Notre Dame Can Build On Its Super Bowl Resume This Weekend
Notre Dame has a chance to add to its Super Bowl tradition on Sunday when the San Francisco 49ers take on the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV. Former Irish standouts Sheldon Day (2012-15) and Mike McGlinchey (2013-17) will both play key roles for the 49ers on Sunday.
Sporting News ranked the Top 25 programs based on the number of Super Bowl champions it produced, and the Fighting Irish are tied for second all-time with 44 former players earning championship rings in the NFL.
The list complied by Sporting News included the total number of players, not the total number of rings won by individual players. It also does not include inactive players at the time the Super Bowl was played.
USC leads the all-time list with 47 players, and the Irish are tied with Miami (Fla.). Right behind Notre Dame and the Hurricanes is Tennessee, who has 43 former players with rings.
Here’s the Top 10 list.
1. USC — 47
t-2. Notre Dame — 44
t-2. Miami, Fla. — 44
4. Tennessee — 43
5. Penn State — 40
t-6. Florida State — 37
t-6. UCLA — 37
t-6. Michigan — 37
9. Ohio State — 36
10. Georgia — 34
Miami and USC do not have a single player on either roster this weekend, so a 49ers victory means Notre Dame would take sole possession of second place and put it just one spot behind USC. If the Chiefs win then Tennessee would climb into a three-way tie for second place.
Sporting News listed quarterback Joe Montana (49ers), running back Rocky Bleier (Steelers) and running back Paul Hornung (Packers) as notable past Super Bowl winners that also played at Notre Dame.
Montana and Bleier both won four rings each while Hornung and the Packers won the first ever Super Bowl back on January 15, 1967.
Montana and the 49ers won Super Bowls XVI, XIX, XXIII and XXIV, with Montana winning the Super Bowl MVP three times (XVI, XIX, XXIV). The former Irish quarterback passed for 1,142 yards and 11 touchdowns in his four appearances.
Bleier and the Steelers won Super Bowls IX, X, XIII and XIV. Bleier rushed for 144 yards and caught a touchdown pass in his four appearances. This past week Bleier was honored as Notre Dame’s first-ever recipient of the NCAA’s Inspiration Award.
“Rocky Bleier will be honored with a 2020 NCAA Inspiration Award on Wednesday, Jan. 22, at the NCAA Honors Celebration in Anaheim, California. The award is presented to a coach or administrator currently associated with intercollegiate athletics, or to a current or former varsity letter winner at an NCAA institution. It is reserved for people who used perseverance, dedication and determination to overcome a life-altering situation and, most importantly, are role models giving hope and inspiration to others.”
To read a bit about Bleier’s story, which includes a tour of duty in Vietnam in between his playing career at Notre Dame and his Super Bowl victories, click HERE.
Notre Dame’s last Super Bowl champion was Ryan Harris, who started at right tackle in the Denver Broncos 24-10 Super Bowl L victory over the Carolina Panthers.