Not all dreamers get to the NFL, and certainly, many who get to football’s highest level don’t get the chance to play in the Super Bowl.
There are at least a dozen who will be participating for the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks in Sunday’s Super Bowl who toiled for at least eight years in the NFL before getting a chance to play for the title.
Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey is the poster child. He waited 15 years. The other includes the last XFL player still in the NFL, a couple of Chargers who got close, a Canadian who lost the NFC title in overtime a couple of years ago, and a number who played on very bad teams before finding their way to ones of the cusp of greatness.
Bailey is philosophical about being at his first Super Bowl.
“If I was supposed to be here, I would have been here a long time ago,” Bailey said Thursday as players held their final interviews before the first Super Bowl in an outdoor stadium in a cold-weather city. “Things do take time, and I finally got with the right group of guys, as a whole. I played with some great players, but this is definitely the best team I’ve been on.”
Denver defensive end Jeremy Mincey played on a lot of bad teams in Jacksonville and was heading nowhere late in the season when the Jaguars released him in December for missing a meeting. The Broncos picked him up.
“Dude, this is what we play for, man,” said Mincey, who has played six seasons, missed another with a thumb injury, and had another as a practice squad player. “This is why we