The Super Bowl was played in New Orleans, but had a little bit of an Iowa feel.
It's been a long journey for Marshal Yanda; from working on a farm in Iowa to starting for the Baltimore Ravens.
Marshal's mom, Ruth Byrd, says growing up, football was never in the picture for the Anamosa native; let alone playing in the Super Bowl.
"When he played football in grade school, he didn't play a lot of football," says Byrd. "He played a lot of basketball."
Once he began playing football in 7th grade, that's when he started to find his true passion. In high school, his passion that needed a little push.
"I was harder on him," she says. "If you don't put effort in something you're not strong at, to show these guys that are looking at you, they're going to look over you - it's not going to make a difference. He wanted to be a Hawkeye. But what kid doesn't want to be a Hawkeye. Your dream is to be a Hawkeye football player."
But Marshal didn't have the grades. It wasn't until after two seasons playing at North Iowa Area Community College that the offensive lineman finally got the call to come be a Hawkeye.
"We worked more towards Iowa," Byrd adds. "We got to Iowa, ‘hey that's pretty good.' You've done pretty well, maybe the NFL."
In fact, the NFL did call; the Anamosa native was drafted in the third round by the Baltimore Ravens in 2007. A move that, at first, Marshal's mom wasn't happy about.
"Baltimore, Maryland, somebody looked it up on the computer and said it was 14 hours away. And I was like 'oh,'" she groans.
But in the end, it's all been worth it. Ruth says playing on a football field is exactly where her son is meant to be.
"You're outside and you're on the grass. When he was on the farm he was always outside, you couldn't contain him," she says. "He was just always outside running, having fun."
And watching him play in the NFL exceeded her wildest dreams.
"Set an example for everyone else, but yet have fun at it," says Byrd. "And that's why its so fun to watch him do this and achieve these crazy goals."
One interesting side note, Yanda was selected to the Pro Bowl this year. But because he played in the Super Bowl, he couldn't attend.
His mom says it was a great feeling canceling her trip to Honolulu and going to New Orleans.
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