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XXXV reasons Florida is the center of the football universe

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 28, 2001

XXXV Pop Warner Super Bowl held annually at Disney's Wide World of Sports.

XXXIV Five college bowl games in the state.

XXXIII Hall of Famer Pete Pihos, a six-time Pro Bowler in the 1940s and '50s, from Orlando.

XXXII Hall of Famer Larry Little, two Super Bowl rings with Dolphins, former Bethune-Cookman coach.

XXXI Everyone else's players come from here through the Florida recruiting pipeline.

XXX World's Largest Cocktail Party annually in Jacksonville between Florida and Georgia.

XXIX George Mira, two-time college All-American at UM, from Key West.

XXVIII Anthony Carter, 16.0 yards a catch in NFL, from Riviera Beach.

XXVII Six mythical national high school titles by state teams.

XXVI The Orange Bowl, home to some of the greatest college and pro games ever.

XXV Hall of Famer Ted Hendricks, eight-time Pro Bowler, three-time All-American at Miami.

XXIV Four NFL players (Reidel Anthony, Fred Taylor, Jimmy Spencer, Willie Jones) from Glades Central High in Belle Glade alone.

XXIII Joe Namath's Super Bowl III guarantee was in Miami.

XXII Michael Irvin, national champ at UM and all-time Cowboys receiving leader, from Fort Lauderdale.

XXI City of Miami is the hometown of 25 players on NFL opening day rosters.

XX Hall of Famer Deacon Jones, Rams DE from Eatonville; he coined the term "sack."

XIX Bob Hayes, the world's fastest Pro Bowl receiver, from Jacksonville.

XVIII Miami and Tampa Bay in the NFL's playoffs this season.

XVII Warren Sapp, 1999 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, from Apopka near Orlando.

XVI Don Shula.

XV-XIII (tie) Bobby Bowden and Steve Spurrier.

XIV Deion Sanders, from Fort Myers.

XII Emmitt Smith, from Pensacola.

XI The repeat Super Bowl champion 1973 Dolphins.

X-VII (tie) University of Miami national collegiate titles in 1983, '87, '89 and '91.

VI Florida State national title in 1993.

V Florida national title in 1996.

IV Florida State national title in 1999.

III The unbeaten 1972 Dolphins.

II Coaches of top five teams in final Associated Press college ranking played or coached in Florida.

I The Super Bowl is at Raymond James Stadium!

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