Most fans will be rooting for either the Cincinnati Bengals or the Los Angeles Rams this weekend in Super Bowl 56.
Although enthusiasts of the New York Jets will be rooting for two key former players that have a chance at football immortality.
ALL the latest Jets news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Jets newsletter here!
Funny How Life Works
John Wolford was an undrafted free agent in the 2018 class. A smaller quarterback (6-foot-1, 200 pounds) with out much fanfare coming out of Wake Forest.
Despite that, he joined the Jets after the draft and was with them up until final roster cuts when he got handed his walking papers. Wolford then joined the Arizona Hotshots of the now-defunct Alliance of American Football league.
According to the advanced metrics, Wolford finished as the second-best quarterback in the league in the AAF’s lone season.
After the Alliance folded like a used lawn chair, he quickly got an opportunity to join the Rams. He bounced between the active roster and the practice squad but would finally get his chance late in 2020 when then starter Jared Goff got hurt.
Sean McVay pivoted to the relatively unknown Wolford who showed a lot of heart and helped the Rams clinch a playoff berth in the final week of the regular season by beating the Arizona Cardinals.
He would also start the next week in the wildcard round but suffered a neck injury after a collision with former Jets safety Jamal Adams and was brought to a local hospital.
After earning his stripes, Wolford has elevated to second in command as the primary backup quarterback behind Matthew Stafford. If God forbid the former No. 1 overall pick gets hurt, the Rams Super Bowl fate could lie in the hands of a former Jets quarterback.
While his career with the green and white was short and somewhat unspectacular, Wolford is a reason to root for the Rams in the big dance.
One Last Hoorah
The other Jets quarterback that has some skin in the game is the Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell.
O’Connell spent two different stints with the green and white during his short NFL playing career from 2008 through 2012. Although he transitioned to coaching shortly thereafter and is now about to become the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings.
That move isn’t allowed to be official until the Super Bowl is over, but the Vikings have already started interviewing other members of the staff to have things filled out.
O’Connell is only 36 years of age, but he is the exact prototype of the modern NFL head coach today. A brilliant offensive mind that has been around a lot of really smart people during his playing and coaching career.
This is one of those calculated and forward-thinking hires by the Vikings who are hoping to strike gold.
Although before he officially takes on that next challenge in his NFL career, O’Connell wants to bring home a Lombardi trophy and put a Super Bowl ring on his finger for the very first time.