Winder reflects on USM
By By Jeff Byrd / staff writer
May 14, 2002
Nine-year NFL veteran and former Southern Mississippi standout Sammy Winder was on hand Monday to play in the East Central District's Jeff Bower Eagle Club Alumni Golf Tournament here at Northwood Country Club.
Instead of attacking NFL defenses, Winder now attacks dirt. He owns and operates Winder Construction in Jackson. In between his schedule, Winder says he relishes opportunities to help out his alma mater.
USM also helped develop his business knowledge and that's something he uses every day in running his company.
While the job takes up his time, Winder says he still tries to stay in touch with many of his former teammates both with the Denver Broncos and USM.
Winder was Denver's starting tailback for six of his nine years there, including three starts in the Super Bowl. He was also an on-the-field witness to one of the great moments in NFL history.
It occurred in January 11,1987 at the old Municipal Stadium in Cleveland. Down 20-13, the Broncos had the ball on the two-yard line with just 5:43 remaining. But in this time, John Elway became a legend, driving the Broncos 98 yards for a game-tying drive. It's still referred to as "The Drive," to this day.
They repeated as AFC champs the next year but were crushed in the Super Bowl by the Washington Redskins. They went one more time in 1990 but were blown out by San Francisco at the Superdome.
All three of the Super Bowl losses were hard, but for Winder, the hardest was the 42-10 loss to the Redskins.
Despite the losses, Winder looks back fondly on his career.
Denver finally tasted Super Bowl glory when Elway and Terrance Davis helped lead the Broncos to NFL titles in 1998 and 1999. Winder was glad to see his old quarterback and the town of Denver enjoy the success.
And Winder was proud to be a Bronco.