texans could extend their SB drought for years to come.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars organization was founded in 1995 and they got off to a hot start. The Jags, led by head coach Tom Coughlin, made the playoffs in four of their first five years and played in an AFC Conference Championship in 1996, just their second season.

In 1999, Jacksonville posted a franchise-best 14-2 record, but they lost out on a Super Bowl trip to Steve McNair’s Titans in the AFC championship. 18 years later, Blake Bortles and the Duval defense led the franchise to its third AFC title game, which they lost to Tom Brady and the Patriots. But who hasn’t?

Cleveland Browns

The Browns have won plenty of championships… just not Super Bowl championships. Cleveland had a dynasty on its hands from the organization’s founding in 1946 to 1955. During those first 10 seasons, the Browns went to 10 straight Championship games and won 7. The team won their 8th title in 1964 when they shut out Johnny Unitas’ Colts 27-0. But since the Super Bowl era began, the closest Cleveland has been to the big game is the conference championship.

The Browns lost two straight conference championships in the ‘68 and ‘69 seasons. In the 1987 AFC Championship, led by head coach Marty Schottenheimer, the Dawgs lost to John Elway in heartbreaking fashion on “The Drive.” The next year, the Broncos beat the Browns in the conference championship again, this time on the equally heartbreaking “The Fumble.” Because nauseating things come in threes, the Dawgs were then treated to a third loss to the Broncos in the 1990 AFC Championship.

Cleveland has not been back to the AFC title game since.

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Q2: Name the dirty dozen teams that have never won the Big Game

Q2: Name the dirty dozen teams that have never won the Big Game

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Close your eyes for a moment and think of all the terrible organizations in the NFL. Well, maybe don’t close your eyes, you should keep reading. Just take a second to think.

Got it? Now take a guess as to which franchises have never won a Super Bowl.

No, the Jets won it in 1969.

The Browns? Yes, that’s a gimme.

The Texans? Check. They have never even made a conference championship game.

But there are a total of 12 teams who have never won a Super Bowl. Some might surprise you, others shouldn’t come as a shock.

Let’s start with the Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans, and Detroit Lions who have never even reached a Super Bowl.

Who else?

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5 / 22

A2: The dirty dozen to never win a Super Bowl

A2: The dirty dozen to never win a Super Bowl

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Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta led 28-3 midway through the third quarter during Super Bowl LI. Then, well, you know what happened. The Patriots wound up winning the game 34-28 and completing one of the most surprising comebacks in Super Bowl history.

18 years before the humiliating loss, a Falcons star embarrassed himself the night before his team played The Big Game. Atlanta’s Pro Bowl safety, Eugene Robinson, was arrested for solicitation of prostitution less than 24 hours before Super Bowl XXXIII. The Falcons lost that one too, 34-19.

Carolina Panthers

Carolina’s first chance to win a title came in a 2004 classic against a young Tom Brady and the Patriots. With just over a minute left in the fourth quarter, Panthers receiver Ricky Proehl caught a 12-yard touchdown from Jake Delhomme to tie the game up. But right before time expired the GOAT — no, not that one — Adam Vinatieri kicked a 41-yard field goal to seal the game.

And in 2016, a year before the Falcons choked in epic fashion, the Panthers had another opportunity to win their first Super Bowl in franchise history. Except… they ran into Peyton Manning and a historically great Broncos defense. Cam Newton, who won MVP that season, was shut down and Denver ended up winning 24-10.

Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals won a championship in 1947, 20 years before Super Bowl I kicked off, as the Chicago Cardinals. The only Super Bowl the St. Louis/Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals appeared in was XLIII (2009), against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

With just over two minutes left in the game, Larry Fitzgerald scored a 64-yard touchdown to give Arizona a three-point lead. But the Steelers marched down the field and Santonio Holmes tiptoed in for a game winning catch.

Tennessee Titans

When the Houston Oilers became the Tennessee Oilers in 1997 then changed their name to the Tennessee Titans in 1999, playoff success followed suit.

