PUEBLO — This year in Super Bowl LV, there are plenty of connections to Southern Colorado.
The most notable: two former CSU Pueblo stars playing in the big game in the Buccaneers center Ryan Jensen, and the Chiefs Mike Pennel.
"What a special day for CSU Pueblo football," explained CSU Pueblo football head coach John Wristen. "What a special day for Mike Pennel & Ryan Jensen. I am going to enjoy every moment watching that like a proud papa watching that.
It's not every day a Division II school has not one, but two players playing in the biggest show on turf.
"It is probably unique that they are probably blocking against each other," add Wristen. "Mike is playing in their run situations, Ryan is snapping the ball to the GOAT, so he is the GOAT snapper."
These two men are guys who like the trenches and are inspired from a Southern Colorado town that knows how to be tough.
"I know Wristo and Simo and all the guys down there always wanted us to attack every day with that chip on our shoulder," said Jensen, prior to Super Bowl LV. "And I think that is what molded me into the player I am today."
It's that winning culture that got them to this stage.
As for who wins it all - well - proud papa Wristen has a favorite to win it all.
"I hope it goes into double overtime in the Super Bowl," said Wristen with a grin. "And Tampa Bay kicks a field goal, so Ryan Jensen can have a ring. Because Mike has a ring, I would love to have two super bowl rings that represent the Thunderwolves."
Wristen would end up getting his wish, as Jensen, Brady and the Bucs would win Super Bowl LV, 31 to 9.