Gene Sapakoff is the oldest, fastest, hardest-hitting sports journalist in S.C. As columnist at The Post and Courier he covers Clemson, South Carolina and other interesting things. He likes food and has won the prestigious Judson Chapman Award 3 times.

Deebo Samuel (copy)

Former South Carolina Gamecocks wide receiver Deebo Samuel of the 49ers on Sunday against the Chiefs will continue in a long line of players with Palmetto State ties to take part in the Super Bowl. Ed Zurga/AP

So far, none of the 53 Super Bowls have been played on South Carolina soil. Alas, surprisingly few overtures from Myrtle Beach or North Charleston.

But Sunday’s Super Bowl, like so many others, will have a rich Palmetto State flavor including Gamecocks, Tigers and Bill Murray.

The Kansas Chiefs have Sammy Watkins, Dorian O’Daniel and Bashaud Breeland from Clemson, Rashad Fenton from South Carolina, Alex Brown from S.C. State and assistant coach Rod Wilson, a former South Carolina player from Cross who spent four years coaching at Charleston Southern.

The San Francisco 49ers have Deebo Samuel of South Carolina, a rookie wide receiver on his way to Pro Bowl status (a steal in your Super Bowl LIV MVP pool).

So please delay that shrimp and grits taco prep and take a Super Bowl quiz designed to test knowledge of state ties to the biggest annual sporting event in world history:

1. Quintin Tarantino’s Academy Award-nominated film “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” doesn’t include the Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie characters discussing the Kansas City Chiefs. But it is set in 1969, down to all the fine details except mention of the Chiefs’ impending run to Super Bowl IV that season.

Fifty years later, Kansas City is back in the Super Bowl, and which former South Carolina Gamecocks player wishes he could dramatically alter the Super Bowl IV ending?

a. Vikings defensive end Alan Page

b. Vikings safety Bobby Bryant

c. Vikings kicker Fred Cox

2. True or false: No quarterback from a South Carolina university has completed a Super Bowl pass

3. These three former Clemson players won two Super Bowl rings apiece as San Francisco 49ers:

a. Jim Stuckey, Dwight Clark and Archie Reese

b. Stuckey, Clark and Terrence Flagler

c. Stuckey, Clark and Obed Ariri

4. This former Citadel running back was a Pro Bowl special teams player who threw a key block to spring Desmond Howard on a kickoff return touchdown in Green Bay’s Super Bowl XXXI win over New England:

a. Everette Sands

b. Jack Douglas

c. Travis Jervey

5. S.C. State’s Alex Brown is such a great Super Bowl story, an undrafted rookie free agent who was cut by the 49ers (and Eagles and Jets) this season before sticking with Kansas City. He hopes to join Donnie Shell as a former S.C. State defensive back with a Super Bowl ring. How many rings did Shell win with the Pittsburgh Steelers?

a. 2

b. 3

c. 4

Rod Wilson, 'Groundhog Day'

6. Rod Wilson, a current Chiefs special teams coach, played five different positions at South Carolina and played in the Super Bowl for which team:

RodWilson (copy)

Kansas City Chiefs assistant coach Rod Wilson played at Cross High School and South Carolina and was an assistant coach at Charleston Southern. Rob Gantt/Independent

a. Bears

b. Saints

c. Colts

7. This former South Carolina cornerback made a game-sealing interception for the Patriots last year against the Rams in Super Bowl LIII:

a. Darian Stewart

b. Chris Culliver

c. Stephon Gilmore

8. Leroy Butler helped the Packers beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI and invented The Lambeau Leap. Before that, he was famous as a Florida State defensive back for what iconic play in a 1988 win at Clemson?

a. The Picket Fence

b. The Puntrooski

c. The Bobby Bowden Miracle

9. The Lambeau Leap was popularized by a song written by this former South Carolina and Packers wide receiver who played in two Super Bowls:

a. Sterling Sharpe

b. Robert Brooks

c. Sidney Rice

10. Lowcountry resident Bill Murray last week was filming a “Groundhog Day” themed Jeep commercial apparently to run during the Super Bowl. “Groundhog Day” was released in 1993. Which team won the Super Bowl that January?

a. Dallas beat Buffalo

b. Washington beat Buffalo

c. Alabama beat Buffalo

Sammy Watkins' quest

11. This Burke High School graduate started at wide receiver for the Raiders in their 38-9 victory over the Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII:

a. Oronde Gadsden

b. Zola Davis

c. Malcolm Barnwell

12. If Kansas City’s Sammy Watkins catches a pass Sunday, he will become the first former Clemson player with a Super Bowl reception since:

a. Dwayne Allen

b. Tony Horne

c. Dwight Clark

13. The last South Carolina native to catch a pass in the Super Bowl:

a. Rock Hill’s Cordarrelle Patterson

b. Camden’s Bobby Engram

c. Barnwell’s Troy Brown

14. The person with ties to a South Carolina university who has participated in the most Super Bowls as a player, assistant coach or coach:

a. Sam Wyche, Furman

b. Dan Reeves, South Carolina

c. Jeff Bostic, Clemson

15. Punter Max Runager is the only former South Carolina Gamecocks player to play for two different teams in the Super Bowl. Name the teams:

a. 49ers and Steelers

b. Eagles and 49ers

c. Eagles and Broncos


1. b.; 2. True (but Clemson’s Steve Fuller went 0-for-4 passing for the Bears in Super Bowl XX); 3. b.; 4. c.; 5. c.; 6. a.; 7. c.; 8. b.; 9. b.; 10. a.; 11. c.; 12. c. (Clark caught six passes for the 49ers against Miami in Super Bowl XIX); 13. a.; 14. b. (Reeves was in two Super Bowls as a player, three as an assistant coach and four as a head coach); 15. b.

Your ranking

0-5 correct: Try the halftime show quiz

6-9 correct: Practice squad player

10-12 correct: Solid NFL starter

13-15 correct: Hall of Fame-worthy.

Follow Gene Sapakoff on Twitter @sapakoff.