Nebraska's History with the Super Bowl
Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska’s History with the Super Bowl

February 02, 2020

Nebraska’s Super Bowl streak has come to an end. It lasted 26 years—beginning in 1993 with running back Nate Turner and defensive tackle John Parrella for the Buffalo Bills—and ended in 2020 when the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship. Joshua Kalu—who was on special teams for the Titans—was Nebraska’s last player in the playoffs.

It was an impressive streak, depending on who you ask. The Nebraska athletic department was far more lenient with its count—including individuals on practice squads to keep it alive—while otheres were not so much. Regardless of how you count it, the streak still came to an end this season.

But Nebraska isn’t completely left out of Super Bowl LIV in Miami. Former Nebraska safety Daniel Bullocks is there, coaching the San Francisco 49ers’ safeties. Bullocks—who played at Nebraska from 2001-05—has been with the 49ers for the last three years. He was an assistant defensive backs coach for his first two years in San Francisco before his promotion to safeties in 2019. He started coaching in 2012 at Northern Iowa before working his way up through Eastern Michigan, the Jacksonville Jaguars and now the San Francisco 49ers.

Bullocks doesn’t extend Nebraska’s streak though. Obviously. The Huskers had opportunities for former players to make it to the big game—Ameer Abdullah (Minnesota Vikings), Rex Burkhead (New England Patriots), Nathan Gerry (Philadelphia Eagles), Sam Koch (Baltimore Ravens), Spencer Long (Buffalo Bills) and Kalu were all in the playoffs before ultimately being eliminated. 

So, that’s that. The streak has ended. It doesn’t end Nebraska’s long history in the Super Bowl though. The Huskers have had 62 former players make 80 appearances in the big game dating back to the 1967 season and Super Bowl II. And of the 54 Super Bowls to date, former Huskers have appeared in 41.

Mick Tingelhoff leads the group of former Huskers in the big game with four apperances. Unfortunately, he never walked away with an NFL title by the end of his career with the Minnesota Vikings. Roger Craig, John Parrella Grant Wistrom and Russ Hochstein have each played in three Super Bowls each, on various rosters. Craig has a trio of NFL championship rings, leading all former Huskers in that category. (He should be in the Hall of Fame, by the way.)

While there may not be a former Husker to watch when the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers face off in Super Bowl LIV, there’s still plenty for Husker fans to be proud of. There are some solid performances over the years to look back on.

Plus, there is Bullocks if you really just need a former Husker to root for.

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