Outside of Paul Hornung, Louisville has produced several notable Superbowl champions. Extraordinarily, the next sports legend of the Ville is Phil Simms.
A graduate of Southern High School, where people became aware of his football slinging, Simms came to national attention when he started at Morehead State. Despite being in a relatively small school, Simms’ athletic prowess turned plenty of heads.
While wearing the Eagle blue of Morehead State, Simms nabbed a school record 5,545 yards. Although he proved himself to be a standout at Morehead, he also had his share of on-field issues, being prone to interceptions at times, for instance.
It was his quality numbers and skills though that peaked the San Francisco 49ers interest in the young quarterback. They actually were seriously contemplating two promising quarterbacks at that time: Both Simms and a young Joe Montana. And, for a great deal of time, many in the 9ers organization planned on going with Simms. Of course, they ultimately passed on Simms for Montana.
Simms didn’t worry to long about a post-college football career, though, as the New York Giants, no doubt seeing the 9ers interest, selected Simms as their first round draft pick in 1979.
Ironically, the respective selections of both teams turned out to be very positive for each. Montana seemed to settle much easier into the west coast style that San Francisco played, while the working class Giants seemed the perfect fit for Simms.
That’s not to say that Simms settled right into the Giants as he struggled the first few years in the league. However, through coaching and personal work, Simms managed to find his footing on the team, becoming a major offensive force for the Giants.
This was noted by his leading the Giants to their first Superbowl victory in Superbowl XXI against the Denver Broncos with their then young gun, John Elway, a game that concluded with Simms being named MVP and a score of 39-20.
Simms returned to football’s grandest stage with the Giants, in 1991, with the team’s second super bowl championship. With Lawrence Taylor, the Giants defeated the inner state rival Buffalo Bills in a 19-20 victory.
Throughout his career with the Giants, Simms played on two pro-bowl teams, one of which he was awarded the MVP.
After his retirement, Simms accepted a position with CBS Sports as a sports analyst, where he still works. Today, with a retired jersey and as a member of the New York Giants Ring of Honor, truly Phil Simms is a sports legend of the Ville.
Image courtesy of CBS Sports
Phil's going to Disney World!