The Titans played in their one and only Super Bowl on January 30, 2000 and came up juuuuuuust a wee-bit short. In the final play of the game, Titans QB Steve McNair threw a quick slant to Kevin Dyson who was tackled a yard short of the end zone. The game saving tackle gave Kurt Warner’s Rams a 23-16 win.

Buffalo Bills

There are two teams in the NFL who have been to four Super Bowls without winning one. The Bills are one of ‘em.

In the early 90’s Jim Kelly’s squad lost four straight Super Bowls.

Los Angeles Chargers

The San Diego Chargers won an AFL title in the 1963 season and played a few more championship games in the early to mid ‘60s. But the team didn’t compete for a Super Bowl until January 29, 1995. That day, Jerry Rice and Steve Young overwhelmed the Chargers. Young threw for 6 touchdowns — 3 of them to Rice — on his way to winning the Big Game 49-26.

Minnesota Vikings

Remember when I said there are two teams in the NFL who have been to four Super Bowls without winning one? The Bills are one of ’em, the Vikings are the other.

Minnesota lost its first Super Bowl in 1970 against the Chiefs. As the decade went on, the Vikings had a somewhat of a Super Bowl appearance streak, losing in ’74, ’75, and ’77 to Shula’s Dolphins, Noll’s Steelers, and Madden’s Raiders respectively.

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals went to two Super Bowls in the 80s. In ’82 Cincinnati fell to Joe Montana and the 49ers. In ‘89 the Bengals and their MVP QB, Boomer Esiason, went up against Montana and the 49ers again, and lost again, 20-16 in a last-minute thriller that saw Montana drive his team the length of the field for a game-winning TD.

And of course, we’ve already covered the Lions, Browns, Jags and Texans.

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Q3: Name the only two players to win back-to-back Super Bowl MVP Awards

Q3: Name the only two players to win back-to-back Super Bowl MVP Awards

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Tom Brady has won a record four Super Bowl MVP Awards, and is obviously near the top of the list for favorites in Super Bowl LV. But the Big Game GOAT never won two in a row. So ... who were they?

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A3: Two by two-in-a-row

A3: Two by two-in-a-row

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It’s also not Elway or Rice or Montana or Aikman either. C’mon think further back! Like, the beginning of the Super Bowl era back.

The only two players who’ve won two Super Bowl MVP awards in a row are Bart Starr and Terry Bradshaw. Starr won the first ever Super Bowl and Super Bowl MVP in 1967 after throwing two touchdown passes and 250 yards in a 35-10 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. The Green Bay quarterback would go on to win MVP of Super Bowl II the following year.

Terry Bradshaw won 4 Super Bowls in his 14 years as a Pittsburgh Steeler, but he earned 2 Super Bowl MVPs in his last 2 championships. In 1978, Bradshaw was awarded with the league MVP. On the day of Super Bowl XIII (1979), he played like one, throwing for 318 yards and 4 touchdowns in a 35-31 win over the Dallas Cowboys. The next year, the heavily favored Steelers beat the Rams at the Rose Bowl.

On Sunday, Patrick Mahomes will have a chance to join the exclusive back to back MVP club with Starr and Bradshaw. He is the odds-on favorite to win the award again.

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8 / 22

Q4: Name the only Super Bowl MVP from a losing team

Q4: Name the only Super Bowl MVP from a losing team

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Speaking of Super Bowl MVPs, the award celebrates the best performance by a player. That usually means that the player’s team won. But not … always. On one occasion a losing player won this coveted title. Name that player.

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9 / 22

A4: Chuck Howley won MVP for the losing Cowboys in SB V

A4: Chuck Howley won MVP for the losing Cowboys in SB V

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If you thought the NFC East was bad this year, wait till you hear about the Super Bowl V, more commonly known as the “blooper bowl.” In the Big Game between the Baltimore Colts and Dallas Cowboys, the teams combined for 6 interceptions, 546 yards of total offense, a missed extra point, and a Super Bowl record 11 turnovers. Yuck.

