ST. LOUIS -- In all sports there are many athletes who never reached their respective pinnacles. Some of the greatest players in football, baseball, basketball and more never won the big one. Beyond that group, though, is another group of all time greats who never even so much as had the chance to win the big prize.
With the Super Bowl approaching this week, ESPN put together a list of 24 players who fit that category, great players who never had the chance to play on the stage of the Super Bowl. The list isn't necessarily the 24 greatest players never to reach the Super Bowl though it certainly includes some of the best. It also includes interesting characters and stories that would have made for some great fodder in the buildup to the game.
Two legendary Rams made the list as well as a popular St. Louis football icon. Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson and Hall of Fame defensive end Deacon Jones represent the Rams, while Hall of Fame offensive lineman Dan Dierdorf represents the football version of the St. Louis Cardinals.
It really is a shame that Dickerson and Jones never got the chance to play in the Super Bowl, especially Jones. Jones, who passed away last year, was a force of nature on and off the field. While he became one of the league's most popular players because of his on-field dominance, he also had personality to spare. Imagine Jones in today's NFL when sacks are kept as an official statistic and microphones are easy to find. Jones in a Super Bowl now would be one of the most interesting combinations you could find in sports.
Dickerson has always been willing to speak his mind on a variety of topics -- just last week he expressed his emotions over Justin Bieber's arrest -- and also would have been a big hit on the big stage.
Beyond that, let's face it, the Rams were rarely dominant enough during Jones or Dickerson's careers to merit a lot of national attention or opportunities for people all over the country to see them. That's not to say they were unrecognized or underrated, just that they were special talents that deserved the chance to play in the biggest game football has to offer.
A roundup of Monday's Rams stories appearing on ESPN.com. ... In the Ram-blings, we took a look at where the most successful quarterbacks come from in the draft and how that shapes the Rams approach to this year's draft. ... Next, we hit on the next in the series of NFL Nation Confidential with the reactions from players to the poll question "Would you play in a Super Bowl with a concussion?" . ... Next, we hit No. 3 on the plays that shaped the season list with a look at a long touchdown run from San Francisco back Frank Gore in week 4. ... Finally, we looked back at how the two Rams who made the Pro Bowl fared in this year's contest.
Here's Redskins reporter John Keim's news story on the results of the NFL Nation Confidential survey question.
Columnist Jeffri Chadiha writes that players should be more aware of possible health issues moving forward.
The Super Bowl mega chat featured players, coaches, analysts and more discussing all things NFL. Former Rams receiver Torry Holt was one of the participants.
At stltoday.com, columnist Bernie Miklasz takes a look at some reasons he believes Rams fans should root for Seattle in the Super Bowl.
Miklasz also offered up eight story lines to watch this week in New York/New Jersey.