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Hero of the Super Bowl might turn out to be a ‘Who’s he?’ guy

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It won’t be a quarterback. It won’t be a star receiver. It probably won’t even be the star pass-rushing defensive end.

But sometime during Sunday night’s Super Bowl, a guy you’ve barely heard of might take over. A run-of-mill, blue collar guy from somewhere in the team photo.

Hey, it happens in the Super Bowl. Despite all the millionaires cavorting beneath the stadium lights, there might be a guy or two emerge to be a star. Odds are, he won’t follow up it up with stardom. Hey, there are reasons that guys are unsung; most of the time, they can’t sing.

Remember David Tyree’s catch off-of-the-helmet as the Giants upset the unbeaten New England Patriots after a four-catch season? Remember Timmy Smith of Washington running for 204 yards, and then running to oblivion. There was the Packers’ Max McGee (138 yards receiving) and the Raiders’ Rod Martin (three interceptions) and the Bucs’ Dexter Jackson (two interceptions). There was Dallas’ Larry Brown (two interceptions) and the Rams’ Mike Jones (game-saving tackle) and the Patriots’ Malcolm Butler (game-saving interception).

Hey, they can’t all eat pizza and go to Disney World.

So who will it be this year? How about Atlanta’s Mohammad Sanu as he takes advantage of the double-team that Julio Jones is sure to get? How about the Falcons’ rookie Keanu Neal? How about New England’s LeGarrett Blount. Or Chris Long?

Yeah, yeah. The smart money is still on Tom Brady or Matt Ryan.

But sometime during the game, someone’s going to make a play. You’re going to have to check your roster to find out who he is.

And that’s kind of cool.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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