In the final game of his stellar NFL career, quarterback Peyton Manning earns his second Super Bowl ring when Denver beats Carolina 24-10 in the 50th edition of the biggest spectacle in sports. But it was defense, led by MVP Von Miller, that led the Broncos to their third world championship, sacking Panthers QB Cam Newton six times and scoring on a fumble recovery. It was the first time that former Boise State, Idaho and Idaho State players appeared in the same Super Bowl. Boise State’s Matt Paradis and Idaho’s Shiloh Keo suited up for Denver, and Idaho State legend Jared Allen played for Carolina.
Paradis, the Broncos’ starting center, played every offensive snap of the season for Denver. He was in his second year with Denver but his first as an active player. Paradis played three more seasons as the anchor of the Broncos offensive line before signing as a free agent with Carolina. He’s still a Panther, but his 2021 season ended the first week of November with a torn ACL. Paradis will forever be locally legendary for going from an eight-man football star in Council to walk-on at Boise State to seventh-round draft pick in the NFL.
Keo was drafted by Houston in the fifth round in 2011 out of Idaho. His NFL career ended with Super Bowl 50, but what a ramp-up to that night. Keo was signed by Denver toward the end of the season, intercepted a Philip Rivers pass to help beat San Diego in the regular season finale, and recovered an onside kick with 12 seconds left in the AFC Championship Game to preserve a 20-18 win over New England.
Allen was one of the best defensive lineman ever to come out of a Gem State school. He won the 2003 Buck Buchanan Award as the best defensive player in Division I-AA before being taken in the fourth round of the NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. Allen was a four-time All-Pro and two-time NFL season sacks leader. He spent the longest stretch of his 12-year NFL career with the Minnesota Vikings. Super 50 was also Allen’s final game. He announced his retirement 11 days later by posting a video of himself on a horse, riding into the sunset.
(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra. He also anchors four sports segments each weekday on 95.3 FM KTIK and one on News/Talk KBOI. His Scott Slant column runs every Wednesday.)