Champ to chump: Fallen Super Bowl heroes

Sep 30, 2010 |
Garrett Hartley’s fall from grace was faster than Lindsay Lohan’s.

Just nine months ago, Hartley was kissing the Lombardi Trophy and celebrating a world championship with the Saints. After connecting on all three of his field goal attempts from greater than 40 yards in Super Bowl XLIV, Hartley was kicking on Cloud 9.

But kickers are a dime a dozen in this league and Hartley may soon be out of a job. The former Oklahoma Sooner has already missed three of his seven attempts in 2010 including a game-winner against the Falcons last Sunday. Hartley hasn’t been cut yet, but New Orleans signed 46-year old John Carney last week as insurance.

Below, we take a look at five fallen Super Bowl heroes who never lived up to their big-game performances.

David Tyree

It’s been labeled the greatest catch in Super Bowl history. With just over a minute left in Super Bowl XLII, Eli Manning narrowly escaped a sack and desperately heaved the football in David Tyree’s direction. Tyree snared the ball and trapped it against the backside of his helmet after Rodney Harrison jarred it loose. Four plays later, Manning found Plaxico Burress in the end zone for the game-winning touchdown.

Tyree never caught another NFL pass again. He suffered a season-ending knee injury the following training camp and was released by the Giants a year later. Tyree signed a one-day contract with New York on July 29, 2010 and announced his retirement the same day.

Doug Williams

Before joining the Redskins in 1987, Doug Williams was a member of the USFL’s Oklahoma Outlaws. After that league ceased operations, Joe Gibbs coerced Williams to serve as the backup to Jay Schroeder in Washington. He only appeared in three games that season but was named the starter as the ‘Skins headed into the postseason.

Williams led Washington through the playoffs and ultimately a 42-10 win over the Broncos in Super Bowl XXII. The MVP sustained various injuries the following season and was eventually replaced by Mark Rypien. Williams retired in 1989 and finished his NFL career with a 38-42-1 regular season record while never being named to the Pro Bowl.

Larry Brown

One of the most controversial Super Bowl MVP awards went to Cowboys cornerback Larry Brown. Steelers quarterback Neil O’Donnell basically gift-wrapped two interceptions for Brown which setup two Dallas touchdowns. The misfired “hot-reads” hit him in the chest.

Brown parlayed his cupcake Super Bowl performance into a lucrative five-year, $12.5 million contract with the Raiders, becoming one of the highest paid defensive backs in the NFL. He only lasted two seasons with the Silver and Black and played in just 12 games, recording one interception. Brown returned to Dallas in 2008 and made one tackle in four games before retiring.

Jim O'Brien

The Baltimore Colts won their first Super Bowl behind the leg of Jim O’Brian. In his rookie season with the team, O’Brien nailed a 32-yard field goal with five seconds remaining on the clock to seal a

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