Monday, February 06, 2006

‘’Willie the mystery’’ ceased the moment and made history…..

When we thought we have seen it all, there comes Willie Parker and gives us something to remember. History was made at the Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan on February 5, 2006 when running back Willie Parker of the Pittsburgh Steelers ran 75 yards for a touchdown on the second play of the second half against Seattle Seahawks, the longest run in Super Bowl history. This was one yard longer than Marcus Allen’s touchdown run for the Los Angeles Raiders in 1984 against Washington Redskins. The Pittsburgh Steelers needed every little shred of history they could get their fingers on to craft a one for the books ending on Sunday, beating the Seattle Seahawks 21-10 in the Super Bowl XL. The electrifying 5-10, 209-pound, looked as though he should have strutted into the NFL last year as a first round draft choice rather than someone who was an undrafted rookie forced to scratch and claw his way into the Steelers’ 53 man roster. Willie Parker was an undrafted rookie free agent who signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2004 on the recommendation of scout Dan Rooney Jr., the son of team chairman Dan Rooney. The youngster began to climb the depth chart when he carried 46 times for a team leading 202 yards during the 2004 preseason. And then he played sparingly before a big effort in the regular season finale allowed him to make another strong impression. His 102 yard effort on 19 carries helped pace a 29-24 victory that dashed the host Buffalo Bills’ playoff hopes. Fast Willie played for Clinton High school in North Carolina; in his junior year he led them to the state title, and in his senior year he ran for 1,801 yards, and led the team to the playoffs. Willie Attended the University of North Carolina and signed as free agent with the Steelers in 2004. Willie the Mystery spent the 2004 NFL season as a backup player behind Jerome Bettis, Duce Stanley and Verron Haynes. Due to injuries to Bettis and Staley, he was named the Steelers’ starter before 2005 season. Moments after the Rolling Stones rocked a Ford Field, Willie Parker broke a record 75-yard touch run. Alan Faneca pulled and made the block that sprung fast Willie for the TD. The Steelers’ leading rusher this season with 1,202 yards, he was limited to 11 yards on six carries in the first half. Bill Cowher said at halftime the Steelers had to stay with the run, and they did so by getting Parker free on a second and 10 play. ‘’ I just knew it was going to be a great play,’’ said Parker,’’ they called it at the right time, and Faneca just Paved the way.’’

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