Mark Rypien is a Canadian-born former professional quarterback. He played college football at Washington State, where he met adversity but pulled through, elevating himself to NFL greatness.
Rypien was drafted by the Washington Football Team in the sixth round of the 1986 NFL Draft. He was the first Canadian-born quarterback to both start in the NFL and be named Super Bowl MVP, doing so in Super Bowl XXVI with the Redskins. He was also a member of several other NFL teams. His nephew Brett has also played in the NFL. Rypien spent his first two years as a professional on the Redskins' injured reserved list, first with a bad knee in 1986, then a bad back in 1987. Rypien was best known for his phenomenal accuracy as a deep passer. 1991 was Rypien's best season; he threw for 3,564 yards and 28 touchdowns with 11 interceptions, leading the Redskins to Super Bowl XXVI after recording a 14-2 regular season record. He was named the MVP of the game, passing for 292 yards and 2 touchdowns and leading his team to a 37-24 win over the Buffalo Bills.
In 11 NFL seasons, Rypien completed 1,466 of 2,613 passes for 18,473 yards and 115 touchdowns, with 88 interceptions. He rushed 127 times for 166 yards and 8 touchdowns. Rypien had a brief stint in NASCAR racing as a team owner, and was the original owner of the 2004 Nextel Cup championship-winning No. 97 team driven by Kurt Busch, having sold it to Jack Roush's Roush Racing in 1997.