Scores of former Washington and Washington State football players have appeared in the Super Bowl, including ex-Cougar Mark Rypien, the Most Valuable Player in 1991. Of the legions, only the following have played on multiple NFL championship teams.
Harald Hasselbach, 1997-98 Denver Broncos: Hasselbach lettered only one year for the Huskies (1989) and went undrafted by the NFL. He played the first part of his pro career in Canada before catching on with the Broncos in 1994. He played in 112 games for Denver, through, 2000, and won Super Bowl rings in 1997 and 1998. He started at defensive end in Super Bowl XXXIII.
Kevin Gogan, 1992-93 Dallas Cowboys: A Washington letterman from 1984-86, Gogan went to the Cowboys in 1987 as an eighth-round draft pick, and had an under-appreciated NFL career. He played 14 seasons, starting 179 of 213 games, and made three Pro Bowl teams. His two Super Bowl rings came in 1992-93, when he was Dallas’ starting right guard (in 1998, as a member of the 49ers, appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated, which ranked him as the dirtiest player in the NFL).
Mark Rypien, 1987, ’91 Washington Redskins: Rypien spent the first two years of his NFL career on Washington’s injured-reserve list, but was technically part of Washington’s Super Bowl win in January, 1988. Three years later, as the Redskins’ starter, he led them to a 14-2 record and a victory over Buffalo in the Super Bowl. He was voted the game’s MVP.
Erik Howard, 1986, ’90 New York Giants: Howard, who played at Washington State in the mid-1980s, played on his first Super Bowl winner as a rookie in 1986, and his second in 1990, when he made the Pro Bowl for the only time in his career. In all, Howard lasted 11 NFL seasons with the Giants and Jets, appearing in 139 games with 95 starts. He retired after the 1996 season.
Allan Kennedy, 1981, ’84 San Francisco 49ers: A three-year letterman at tackle at Washington State between 1976-80, Kennedy was part of San Francisco’s championship teams in 1981 and 1984. Never a star, he made just one start in an NFL career that lasted just three seasons.
Ray Mansfield, 1974-75 Pittsburgh Steelers: Washington’s center from 1960-62, Mansfield was originally selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the second round of the 1963 NFL Draft. He played the final 13 years of his pro career with the Steelers, earning Super Bowl rings following the 1974-75 seasons. Mansfield twice (1972, 1975) made UPI’s All-Conference team.
Mike Wilson, 1981, ’84, ’88, ’89 San Francisco 49ers: A ninth-round draft pick out of Washington State in 1981, Wilson had the good fortune to go to the 49ers as they were about to become the Team of the ’80s. Wilson played in 136 games for the 49ers through 1990, earning Super Bowl rings following the 1981, 1984, 1988 and 1989 seasons. He became one of five players to earn four Super Bowl rings with the 49ers in the 1980s, joining Eric Wright, Joe Montana, Keena Turner and Ronnie Lott.
“Top 5 List” is published every Friday as part of Sportspress Northwests package of home-page features collectively titled, The Rotation.
The Rotations weekly schedule:
- Monday: That Was The Week That Was A snarky, day-by-day review of the week just ended.
- Tuesday: Wayback Machine — Sports historian David Eskenazi’s deep dive into local sports history, replete with photo eye candy.
- Wednesday: Nobody Asks But Us — We ask, and answer, fun and quirky questions nobody else is asking.
- Thursday: Water Cooloer Cool: Art Thiel takes on the weekend for the benefit of the more casual fan.
- Friday: Top 5 List — The alpha and omega of Northwest sports, at least as far as we’re concerned.