Every Super Bowl, I have some form of connection with at least one of the teams in the game.
Early in my career at Sports Illustrated, I covered 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh when he was the starting quarterback in Indianapolis. One shoot in particular sticks in my memory. As a coach, Harbaugh is known for being tough to interview. As a player, at least with me, he was great. Not only did he give me as much time as I needed, but he took me out for breakfast -- at Cracker Barrel.
Harbaugh reading the paper at home.
Then in October of last year, Laura and I, along with Sports Illustrated Senior Writer Tim Layden, did a story on the four kickers in NFL history who have kicked 63 yard field goals. David Akers of the 49ers is in this elite group.
David not only gave us as much time as we needed, he brought his family in to meet us. We had so much fun with them, we shot their Christmas card while we were there.
People always ask me who my favorite sports teams are. My answer: I like people, not teams. David Akers and Jim Harbaugh are two of those people. They were gracious and easy to deal with, and so I hope they do well.
Over the years, I have covered more than 25 Super Bowls. For tomorrow's game I'll be Amsterdam bound to judge the World Press Photo competition, but I will definitely be checking in on the action in NOLA -- as soon as I land.