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is a former professional American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...
player who was drafted by the San Diego Chargers
The San Diego Chargers are a professional American football team based in San Diego, California. they were members of the Western Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...
in the 2nd round (33rd overall) of the 1992 NFL Draft
The 1992 NFL Draft was the procedure by which National Football League teams selected amateur college football players. It is officially known as the NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting. The draft was held April 26–27, 1992. The league also held a supplemental draft after the regular draft...
. A 5'11" cornerback-safety from Fresno State University, Pope played for 5 teams in 10 NFL seasons from 1992 to 2001. His best year as a pro came during the 1996 season for the San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers are a professional American football team based in San Francisco, California, playing in the West Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The team was founded in 1946 as a charter member of the All-America Football Conference and...
, intercepting 6 passes with 1 touchdown. During his pro career, Pope was known to be among the hardest hitters in the NFL.
Pope is the only National Football League player in history to play on all California teams (San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland). He also inspired the Marquez Pope rule, which states that a fumble recovered by a defensive player will be spotted at the spot of the recovery, not where the player's momentum leads him. This occurred because in 2000, Pope recovered a fumble by Seahawk Ricky Watters, but a rainy field at Husky Stadium in Seattle caused him to slide into his own end zone with the ball, which lead to a safety for the Seahawks.