Before you sit down to watch the Super Bowl this Sunday between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers, here is some Birmingham/Alabama football trivia we learned from Ron Ingram, longtime sportswriter and director of communications for the AHSAA.
Did you know?
Birmingham’s Buck Buchanan had the very first sack in the very first Super Bowl with the Kansas City Chiefs.
The first person he sacked of course was Green Bay’s Bart Starr.
Over the past year, the NFL has been celebrating their 100th Anniversary, which culminated in the league unveiling the NFL 100 All Time Team, a roster of 100 players and 10 coaches named the “The Greatest” in their respective positions.
Making this prestigious list was Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman and A.H. Parker High School’s Buck Buchanan.
Parker High School Legend
According to Ingram, Buchanan was a favorite of the legendary Parker basketball coach William H. Cap Brown, who always brought up Buchanan when they discussed players that played for him.
“Every time we talked, the conversation always seem to go to Buck Buchanan. He was a happy, hard nosed kid.”
In the 50s, Parker High School was one of the largest high schools in the country with nearly 4000 students. The 6’7 Buchanan played for one of Brown’s first Parker basketball teams.
When Buchanan left for Grambling State, his talent on the football field was soon recognized by another legendary coach – Eddie Robinson. He became an NAIA All-American and went on the revolutionize the defensive line position in the NFL.
“Alabama native Buck Buchanan brought great fame to his home state,” stated Grant Gardner, Marketing and Events Coordinator at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. From All-American at Grambling, to No. 1 overall draft pick, to Super Bowl winner and Pro Football Hall of Famer; his career was nothing short of spectacular. He is truly deserving of the honor of being named to the NFL 100 All-Time Team.”
Buchanan, unfortunately passed away from lung cancer at 51 years old in 1992.
Two Additional Alabamians
Joining Buchanan on the NFL 100 list are Walter Jones from Aliceville and John Hannah from Albertville. Both are also known as the best ever at their positions.
Ingram summed it up best about the NFL 100 list and football in Alabama
“What a great country, when you can come from a small town in Pickens county like Aliceville and become the greatest left tackle in the history of the game. Or John Hannah who was from Albertville. And Buchanan, from West End of Birmingham who lived in the shadow of Legion Field.
What great testaments of hard work and talent. If the talent is there and God’s grace be found, these guys were ready for the call, when it came to their time they showed up, and they played.”