Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner reacts after an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Seahawks won 23-0. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Super Bowl notes: Bobby Wagner’s friend becomes rival
Super Bowl notes » Broncos’ Bolden got the Seattle LB into football.
First Published Jan 29 2014 04:57 pm • Last Updated Jan 29 2014 11:16 pm

Newark, N.J. • If linebacker Bobby Wagner helps the Seattle Seahawks win Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVIII, a Denver player will take some of the blame.

Broncos defensive back Omar Bolden is largely responsible for Wagner’s becoming a football player at Colony High School in their hometown of Ontario, Calif.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Wagner, who would go on to Utah State, was a good basketball player, and the football team needed a linebacker. "I literally went into the gym and told him, ‘You’ve got to come play football.’ … I don’t know why; I just thought he’d be good," Bolden said.

Wagner proved to be "a tackling machine," said Bolden, who played at Arizona State. "It didn’t take much, man. Fundamentals were out the window. Everything he was doing was natural instincts."

Hard-earned jewelry

BYU product Brady Poppinga may have not have matched the other star power in the room during the Fox Sports media availability session, but he may have been wearing the biggest Super Bowl ring. Poppinga earned it as a Green Bay Packers linebacker three years ago, although he was on injured reserve.

That status doesn’t diminish the achievement, as he looks back. "I gave ligaments, bone, blood, sweat, tears … I felt I was just a part of it as any of the guys out there, because of what I gave up," he said.

Poppinga considers himself part of the Packers’ modern foundation, as a member of general manager Ted Thompson’s first draft class in 2005. So the Super Bowl triumph over Pittsburgh was "the culmination of all that; it wasn’t just one game," he said.

Poppinga, who went on an LDS Church mission to Uruguay, will be the analyst for Fox Deportes during the first Spanish broadcast of a Super Bowl by a U.S. network. Chad Lewis, another former BYU player, once analyzed the Super Bowl for a Chinese audience.


story continues below
story continues below

Ring for a Ram?

Highland High School product Haloti Ngata won the Super Bowl with Baltimore last year, and former Rams teammate Stewart Bradley could receive a ring with Denver. Bradley had wrist surgery in August and was placed on injured reserve after being hurt in a preseason game against Seattle. Bradley, a linebacker who played four seasons in Philadelphia and two years for Arizona, had signed with the Broncos as a free agent.

The original No. 18

Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning would have needed to change his jersey number upon arrival in Denver, except Frank Tripucka insisted that he wear it. Tripucka, the father of former Jazz forward Kelly Tripucka, had his No. 18 retired as Denver’s original starting quarterback in the AFL from 1960-63.

Tripucka, who lived in New Jersey, died in September at 85. Manning met with his family the following weekend when the Broncos visited the New York Giants.

kkragthorpe@sltrib.com



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.