Even though Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas went down with an injury in the second quarter, Baltimore ended up winning the game 16-13 despite seven turnovers.

Chuck Howley, a linebacker for the losing Cowboys, won the MVP due to his two interceptions and a fumble recovery. And, honestly, he was better than pretty much everyone else on the field. Earl Morrall, the Colts backup, went 7-15 and threw for 147 yards with no touchdowns and a pick. No one on the Colts rushed for over 35 yards and no receiver had a big game.

Howley spoke to VICE a few years ago about losing the Big Game, but winning the MVP. In the Q&A, he recounted where he was when he got the MVP news after Super Bowl V:

“I was in the shower. I think some of my teammates said ‘Congratulations,’ and I said ‘For what?’ It’s one of those types of things. It was hard. I would much rather have been the one to win the ballgame, but we didn’t. I was very satisfied with the award, but it took awhile for it to sink in. You don’t lose the game and then settle for it.”

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10 / 22

Q5: Which venue has hosted the most Super Bowls?

Q5: Which venue has hosted the most Super Bowls?

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With 2020’s Super Bowl LIV, Miami now holds the record as the city that has hosted the most Super Bowls. But that is broken up over two venues: The Orange Bowl (5) and the artist formerly known as Joe Robbie (6, and bonus points if you can name the five different names under which that venue has hosted a Super Bowl). The venue that has hosted the most Supes (7), though, hails from the city that Miami bested last year. What is that venue, and what is the other venue in that town that hosted three big games?

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11 / 22

A5: The Superdome is the Superest Super Bowl site

A5: The Superdome is the Superest Super Bowl site

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The Superdome has hoted a record seven Super Bowls. The Big Easy is also second all-time as a city in number of Big Games hosted (10), just behind Miami (11).

At seven Supes, the Superdome bests Hard Rock Stadium as the venue that has hosted the most Super Bowls. Well, “Hard Rock Stadium” has only technically hosted one Super Bowl (LIV). But before that, five Super Bowls were played in that same stadium under different names.

It was Joe Robbie Stadium in Super Bowls XXIII & XXIX, Pro Player Stadium in Super Bowl XXXIII, Dolphin Stadium in Super Bowl XLI, and Sun Life Stadium in Super Bowl XLIV.

The dome in downtown New Orleans is now known as the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. But before the corporate overlords stamped their name on the stadium, it was referred to as the Louisiana Superdome.

Mercedes-Benz, however, will not renew their deal with the Superdome, which is set to expire in July 2021. In the next few months, the arena will seek a new naming rights partner. One interested party is Stripchat, an “adult” website. Last year, the company submitted a $15 million bid to put their name on the dome.

New Orleans is slated to host the Super Bowl again in 2025. By that time, I doubt we’ll get a Super Stripchat bowl.

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12 / 22

Q6: Who are the two teams to play a Super Bowl in their home market?

Q6: Who are the two teams to play a Super Bowl in their home market?

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Think the Buccaneers have a unique home-field advantage because they get to play the big game in Tampa Bay? Well, before you make a prediction, take a look at Super Bowl history first.

While it is true the Bucs will be the first team to compete for the Lombardi Trophy in their home stadium, they won’t be the first team to play a Super Bowl in their home market.

Who are the others? Let’s check the archives.

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13 / 22

A6: The hometown heroes

A6: The hometown heroes

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Since its inception in 1967, the Super Bowl has been played at neutral sites by design. Cities and stadiums are chosen to host the game years in advance and warm weather destinations, like Miami and Los Angeles, are typically preferred. And domes in New Orleans, Minnesota, and Atlanta have also hosted multiple championships as well.

But in 1980 and 1985, the Super Bowl coincidentally gave two teams an unofficial home-field advantage.

On January 20, 1980, the Pittsburgh Steelers faced the Los Angeles Rams at the Rose Bowl in Super Bowl XIV. The Rams, who played in the L.A. Coliseum at the time, only had to travel 14 miles north to Pasadena, California — a “neutral” site. That game still holds a Super Bowl record for attendance at 103,985.

