Broncos' Lenon takes long and winding road to Super Bowl

Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:36pm EST
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(Reuters) - There are many roads that lead to the Super Bowl but few are as bumpy as the one traveled by Denver Broncos linebacker Paris Lenon, who has survived two failed leagues and a team that set the standard for NFL failure.

The only NFL player left from the defunct XFL, Lenon has taken on a bit of a "Last of the Mohicans" notoriety in the buildup to Sunday's Super Bowl where the Broncos will take on the Seattle Seahawks at a frigid MetLife Stadium.

"I don't think it sunk in to the point at all," Lenon told reporters. "I think you have to appreciate every year you're in this league and not to make light of this situation at all, but first of all, you appreciate the position that you are in being a professional athlete.

"This is an added bonus to be in the biggest game."

The 36-year-old's path to the NFL's championship game reads more like a Super Bowl odyssey than a road map, an epic journey that has spanned continents and forgotten leagues.

From working in a mailroom at the U.S. Postal Service, to NFL Europe, the XFL and eight NFL teams over 14 seasons, the undrafted Lenon has paid his dues.

The brainchild of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) impresario Vince McMahon, the XFL had a brief but colorful one-year run before disappearing as quickly as it had appeared.

The Amsterdam Admirals and NFL Europe are also now part of the gridiron graveyard but Lenon's career lives on.

"I've been hearing a lot of that (being the last XFLer)," smiled Lenon. "I think it's a cool story, but other than that, I don't really think about it that much."   Continued...

Denver Broncos linebacker Paris Lenon speaks during a news conference at Cornucopia Majesty Ship in New Jersey, January 27, 2014. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz