TEMPE, Ariz. -- Glenn Parker walked off the field after Super Bowl XXXV in Tampa Bay, Fla., and right into the record books.
It was his fifth Super Bowl and Parker became one of two players in NFL history to lose all five he played in, tying him for the most losses with Cornelius Bennett, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Thirteen years later it still stings, a ring -- even just one -- would be nice to have, but the losing hasn't consumed his life.
“You get a lot of questions, but in reality, how do you lose five Super Bowls? You play in five Super Bowls,” said Parker, who hosts the Arizona Cardinals postgame show after home games. “A lot of guys don't get one. I mean, I got chances.
“I'm really proud of the teams I played on. I'm proud of what I was able to accomplish. And while, yes, I'm bitter or I'm upset that I didn't get the victory but the perspective is: five times I made the run. Five times, I put my hat in the ring, I was in the fire. I walked off that field defeated but I was out there.”
He doesn't think about those games much anymore, just usually this time of year with the media hype surrounding the championship game swelling with two weeks of buildup, and when kids ask him about it. Other than that, it's just five highlights from a 12-year career that Parker hopes doesn't define him.
He wants to be remembered as a good father, husband and man.
Who just happened to lose all five Super Bowls he played in.
“I wish I would've found a routine that worked and won one,” Parker said.
The one that got away was No. 4 with the Bills, Super Bowl XXVIII in 1994 in Atlanta against the Dallas Cowboys. It was a repeat matchup but it was also the second time that season the two teams squared off. Buffalo won the first meeting 13-10 in Week 2, but in the Super Bowl, Thurman Thomas fumbled twice, one of which was returned for a touchdown that tied the game at 13. Dallas went on to win its second straight ring.
“That loss of momentum hit us like a ton of breaks,” Parker said. “The air went out (of everyone) and when that happens it's tough to get over it.”
For the next six years, Parker sat at home on Super Bowl Sunday, reliving every moment four times over. He ended his career with a perspective on the game that only a select few have.
For starters, he knows all too well what the chaos of Super Bowl week is like, from the mob scene at the team's hotel lobby to the decision by former Buffalo coach Marv Levy to relocate the Bills to an off-site hotel the night before the game.
He also prefers one week in between the game to the typical two, which happened in 1991 and 1993.
“If you win that (conference) championship game, boom you're on a plane the next morning, you're there,” Parker said. “The rhythm stays the same as it was prior. When you have two (weeks), it's really awkward. Everybody tries their own way.
“That first week was more like a bye week. You knew who the opponent was but you really went back to basics. Then you worked on the opponents. So you tried to stay in that same type of rhythm that you already established. It doesn't always work.”
Parker learned that the hard way.
When he finally got back to the Super Bowl after the 2000 season, he knew his luck was about to run out and made sure to enjoy that game. He spent more time with his family and friends, soaking in the atmosphere, basking in their stories about the circus surrounding the game.
But Parker also took his last crack at a ring more serious than he had in the past.
Not to say he wasn't dedicated in his four previous trips, he just pulled out all the stops.
“I didn't leave any stone unturned,” Parker said.
“I spent extra time in those meeting rooms watching film. I did so many things different that I thought, ‘Maybe this is the edge I need that we could win.' Superstitious. You're like, alright, yeah we were always there, yeah we always played well, but now what can I do differently? Like somehow me using a red pen instead of a blue pen helps.”
It didn't, but Parker isn't sitting around wallowing in his anguish. He's been to the Super Bowl. Five times. That's five more times than most players can say.