Despite, obviously, the Cowboys' absence from the game, Super Bowl XLIV featured plenty of local flavor for the DFW area's football fans.
Garrett Hartley, a product of Southlake Carroll, set a new Super Bowl record for field goals of 40 yards or more, with three. He hit on 46-, 44- and 47-yard attempts, each of which were crucial, with the Saints playing catch-up through the middle stages of the contest.
Lake Highlands product Matt Stover, who was signed to kick for the Colts in October, after Adam Vinatieri suffered a knee-injury, fared slightly poorer, going one for two. His miss was on a 51-yard attempt, which he struck awkwardly and hooked left.
Possibly the greatest difference-maker of those with local connections was Thomas Morstead, the Saints' punter and kickoff specialist. Morstead provided the on-side kick that provided the Saints a scoring drive and the game a palpable shift in momentum. Morstead, who is from Pearland, played his college ball at SMU.
What's funny, or sad, depending on your perspective, is that both Super Bowl kickers grew up a short drive from Valley Ranch--and yet, the Cowboys struggled mightily to find a serviceable kicker in 2009. So perhaps in scouting the team's next place kicker, the brass will begin the search on a local level. That, or go out and sign the 42-year-old Stover who, as of last night, is a free agent.
Other North Texans on the Saints Super Bowl roster were backup Saints quarterback Chase Daniel also played at Carroll and Missouri, Remi Ayodele who played at S. Grand Prairie High School and Oklahoma. Of course, Saints head coach Sean Payton coached for the Cowboys under Bill Parcells and starting linebackers Scott Shanle and Scott Fujita played for the Cowboys.