Quarterbacks Get All the Love, Make Up More Than Half of All Super Bowl MVPs

Don WrightContributor IFebruary 4, 2012

Tom Brady is one of only 3 players to win Super Bowl MVP more than once.
Tom Brady is one of only 3 players to win Super Bowl MVP more than once.Rob Carr/Getty Images

Quarterbacks get all the love.  Well, more than half of it anyway.  The old adage that the quarterback gets all the praise for a win and only shares the blame in a loss appears have some basis in fact.  A look at the history of Super Bowl MVPs certainly seems to suggest it.

There have been 46 Super Bowl MVPs since the whole thing started in 1967.  Yes, I am aware that that's one more than there should be.  There were two picked in 1978, explaining the extra.  After tomorrow, we'll have 47 in the books.  If history is any guide, it most likely will be a quarterback.

Out of the 46 so far, 24 have been quarterbacks.  That's a shade more than 50 percent.  Since counting to 46 is a challenge for me, I'll let someone else figure the percentage.  More than half is enough for me.

The other 22 MVPs are a mix of wide receivers, running backs and (gasp) defensive players.  Out of that 22 the majority are offensive players.  I guess the defensive side has to really stand out to get any love.  Oddly, the only MVP ever from a losing team was linebacker Chuck Howley in 1971.

Here is a quick breakdown:

Quarterback     24

Running Back    7

Wide Receiver    6

DB / Safety        3

DL / DT / DE      3

Linebacker         2

Kick Returner     1


Staring in 1967, four of the first five—and five of the first ten—players to earn the award were quarterbacks.  With names like Starr (twice), Namath and Staubach it's hardly a surprise.  Len Dawson in 1970 rounded out the first five between Namath in '69 and Staubach in '72.

The only players to have more than one Super Bowl MVP were all quarterbacks.  Joe Montana has the most so far, winning the award in '82, '85 and '90.  Terry Bradshaw ('79, '80) and Tom Brady ('02, '04) round out the multiple winners.  Brady has a chance at three this year.

What does all this tell us?  It tells us that no matter who wins this year's Super Bowl, there is a better than 50 percent chance it will be one of the guys throwing the ball.  Those golden boys, they get all the love.