Mission native Bobby Ply remembers looking into the stands during Super Bowl I and seeing the 60,000 fans filling only about half of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. When Koy Detmer glanced up at the sold-out Alltel Stadium crowd 38 years later during the opening kickoff of the 2005 Super Bowl, the sea of flash bulbs was like nothing he’d ever seen.
A third Mission High alum, Hall of Famer Tom Landry, covered much of the middle ground, winning two of the five Super Bowls in which he coached during a legendary 28-year run with the Dallas Cowboys.
As the NFL prepared to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its biggest game with a clash between the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos at 5:30 tonight, the league paused this week to recognize Mission High’s contributions to Super Bowl history. Three commemorative golden footballs — one for each former player with ties to the Super Bowl — were delivered to Mission High as the school was named to the NFL Super Bowl High School Honor Roll.
“That’s a really neat thing they did, just to bring a little something to the high schools and those kids to get to see that somebody from here has been there,” Detmer said. “Knowing that the Super Bowl is the pinnacle of football, it’s a special deal and a real special occasion, and the fact that Mission has had three guys is really something special.”
Ply was one of the first to ever take the field in a Super Bowl, playing on special teams for the Kansas City Chiefs when they faced the Green Bay Packers in 1967.
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