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Eight Is Enough

One member of the New Orleans Saints who you may have seen in the waning seconds of Super Bowl XLIV, but probably didn't recognize, was Scott Shanle. The linebacker was closing in on Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne, who dropped Peyton Manning's final pass of the game and sealed New Orleans' first-ever Super Bowl victory. Steve Borer certainly recognized Shanle, though - and he called me this morning to make sure I knew who he was, too.

eight-man football and has compiled books on the subject. He watched Shanle, a seven-year NFL veteran out of the University of Nebraska, play running back and defensive back for St. Edward (Neb.) High School's eight-man team while earning All-State and Player of the Year honors. Believe it or not, Borer says Shanle is the third eight-man player out of Nebraska to wear a Super Bowl ring. The other two? Shanle's little brother, Andrew - who also played for St. Edward and was on the practice squad for New York Giants team that won Super Bowl XLII - and Randy Rasmussen, a starting right guard for the New York Jets in Super Bowl III. "People say, 'Oh, well, it's just eight-man football.' Yeah, it is," Borer once told me, defending the smaller-roster game. "But it's still blocking, running and tackling, and those kids are out there getting a chance to participate in a great all-American game."

And maybe even win a Super Bowl.

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