The first player to say “I’m going to Disney World” after winning the Super Bowl wasn’t the only one paid to do so that dayFebruary 5, 2021
When you wish upon a star, sometimes it makes a difference who you are.
Before Super Bowl XXI, Disney agreed to pay two opposing quarterbacks $75,000 dollars each to say they would go to Walt Disney World if they won the Big Game. Phil Simms and John Elway got the same check, but the New York Giant wound up going to Mickey Mouse’s kingdom.
“Phil Simms, you’ve just won the Super Bowl” a 1987 Disney ad read, “what’re you doing next?” You bet your ass he went to Disney World. Shit, for $75K you’d go anywhere too.
Simms was the first NFL player to start the tradition. Later that year, more championship athletes committed to go to the theme park. After leading the Los Angeles Lakers to an NBA championship, Magic Jonson said he was “going to Disneyland.” And in the fall of ‘87, Frank Viola told cameras he was “going to Disney World” after winning a World Series with the Minnesota Twins.
The magical tradition has held up in the NFL pretty much since then.
FOX’s Terry Bradshaw asked the famous question to Patrick Mahomes as soon as he won last year’s Super Bowl MVP. “[This is] something I wanted to say my whole life,” Mahomes said as orange and red confetti rained down on stage, “I’m going to Disney World!”
The last time Tom Brady won a Super Bowl MVP, his teammate, James White, wound up taking the trip to Florida. But Brady did travel with Super Bowl LIII MVP, Julian Edelman, in 2019.