This Sunday in the Super Bowl, we have a re-match of Super Bowl XLII, Patriots-Giants from four years ago. Locally and nationally, however, this game doesn’t have quite the same sizzle as it did in February of 2008.
Do you remember the drama surrounding that season? New England went into the Super Bowl undefeated and they were trying to to match the perfect season of the 1972 Miami Dolphins. The pursuit of the undefeated season was as big a story as the game itself.
Locally our state also had great interest in state native Randy Moss. Moss, a former DuPont High School star, and Tom Brady were a record setting, unstoppable combination for the Patriots that year. We have not had that many state natives play in the Super Bowl, although Wheeling native Chuck Howley was the MVP of Super Bowl V. Moss is also considered the Greatest High School Football player to ever play in our state.
We don’t have any state natives in this year’s game either. But we do come close, very close, maybe just missing by a mile or two. New York Giants running back star Ahmad Bradshaw played collegiately at Marshall. He grew up in Bluefield, Va., right next to the state line, and he played his high school football at Graham High School there. Graham is a long time high school rival of the Bluefield Beavers and Bradshaw played many games at Mitchell Stadium in Bluefield.
I was at Super Bowl Media Day in 2008 and I jokingly asked Bradshaw if playing in the Super Bowl was as big as playing in a Graham-Bluefield game. He smiled and said, "The Super Bowl is big, but I don’t know if it’s as big as Graham and Bluefield."
So let the talk and hype begin. Today is Media Day at the Super Bowl in Indianapolis. Let the stories flow.