As far as I’m concerned SB Nation’s “Underdog Week” could have been called “Kurt Warner Week.”
In my mind, Warner is the greatest underdog story in NFL history and in the same zip code of the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” United States Olympic hockey team in terms of iconic underdogs.
But Vince Ferragamo was the original great Rams’ underdog.
Ferragamo became the first quarterback to start a Super Bowl in the same season that he made his first NFL start. Warner, of course, became the second quarterback to do it.
Ferragamo took over for the injured Pat Hayden late in the 1979 season. Ferragamo led the Rams, who were just 9-7 and a major underdog themselves, to road playoff wins at Dallas and at Tampa Bay to go to the Super Bowl.
The Rams were handled by Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XIV. In the end, Ferragamo couldn’t do what Warner did and bring the Rams a Super Bowl title, but he has a place in Rams’ lore.
Ferragamo went on to lead the Rams to the playoffs in 1980 as the starter. He remained with the Rams through 1984 and was the starter through 1983.
While he will likely never be remembered as a great Rams’ quarterback, they wouldn’t have gone to their first Super Bowl without him — so Ferragamo certainly deserves a place as a great underdog in team history.