The Rams were 10.5 point underdogs heading into the game and the SoCal atmosphere didn’t help ‘em cover. Steelers fans traveled across the country in droves to fill the stadium with terrible towels. And Pittsburgh, led by quarterback Terry Bradshaw, captured their fourth Super Bowl title in franchise history that day, winning 31-19.

Exactly five years after the Rams lost their home-ish championship game, the San Francisco 49ers won Super Bowl XIX at Stanford University Stadium, just 30 miles south of Candlestick Park, then their home stadium. That day, Joe Montana threw three touchdown passes and rushed for one in a 38-16 rout of Dan Marino’s Miami Dolphins. It was Dan Marino’s second season and only Super Bowl appearance.

The Bucs will be the third team to play a Super Bowl in their home market, but this isn’t exactly the year for home-field advantage. Super Bowl LV will be played in front of 22,000 fans in a 65,890 capacity stadium.

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Q7: Who is the oldest player to compete in a Super Bowl?

Q7: Who is the oldest player to compete in a Super Bowl?

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Five players aged 21 have competed in a Super Bowl, essentially tying them as the youngest ever to play in the game (Jamal Lewis, who scored a TD, is probably the most prominent name for most folks on this list). But only one player has ever doubled that age to 42 and played in a Supe, making him the most grizzled vet in Super Bowl history. That player contributed five points in his team’s loss. Who is this “Old Man Super Bowl?

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15 / 22

A7: Old Man Super Bowl

A7: Old Man Super Bowl

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Tom Brady is old.

But kicker Matt Stover is the oldest player to ever play in a Super Bowl… for now. That will all change on Sunday when Brady, at 43 years old, takes his first snap for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Halfway through the 2009 season, Stover signed with the Indianapolis Colts to fill in for an injured Adam Vinatieri. The 42-year-old veteran kicker became the oldest player to ever play in the big game when he laced up his boots in Super Bowl XLIV. In the game, he kicked a field goal in the first quarter and tacked on two extra points. But Stover’s leg wasn’t enough for the Colts, who lost to the New Orleans Saints 31-17.

Brady is currently the oldest non-kicker to play in a Super Bowl. And after he breaks this SB record on Sunday, who knows, he might break it again next year… and the year after that… and maybe then he’ll retire? Or maybe not.

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Q8: Name the oldest and youngest Super Bowl MVPs

Q8: Name the oldest and youngest Super Bowl MVPs

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You thought you were getting another Patrick Mahomes/Tom Brady age piece, didn’t you? Well, you did. Kind of.

Name the oldest and youngest players to win a Super Bowl MVP Award.

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A8: The oldest/youngest Super Bowl MVPs

A8: The oldest/youngest Super Bowl MVPs

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Mahomes was just 24 when he won the Super Bowl MVP last year. Not bad. But Tom Brady was also 24 when he received his first Big Game MVP in… are you ready to feel old? February 2002 (Super Bowl XXXVI). That’s pretty young, but these two QB’s are not the babies of the bunch. Two other players won the award at 23. Lynn Swann got it in Super Bowl X and Marcus Allen won it in Super Bowl XVIII. Allen was awarded with the MVP trophy at 23 years, nine months, and 29 days. Swann was a few days older when he won it at 23 years, 10 months and 11 days.

So who’s the oldest player to win a Super Bowl MVP? Take a wild guess. His name is… Tom Brady. Shocking, I know. At 39, he was awarded with the MVP after overcoming a 28-3 deficit to defeat the Falcons in Super Bowl LI. Two years later, Brady defeated the Rams for his sixth Lombardi Trophy, but the MVP award was given to Julian Edelman for his 10 catch, 141 yard performance.

Brady also became the oldest regular season MVP in NFL history when he won the award at 40.

At 43, Brady has the opportunity to break his own Super Bowl record on Sunday.

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Q9: Who is the only team besides the Bills to be 0-4 in Super Bowls?

Q9: Who is the only team besides the Bills to be 0-4 in Super Bowls?

