Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Super Bowl Streak Continues for Big 33 Football Classic

by Jeff Fisher
High School Football America

Being a Pennsylvania native, it's always fun at Super Bowl time to check-out THE STREAK from the annual Big 33 Football Classic played annually in Hershey for the last 52 years, as it relates to the NFL's championship game.

If you're not familiar with the THE STREAK, all you need to know is that there has been a Big 33 alum in all 43 Super Bowls played. The question now is, will the streak continue at Super Bowl XLIV?

The answer is yes!

THE STREAK reaches 44 thanks to the Saints offensive lineman Zach Strief, who played for Milford HS and the Ohio All-Stars before attending Northwestern. Tight end Darnell Dinkins, a former PA 33er (Schenley HS), is on the Saints 53-man roster, but didn't make the 45-man active roster for the NFC championship game against the Vikings.

The Colts have three former Big 33 alums (Bob Sanders and Marlin Jackson - PA, Anthony Gonzalez - OH), who won't play because they are on the injured reserve.

The Big 33 Classic began in the late 50's when a central Pennsylvania sportswriter decided that Pennsylvania all-star high schoolers should be challenged by a team made-up of all-stars from around the country. The game has gone through many changes, including an East-West Pennsylvania match-up in the early 60's, plus the Keystone State taking-on teams from Texas and Maryland. Since 1993, it's been border neighbors Pennsylvania and Ohio slugging-it-out for bragging rights.

Some notables that have played in the Big 33...Joe Namath in 1961, Tony Dorsett in 1973 and Joe Montana in 1974. Of course all three are in the Hall of Fame. Click here to see the entire list from the Big 33 website.

Last year, ESPN's E:60 did a great piece on the Big 33 game, so for those of you that missed it...here it is again.

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