February 1, 2011
Super Bowl XLV week is upon us and SMU's ties to the big game on February 6 at Cowboys Stadium are numerous, including plans to host Green Bay Packers practices, alumni and supporters connected to both teams, student volunteers, and — perhaps best of all — an alumnus who first coined the name "Super Bowl."
SMU alumnus Ted Thompson (’75) is executive vice president and general manager of the Green Bay Packers. He received the ‘George Young NFL Executive of the Year’ award from Sporting News in a vote of his peers in March 2008. He also enjoyed a 10-year playing career with the Houston Oilers (1975-84), becoming one of the most durable players in Houston annals by playing in 146 of 147 games, missing just one contest due to injury.
Emmanuel Sanders (’09), who helped the Mustangs win the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl in 2009, will be part of Super Bowl XLV history as a player for American Football Conference (AFC) champions, the Pittsburgh Steelers. As conference champions, the Steelers received the Lamar Hunt Trophy.
The late Lamar Hunt, an SMU trustee and alumnus ('56), founded the AFC in 1970 and coined the Super Bowl name in 1967 while he was chair of the Kansas City Chiefs. Son Clark (’87), an SMU trustee, now chairs the board of the Chiefs. He also serves on SMU’s Second Century Campaign Executive Committee, Athletics Campaign Committee and Cox School of Business Executive Board.
The Packers were scheduled to practice at SMU's Ford Stadium, weather permitting. The practices were to be closed to the public and access to the stadium limited.
No matter who wins the game Sunday, for the second year in a row an SMU alumnus will receive a Super Bowl ring. Last year, New Orleans Saints punter Thomas Morstead, who studied engineering at SMU, earned a ring.
Gene and Jerry Jones are SMU donors and parents of SMU students. Gene serves on the SMU Board of Trustees and Jerry owns Cowboys Stadium and the Dallas Cowboys football team. Gene also serves on SMU’s Second Century Campaign committee and several school and libraries’ executive boards. Daughter Charlotte Jones Anderson is on the Tate Board and son (John) Stephen Jones is on the SMU Athletic Forum Board. Son Jerral Wayne “Jerry” Jones, Jr. (’95) received his J.D. from SMU.
Alumnus Bill Lively (’65) is president and CEO of the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee. He spent 25 years in the administration of SMU, founding the Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series, the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies and SMU’s Athletic Forum. He also spent 23 years in service to the Dallas Cowboys and the National Football League, producing entertainment for Super Bowls XII and XIII.
Joining Lively is law alumna Kit Sawers (’93), the committee’s vice president of special events, who previously coordinated SMU’s Athletic Forum/Doak Walker Award and Tate Distinguished Lecture Series.
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay ('81), who established SMU's Irsay Family Scholars program, gave away tickets to Super Bowl XLV in a Twitter contest earlier this month.
Nearly two dozen SMU Sport Management students have been involved with a wide range of SuperBowl-related events, including:
- Organizing volunteers and assisting with the management of the Century in the Making pavilion at the Texas State Fair this past fall.
- Event management, fan development and volunteer coordination at the NFL Experience at the Dallas Convention Center.
- Event management and volunteer coordination at the Pepsi Concert Series leading up to the game.
- Working with the Super Bowl and Dallas Cowboys staff assisting with game-day media relations activities at Cowboys Stadium.
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