With the Vikings' miracle win on Sunday night, former Bearcat Eric Wilson's team advances to the NFC Championship Game to face fellow Bearcats Jason Kelce and Brent Celek. This means the Bearcats have clinched an appearance in the Super Bowl on the NFC side. This got me thinking: How many recent Super Bowls have featured a Bearcat on a roster? As it turns out: A lot, especially since 2006. Here's a run down of UC's current 13-year run. (All rosters via Pro Football Reference. Other research via Wikipedia.)
Rookie Andre Frazier was on the roster of the 2006 champion Steelers. He was an undrafted signee, but was activated from the practice squad prior to the first game of the season. He appeared in 11 of the team's games that year, but suffered a fractured fibula in the AFC Championship Game, making him unable to play in the Super Bowl. Bearcats: Win.
Rookie Tyjuan Hagler was a member of the Indianapolis Colts for Peyton Manning's Super Bowl win for Indy. Hagler was a fifth-round pick and recovered a fumble on a kickoff in the Super Bowl. Bearcats: Win.
Mike Wright played for the Patriots in 2007-08, getting action in nine games before going in injured reserve on December 13th. Bearcats: Loss.
After a stint with the Bengals, Andre Frazier re-joined the Steelers and made it back to the Super Bowl in 2009. Bearcats: Win.
Veteran Troy Evans was a member of the New Orleans Saints for their 2010 Super Bowl trip. He was the special teams captain that year, and got to call the coin toss in the Super Bowl. Tyjuan Hagler was still with the Colts that year, representing the AFC on the losing side. Bearcats: Win.
Second year player Brandon Underwood was a Packer in 2010-11, playing in 12 games. Bearcats: Win.
Mike Wright made it back to the Super Bowl with the Pats in 2012. He started the season opener, but suffered a concussion. After a second concussion later that season, he did not return to play. He was cut after the Super Bowl loss, ending his NFL career 0-for-2 in the championship with both losses coming against the Giants. Bearcats: Loss.
For the first time since the 2005 Super Bowl, the game did not feature a Bearcat on either team's roster, although former Bearcat coach John Harbaugh was Baltimore's head coach in their win.
Second-year player Derek Wolfe was a Bronco in 2013-14. Wolfe's sophomore year was riddled with serious health problems stemming from a spinal cord injury in the preseason. He returned to play 11 games but was eventually placed on injured reserve following a seizure. The Broncos lost to the Seahawks in the Super Bowl without him. Bearcats: Loss.
Second-year player Kenbrell Thompkins made his way to the Patriots in 2013. He caught four touchdowns for the Pats that season, including a game winner. In their 2014-15 Super Bowl season, Thompkins was cut by the Patriots in October. He was immediately picked up by the Raiders, but New England reached the Super Bowl without him, beating the Seahawks. Unfortunately, although he was a Patriot that year, I can't count Kenbrell Thompkins as a Bearcat win. Bearcats: N/A.
Derek Wolfe was healthy for the Broncos' run this year, recording three solo tackles, two assisted tackles, and half a sack in the Broncos' Super Bowl win over the Panthers. Bearcats: Win.
No Bearcats appeared on either roster.
The Bearcats have clinched a spot in this year's Super Bowl. The game will feature either Eric Wilson and the Vikings or Jason Kelce, Brent Celek, and the Eagles. Bearcats: TBD
A former Bearcat player has been on a Super Bowl roster for nine of the last 12 Super Bowls. In those nine games, a Bearcat has been on the winning side six times.
They'll make their 10th appearance in 13 Super Bowls this year, looking for their seventh win in that span. OhVarsity! will be rooting hard for the NFC this year.