The History of the ultimate game in the National Football League has had many outstanding moments. Latinos in particular have stood out in the “BIG” game known as the “Super Bowl” long before they were recognized for their specific heritages. As we enter the XLIX edition, The New England Patriots will have Puerto Rican linebacker Jonathan Casillas on the field.
Lets look at some highlights and trivia concerning Latinos in the Super Bowl:
The Oakland Raiders who won Super Bowls 15 and 18 were led by Tom Flores who coached those championship teams as well as being the first Latino quarterback in the NFL.
His quarterback, also of Mexican heritage, Jim Plunkett won the Heisman Trophy and led the Oakland Raiders to those same two Super Bowl Championships.
Ted Hendricks, linebacker for four Super Bowl champions, one with Baltimore, three with Oakland/LA Raiders, is of Guatemalan heritage.
Manny Fernandez was a linebacker on the No Name defenses that won Super Bowls 6 and 7 for the Miami Dolphins.
Joe Kapp, of Chicano roots, lost Super Bowl Four quarterbacking Minnesota. Defensive tackle Tony Casillas, of Dallas Cowboys was on back to back winning Super Bowl teams.
Latino kickers have done well with Argentine Martin Gramatica winning two, one with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and one with the New Orleans Saints. Mexican Raul Allegre won his with the New York Giants and Efren Herrera of the Dallas Cowboys won his in Super Bowl 12.
Super Bowl XLV saw two players of Puerto Rican heritage share the spotlight as Victor Cruz of the New York Giants defeated Aaron Hernandez’ New England Patriots.
So as the country views the biggest football event in the United States, its good to remember that not only do Latinos watch, they often have a participant in the game of games.