Going into Super Bowl XLVIII, many wondered whether black history would be made again on Sunday, February 1, 2014 at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
In 1988, Washington Redskins quarterback Douglas Lee “Doug” Williams became the first African American starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl, with his victory in Super Bowl XXII.
Could the Seattle Seahawks starting quarterback Russell Carrington Wilson become the second African American quarterback to win a Super Bowl?
Twenty-six years earlier, Super Bowl XXII was between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Washington Redskins and American Football Conference (AFC) champion Denver Broncos to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1987 season.
Coming into Super Bowl XXII, the Broncos were favored to win because most experts thought both teams were equal in terms of talent with Elway considered by many as the superior quarterback to Williams.
The odds were stacked in Elway’s favor. He had won the NFL Most Valuable Player Award and was selected to start for the AFC in the Pro Bowl, while Williams had played just five regular season games in the 1987 season.
The game would be decided on January 31, 1988 at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, California. By the time the game ended, the Washington Redskins had defeated the Broncos by the score of 42–10, winning their second-ever Super Bowl. Elway was sacked five times and threw three interceptions, while Williams became the first black man to win a Super Bowl as a quarterback. He was named the game’s MVP after going 18 of 29 for 340 yards and four touch down passes in a 42-10 bucking of Elway’s Broncos.
Born August 9, 1955, Williams is best known for his remarkable performance in Super Bowl XXII. Williams also became the first player in Super Bowl history to pass for four touchdowns in a single quarter, and four in a half.
Going into Super Bowl XLVIII, league MVP Peyton Manning and his Denver Broncos were heavily favored. However, by the time the game ended, black history was made again with Wilson and the underdog Seahawks defeating the Denver Broncos.
In an ironic twist of fate, the lopsided 43-8 win marked the second time that Elway had been beaten by a black quarterback. The former Denver Broncos quarterback now serves as Vice President of Football Operations for the organization.
Wilson passed for 206 yards and two touchdowns, joining Williams as the second African-American quarterback to win a Super Bowl.