In honor of the Super Bowl's 50th anniversary this year, the Pro Football Hall of Fame board of selectors has announced the 26 players and one head coach who will comprise the Super Bowl 50 Golden Team.
According to the release from NFL.com, the historical roster features 22 Pro Football Hall of Famers, including Joe Montana as the quarterback, Jerry Rice and Lynn Swann as the wide receivers and Lawrence Taylor at one of the two outside linebacker positions.
|Running Backs||Franco Harris, Emmitt Smith|
|Wide Receivers||Jerry Rice, Lynn Swann|
|Tight End||Jay Novacek|
|Offensive Tackles||Art Shell, Forrest Gregg|
|Guards||Gene Upshaw, Larry Allen|
|Defensive Ends||Reggie White, Charles Haley|
|Defensive Linemen||Joe Greene, Randy White|
|Outside Linebackers||Lawrence Taylor, Jack Ham|
|Inside Linebackers||Jack Lambert, Ray Lewis|
|Defensive Backs||Mel Blount, Deion Sanders|
|Safeties||Ronnie Lott, Jake Scott|
|Kick Returner/Punt Returner||Desmond Howard|
|Head Coach||Chuck Noll|
Following the roster's unveiling, Pro Football Hall of Fame executive vice president Joe Horrigan stated in the NFL.com release what the names on the Super Bowl 50 Golden Team mean in the big picture of NFL history:
Each name conjures up memories of some of the sport's greatest games showcased on its biggest platform, the Super Bowl stage. Unforgettable individual performances like Lynn Swann's acrobatic catches in Super Bowl X or Joe Montana's come-from-behind game winning drive in Super Bowl XXIII are forever etched in the collective memories of football fans and celebrated as some of the most inspiring moments in the history of the National Football League.
Not surprisingly, since they have won more Super Bowls than any franchise in NFL history, the Pittsburgh Steelers are the most represented team on the list with seven players, including Swann, Franco Harris, Mel Blount, Joe Greene, Jack Ham, Jack Lambert, Mike Webster and head coach Chuck Noll.
Even though names like Montana, Rice and Taylor may have seemed like no-brainers, the release notes that kicker Adam Vinatieri was the only unanimous selection, thanks in large part to his heroics in two of New England's three Super Bowl wins from 2001-04.
Vinatieri is also the only active player to make the roster; it turns out kickers do get respect.
Given the vast number of legendary players who have appeared in and won Super Bowls, there was no way for everyone who deserved to be honored to make a special team. It's also hard to argue with any of the selections made by the Pro Football Hall of Fame for this particular historical showcase.
It will be fun to see how much, if at all, these rosters change when the next Super Bowl team is announced presumably in 25 years before Super Bowl 75.