Joe Looney, San Francisco 49ers, playing in Super Bowl XLVII

His family couldn't be more excited

Walk into the Looney household and you'll feel the excitement immediately.

The family of six is headed to New Orleans to see their son Joe Looney of the San Francisco 49ers play in the Super Bowl.

"I'm going down Bourbon Street, this street, that street. I'm going to have a ball," Joe's mom Marilyn exclaimed.

The Lake Worth family is not short on personality, nor are they short in stature.

"Oh you wouldn't believe my food bill," Marilyn laughed.

At one point Marilyn's son Joe, who is a rookie offensive lineman for the 49ers, was too big.

"When he was six-years-old, he was 120 pounds," Joe's father James said.

The average six-year-old is about 45 pounds so the local recreation football leagues wouldn't let the big kid play.

Not taking no for an answer, Joe's dad James went to Riviera Beach and talked to its parks and recreation director John Williams.  

"I got his blessing to bring my boy up and let him play with 8 to 12-year-old kids," James said

Joe had to play with kids twice his age.

The family took out an extra insurance policy to let their little offensive lineman play.

They also bought some heart medication.

"Although he was a big kid I still was nervous, you're talking about him playing with these inner city kids that are tough," Marilyn said.

"There were sometimes I had to turn my head and not look," James said. "It was one of those situations where he grew up fast."

In the blink of an eye, they went from watching worrying about their big little 6-year-old to watching their kid with the big hair play the Atlanta Falcons to go to the Super Bowl.

"I was crying, praying, cheering! Me and my husband did it all we were like 'oh my God,' " Marilyn said.

A crazy feeling considering, last year he suffered a terrible foot injury in college at Wake Forest.

"He was just so down, he didn't think he was going to heal," she said. "He didn't think he'd play again really."

What a difference a year makes.

"Now going from, 'Oh Mom I don't know if I'm ever going to play again' to going to the Super Bowl this year. It is very exciting…very exciting," Marilyn smiled.

Only a Super Bowl victory could make a family happier.


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