Super Bowl glory is not a guarantee for any NFL player. Some of the best NFL players in history never even experienced the big game. Despite this, some players have made it a habit to compete on the biggest stage in sports. They are superstars and role players alike, but what this list shows is that everyone’s path to Super Bowl glory is different.
Several NFL players have five Super Bowl appearances
A handful of resilient players have found themselves on the grand stage to varying degrees of success. Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway appeared in the Super Bowl five times, but he didn’t win until his final two years in the NFL.
Kicker Adam Vinatieri has been in the NFL for the better part of two decades and has the jewelry to prove it. He won three of his rings with the Patriots before snagging his last one with Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts.
Three players have a dubious honor: They appeared in five Super Bowls thanks to the Buffalo Bills losing in four-straight Super Bowls and joining one more team. Cornelius Bennett and Glenn Parker have this luck. Also, quarterback Gale Gilbert lost all of his Super Bowl appearances in a row.
Although losing leaves a bad taste in anyone’s mouth, the fact that these players got there should not be ignored. A five-Super-Bowl career is a success, win or lose. Only three have gone above and beyond, however, according to Sports Illustrated.
Don Beebe, six Super Bowl appearances
Don Beebe has a slight asterisk when it comes to Super Bowl appearances. Although he was on six rosters that made it to the championship, he only played in three of the games. These stretched between the Buffalo Bills and Green Bay Packers. Beebe may not be the first name people recall on these teams, but role players can’t be ignored, either.
Beebe had an 11-year NFL career and played for the Carolina Panthers as well as the Bills and Packers. He was rarely more than a bench player for any of these teams, only starting in every game one time during that run. However, Beebe served as a reliable target for quarterbacks.
Mike Lodish, six Super Bowl appearances
Unlike Beebe, Mike Lodish did play in all six Super Bowls his teams appeared in. He began his career with the Bills during their aforementioned run. Unfortunately, none of these proved fruitful when it came to winning. Luckily for Lodish, he experienced victory when the Broncos ran off a pair of wins in the late-’90s.
1. Tom Brady, nine Super Bowl appearances
What more can be said about Tom Brady’s historic run? The fact that he stands alone on this list despite all of the Patriots stars who have come and gone shows how impressive his feat is. The 42-year-old has seen his entire team change around him yet continues to contend year after year.
The Super Bowl run proved to be fruitless this year, but if Brady returns he could make this number even higher. Brady’s talent combined with his longevity made him a prime candidate for this honor, and while it could be matched by a later generation, it would take a special player to do so.
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