Barry Wilburn

Year Honored:
Washington Red Skins


When you look back on a professional athlete’s career, often one season stands out above the rest, referred to as a “career year.” Memphis native Barry Wilburn’s career season most definitely came as a Washington Redskin in 1987-1988. It did not take long for the heroics to unfold, when in his first game, Wilburn recorded a fourth-quarter interception at the Redskin four-yard line, stopping a Philadelphia threat. So began a year that would find Wilburn leading the NFL with nine interceptions while earning first team AP All-Pro honors. Each passing week seemed to bring new heroics, as Wilburn became the master of the “Big Play.” Against Minnesota, he stepped in front of a Wade Wilson pass on the goal line and raced 100 yards for a touchdown and a new Redskin record. There were interceptions in six consecutive games at one point. He also recorded eleven tackles against the Eagles in week eight of the season. The playoffs were simply a continuation of Wilburn’s superb play, and the Super Bowl, a culmination. He intercepted two John Elway passes in the championship game. The first came at the Redskin twenty-one yard line to thwart a second quarter Bronco threat. And any hopes the Broncos had of a comeback were erased in the second half when Wilburn stopped the first Denver drive with another interception. And the rest is history. Barry Wilburn now owns the ultimate – a Super Bowl ring that he “intercepted” during his career year of 1987-1988.

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