the game

All-Time Senior Bowl Team

Twenty-six of the greatest names in NFL history make the elite club chosen by fans as part of the game's 50th Game Celebration

  • Seventeen Pro Football Hall of Famers.
  • Fifteen players with at least one Super Bowl ring.
  • Players who finished their careers as the all-time rushing and interception leaders.
  • A Heisman Trophy winner.
  • Dominating performers regarded by many as the best to ever play the game.
  • Legend after legend after legend.

A fantasy team?

No, it's the 50th Anniversary Senior Bowl All-Time team, announced by game officials after counting thousands of ballots from fans who voted in the spring of 1999 as part of the game's 50th Anniversary Celebration.

And a quick glance at the players who made the team reads like a "Who's Who" of all-time college and pro football greats.

Joe Namath. Walter Payton. Steve Largent. Jerry Kramer. Ed "Too Tall" Jones. "Mean" Joe Greene. Ray Nitschke. Franco Harris. The list goes on and on, and they serve as the perfect reminder of the game's impressive history which helped ignite the celebration of five decades of Senior Bowls.

Fans were asked to vote for the players based on their entire football careers -- both collegiate and professional -- and not simply their performance in the Senior Bowl, although many of the players who made the team also enjoyed outstanding Senior Bowl games.

The most hotly-contested race was for the game's best-ever quarterback. With four of the greatest signal callers in NFL history -- Joe Namath, Terry Bradshaw, Dan Marino and Brett Favre -- vying for the top spot, fan balloting was pretty evenly split among the impressive quartet.

Namath, who passed for 246 yards in the 1965 game and was the first player in NFL history to throw for more than 4,000 yards in a single season, edged out Bradshaw, a fellow member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and MVP of the 1970 game, 1,230 votes to 1,066.

The team's leading vote getter was kicker Morten Andersen, who easily led all kickers with 3,116 votes or 76 percent of the total votes cast.

Other top vote getters were the NFL's all-time leading rusher Walter Payton at running back; Pro Football Hall of Famers Steve Largent at wide receiver, Gene Upshaw at offensive line and Joe Greene at defensive line; former Alabama All-American and Dallas Cowboys great Lee Roy Jordan at linebacker; and 1998 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Paul Krause, the NFL's all-time interception leader, at defensive back.

Even though the group of players who made the elite team represents many of the greatest players to ever play the game, the list of players who didn't make the team stand as perhaps an even greater testament to the quality of players who have played in the Senior Bowl since its inception.

Seven members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame -- Bradshaw, Doak Walker, Frank Gifford, Jim Taylor, Kellen Winslow and Sam Huff -- were on the ballot but didn't garner enough votes to make the team, while two other Hall of Famers -- quarterback Len Dawson and linebacker Joe Schmidt -- didn't even make the final ballot. The NFL's all-time leading passer, Dan Marino, didn't make it, nor did several other NFL greats such as Thurman Thomas, Sterling Sharpe, John Stallworth, Alex Karras and Dick Anderson, just to name a few.

Since 1950, nearly 5000 of the top senior college stars have played in Mobile's annual talent showcase. From that list of names, a master ballot of the game's best-ever players was submitted to National Football League coaches and general managers. Their votes were then calculated to determine the names which appeared on the official ballot from which fans selected the all-time team.

All-Time Senior Bowl Team

(As Selected by Fan Voting)


QB Joe Namath Alabama 1965
RB Walter Payton Jackson St. 1975
RB Bo Jackson Auburn 1986
RB Franco Harris Penn St. 1972
WR Steve Largent Tulsa 1976
WR Lynn Swann USC 1974
WR Art Monk Syracuse 1980
TE Ozzie Newsome Alabama 1978
OL Gene Upshaw Texas A&I 1967
OL Jerry Kramer Idaho 1958
OL Mike Webster Wisconsin 1974
OL Randall McDaniel Arizona St. 1988
OL Tom Banks Auburn 1970


DL 'Mean' Joe Greene No. Texas St. 1969
DL Ed 'Too Tall' Jones Tennessee St. 1974
DL Bubba Smith Michigan St. 1967
DL Jack Youngblood Florida 1971
LB Lee Roy Jordan Alabama 1963
LB Ray Nitschke Illinois 1958
LB Derrick Thomas Alabama 1989
LB Ted Hendricks Miami 1969
DB Paul Krause Iowa 1964
DB Dale Carter Tennessee 1992
DB Albert Lewis Grambling 1983
DB Roger Wehrli Missouri 1969
K Morten Andersen Michigan St. 1982

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