The Super Bowl is happening this weekend and millions will be watching. Among the elite players who have made it to football's biggest night is a Canadian named Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. Not only is he starting for the Kansas City Chiefs, he also happens to be a medical doctor.

The Quebec-born McGill graduate will be taking the field as an offensive lineman.

There's something else that makes Duvernay-Tardif special: he's the only medical doctor to ever play in the Super Bowl. On top of that, he's actually the first medical doctor to play in the NFL at all.

He earned his medical degree from McGill University, only after being unable to get into French-speaking medical schools (not for any academic reason, though. He accidentally missed the deadline to apply to them).

The team allowed him to complete his clinical rounds in the offseason, as he was drafted while still in his third year of school. He graduated in 2018.

"When I stepped on that stage at McGill University and got my MD last year, it was probably the best moment of my life -- after the one I'm going to live (Sunday)," Duvernay-Tardif told CNN.

Only two players have ever entered the NFL from McGill's football team. The other one was Randy Chevrier, who was drafted in 2001 by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

 

Duvernay-Tardif will also be in elite company for another reason. While 15 Canadians have played in previous Super Bowls, only four of them have been starters (excluding kickers and punters).

That includes Seattle Seahawks tight end Luke Willson, who was on the starting line up in Super Bowl XLIX against the New England Patriots. He also almost played for the Blue Jays before going back to football.

Oddly enough, Duvernay-Tardif's backup, Ryan Hunter, is also a Canadian. Born in North Bay, he could potentially become the 17th Canadian to play in the Super Bowl if he is put into the game.

The pressure will be on for the entire team on Sunday, but they'll be cheered on by at least one very prominent Canadian: Justin Trudeau, who told reporters he's supporting the Chiefs because of their connection to Canada.

"As a McGill grad, I'm very excited to see a right guard from McGill who happens to be a doctor as well, it's a source of pride for all Canadians," he said. 

Start the Conversation
Account Settings
Notifications
Favourites
Log Out