Saturday, February 05, 2011

You Can't Play a Super Bowl Without the Big 33 All-Star High School Football Game

by Jeff Fisher
High School Football America

Streaks rule sports.

It starts with winning streaks…losing streaks.

Then there are accomplishment streaks…Joe DiMaggio’s hit streak or Brett Favre and Cal Ripken’s consecutive game streaks.

Today I want to talk about the Big 33 streak.

You don’t know about it?

Well I’m here to tell you on the eve of Super Bowl XV, it’s one of the most amassing high school football streaks that will stand forever.

First a little background on the Big 33 game that is played annually in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

The first Big 33 game was played in 1958.  Through the years, Pennsylvania’s top 33 football players have squared-off with all-star teams from Maryland, Ohio and Texas.  There have been games against an all-USA all-star team, plus sometimes the eastern part of the state battled the western part of the state for bragging rights.

For the past 18-years, the Big 33 has pitted the Keystone State against stars from Ohio.  It’s been a very competitive series with each state winning nine times coming into this year’s game in June.

The names of those who have strapped ‘em up for the game reads like a who’s who of NFL football…Montana, Namath, Dorsett and the list goes on.

And, that gets me to the streak.

When the Packers and Steelers hit the field tomorrow in Dallas, it will mark the 45th straight year that a former Big 33 player will compete in the Super Bowl.

That’s right, there’s never been a Super Bowl without a Big 33 alum!!

It all started with Big 33 alum Herb Adderley of Northeast High School in Philadelphia.  Adderley played in the first two Super Bowls with the Packers.  It continues tomorrow with five former Big 33 players on the turf at Cowboys Stadium. 

Continuing the Big 33 streak tomorrow will be Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and safety Ryan Mundy.  On the other side of the ball, Green Bay has three former Big 33 players…linebacker A.J. Hawk, cornerback Brandon Underwood and linebacker Matt Wilhelm.
Roethlisberger, Hawk, Underwood and Wilhelm are former Ohio Big 33 all-stars, while Mundy is a former Pennsylvania Big 33 all-star.

Will the streak hit 46 next year?  Who knows.

But what we do know, much like DiMaggio, Favre and Ripken’s streak, it’s going to be hard to top the Big 33 streak.

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