Hailing from a school that has produced Canadian Prime Ministers and Nobel Prize winners; astronauts and Academy Award winners; Rhodes scholars and Stanley Cup champions, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, has a chance to do what no other McGillian has ever done before: win the Super Bowl.
Yesterday, the 6-foot-5, 321-pound native of St. Hilaire, Que., anchored the Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive line en route to a 35-24 win over the Tennessee Titans in the AFC championship game. Duvernay-Tardif and his teammates will face the NFC champion San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV in Miami on February 2.
In 2006, Jean-Philippe Darche became the first McGill grad to play in the Super Bowl, but his Seattle Seahawks lost 21-10 to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“The most interesting man in the NFL”
Duvernay-Tardif has been making headlines since he was drafted 200th by the Chiefs in 2014 – often called “the most interesting man in the NFL.” In 2018, he walked across the stage during Convocation to accept his Medicinae Doctor et Chirurgiae Magister (doctor of medicine and master of surgery) from Principal Suzanne Fortier, making him the first active NFL player to earn a medical degree.
The NFL has been criticized for not allowing the star lineman to put Dr. Duvernay-Tardif on the back of his jersey. Instead, during televised games, he introduces himself as “Docteur Duvernay-Tardif. Université McGill.”
Working toward being the best
Just minutes after yesterday’s game ended, RDS reporter Didier Orméjuste asked Duvernay-Tardif about the challenging road he has taken from McGill med student to the NFL’s biggest stage.
“It’s an incredible feeling. For six years I got up every morning and done everything possible to become the best possible athlete, the best possible football player, and the best possible student,” said a jubilant Duvernay-Tardif. “It’s a dream come true to be able to [play in the Super Bowl] – the biggest sporting event in the world! It’s a privilege.”
Turning to the camera, Duvernay-Tardif gave a shout out to all his fans back home. “Thanks to everyone in Montreal, Quebec and Canada for your support, said Duvernay-Tardif, pointing at the camera. “Just feeling wave after wave of your positive energy – in the good times and in the hard times – has helped me play better. Thank you everyone!”
The McGill Reporter profiled Laurent Duvernay-Tardif when he graduated in 2018.