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Everyone, sadly, remembers the Bills’ epic success/failure of appearing in yet losing four straight Super Bowls. Obviously, that paints them as the biggest Big Game losers ever. But another team has lost just as many Super Bowls as the Bills, yet they tend to get off easy because they were spaced out over 11 years. Name this squad.

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A9: The Minnesota Vikings are perfect Super Bowl losers

A9: The Minnesota Vikings are perfect Super Bowl losers

Illustration for article titled Deadspin’s Super Bowl trivia extravaganza will test your NFL fan cred & get you pumped for gametime
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The Minnesota Vikings are the super failures you never hear about (thanks a lot, Buffalo). Like the Bills, the Vikings also lost four Super Bowls — but over the course of eight years, not four.

The Vikings were the first team in the NFL to make it to four Super Bowls. Wow, impressive! But just wait for it… Minnesota was also the first team in league history to lose four Super Bowls. Oh.

In the 70’s, the Purple People Eaters were gobbled up in four title games.

Minnesota lost its first Super Bowl in 1970 to the Chiefs. As the decade went on, the Vikings had somewhat of a Super Bowl appearance streak, losing in ’74, ’75, and ’77 to Shula’s Dolphins, Noll’s Steelers, and Madden’s Raiders respectively. That’s quite the coaching list.

The Bills and the Vikings, though, are not the biggest losers in Super Bowl history. The Broncos and Patriots have lost five Big Games each.

Here’s another fun fact before kickoff. If Tom Brady, the winningest QB in Super Bowl history, loses Sunday night, he could tie the Bills and Vikings with four Super Bowl losses. Brady is currently tied with John Elway (Denver) and Fran Tarkenton (Minnesota) as quarterbacks with three Super Bowl losses.

Will the GOAT catch Jim Kelly (Buffalo) with four L’s?

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20 / 22

Q10: It’s all over, and we’re ‘going to Disney World!’ Who said that first, and who else was paid to say it, but didn’t get to?

Q10: It’s all over, and we’re ‘going to Disney World!’ Who said that first, and who else was paid to say it, but didn’t get to?

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Finally, we end with the question, “What’s next?” That question harkens back to a tradition that has endured, on and off for more than 30 years, where a winning player would answer that question, “You just won the Super Bowl, what are you going to do next?” with the immortal line, “I’m going to Disney World!” Who was the first player to utter this line, and who was the opposing player who was also paid to do so in case his team won?

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A10: Phil Simms said it first, but John Elway got paid, too, just in case the Broncos won (spoiler alert: they didn’t)

A10: Phil Simms said it first, but John Elway got paid, too, just in case the Broncos won (spoiler alert: they didn’t)

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When you wish upon a star, sometimes it makes a difference who you are.

Before Super Bowl XXI, Disney agreed to pay two opposing quarterbacks $75,000 dollars each to say they would go to Walt Disney World if they won the Big Game. Phil Simms and John Elway got the same check, but the New York Giant wound up going to Mickey Mouse’s kingdom.

“Phil Simms, you’ve just won the Super Bowl” a 1987 Disney ad read, “what’re you doing next?” You bet your ass he went to Disney World. Shit, for $75K you’d go anywhere too.

Simms was the first NFL player to start the tradition. Later that year, more championship athletes committed to go to the theme park. After leading the Los Angeles Lakers to an NBA championship, Magic Jonson said he was “going to Disneyland.” And in the fall of ‘87, Frank Viola told cameras he was “going to Disney World” after winning a World Series with the Minnesota Twins.

The magical tradition has held up in the NFL pretty much since then.

FOX’s Terry Bradshaw asked the famous question to Patrick Mahomes as soon as he won last year’s Super Bowl MVP. “[This is] something I wanted to say my whole life,” Mahomes said as orange and red confetti rained down on stage, “I’m going to Disney World!”

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Deputy Editor, Deadspin. Author, "One Lucky Fan: From Bleachers to Box Seats, Chasing the Ultimate Sports Dream to Visit All 123 MLB, NBA, NFL & NHL Teams." Earthwalker.