Win the Super Bowl and drive off in...a Subaru?
Super Bowl 50 is right around the corner, and that means either a Carolina Panther or Denver Bronco will soon be crowned the game’s most valuable player. Hyundai is the official auto sponsor for the game, which means Kanye West was right when he rapped “win the Super Bowl and drive off in a Hyundai.” Now to an NFL player a Hyundai may be considered crap. That got us thinking about the crappiest cars ever given away to Super Bowl MVPs. Yes, a free car is always awesome but these are athletes making millions of dollars here.
The first thing we looked at was the car itself, and the second was the player’s reaction to it. Because any free car is better than no car the first person on this list is Drew Brees, the MVP of Super Bowl XLIV who received no car. Since the Baltimore Colt’s Johnny Unitas won the NFL Championship MVP award back in December 1958 (pre NFL-AFL merger) every one of the game’s most valuable players has received a car. Except Brees. Blame the economy back in 2010 or just bad luck.
Jerry Rice was the MVP of Super Bowl XXIII, posting a monstrous 11-215-1 (catches, yards, touchdowns) line. Unfortunately Rice’s MVP car, the Subaru XT6, failed to impress him. "I want to thank Subaru for the car, but .. uh .. I've got so many cars now that I don't know what I'm going to do with a Subaru. Maybe I'll give it to my mom. She'll get a kick out of a Subaru." That was an excerpt from Rice’s acceptance speech. Ouch. But can you blame him? Sure it had a unique design, a 145-horsepower six-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive but it’s not exactly a car befitting an NFL superstar. Hopefully Rice’s mom liked it.
In 1972 Roger Staubach was named MVP of Super Bowl VI and received a Dodge Charger. The only problem was that Staubach had three kids and saw no need for a sports car. So he traded it for a station wagon. That means the MVP of the sixth Super Bowl drove off in...a station wagon. Cool. Side note: Can anyone imagine an NFL quarterback nowadays driving around town in a station wagon?
Doug Williams led the Washington Redskins to victory in Super Bowl XXII, going 18 of 29 for 340 yards, four touchdowns and one pick. Williams was given a Subaru XT for winning the game’s MVP award and while he wanted to love it his size eventually made him give it up. “I drove it for about six months. Then I signed it over to my brother, who probably drove it for eight years. I wish Subarus were as big back then as they are now.”
Hyundai’s agreement with the NFL regarding its sponsorship for Super Bowl 50 doesn’t include giving away a car to the game’s most valuable player. That means Cam Newton or Demaryius Thomas could walk away with keys to nothing at the end of the game. But if Hyundai does give away a car we might have a Jerry Rice situation on our hands. While Hyundai’s cars aren’t awful these are NFL players here. Do you think something like an Equus or Santa Fe excites them?! Side note: A big thanks goes out to Sports Illustrated’s Andrew Lawrence for his excellent history on Super Bowl MVP’s and their cars.