Former USC Trojan Malcolm Smith’s 2014 began like a fairy tale, but a repeat performance in the 2015 Super Bowl between the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots would be the thing of legends.
In the 2014 NFC Championship Game, the role-playing linebacker caught the game-ending interception off Richard Sherman’s tip which sent the Seattle Seahawks to the Super Bowl.
That alone might have been enough to sustain NFL memories for a lifetime, but Super Bowl XLVIII was the gift that kept on giving. In the second quarter, Smith’s 69-yard pick six, his fourth interception in five games, all but sealed the deal on the Big Game rout.
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Smith finished the game with ten tackles, a fumble recovery and the interception touchdown and became just the ninth defensive player to be awarded Super Bowl MVP.
The odds that he’ll do it again? 100/1.
Here’s some perspective on that: Stephen Gostkowski and Steven Hauschka, the kickers for the Patriots and Seahawks respectively, have 75/1 odds.
To be fair, Smith’s role with the Seahawks remains limited.
This season, he has yet to intercept a pass, but he has forced two fumbles and notched 40 tackles. In the playoffs his contributions have been muted, with just three tackles.
Ken Norton Jr. calls him a “fourth starter”, making him a sixth man of sorts.
As such, he only starts when circumstances command it, whether that be injury or the necessity of playing the nickel defense, which was part of his major involvement in last year’s Super Bowl.
With that in mind, it makes sense that his chances of putting in a repeat performance are slim.
Making the possibility even less probable is that fact that only five players have ever won multiple MVPs. Bart Starr, Terry Bradshaw, Tom Brady and Eli Manning each won it twice. Joe Montana won it three times. No defensive player has ever hoisted the MVP trophy twice.