New England Patriots' running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis will have his mother in the stands for Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis. That's not a huge deal. But what is mind-boggling is all the trips she took to get there.

Green-Ellis began playing competitive football 12 years ago at the high school level in New Orleans before heading off to college at Indiana University and Ole Miss. Then he caught on with the Patriots. During that entire journey, his mom, LaTonia Green, has missed only one game. Now factor in the fact that she's been away from her son, living in Minnesota, for the past 17 years.

Green went off to the University of Minnesota to study while her only son was just in elementary school, but the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports she wouldn't let the distance between them stop her from supporting him.

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Maybe because it's the Super Bowl, and the New England Patriots are back for the fifth time in 10 years, that I called Doug Blevins.

Doug can't walk. Cerebral Palsy took that away, so he rides everywhere in a motorized wheelchair. But if it wasn't for Doug, Adam Vinatieri wouldn’t exist -- at least the Adam Vinatieri we know. And without Vinatieri, there might not be the kick in the snow against the Raiders or the kick against the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI.

And then maybe a decade of Patriots dominance never happens. Which might make Doug the most essential person you've never heard of in the New England dynasty.

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New York Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes has been given a surprising opportunity to recreate his unusual pre-game ritual in the lead-up to Sunday’s Super Bowl showdown with the New England Patriots.

Tynes has often calmed his nerves before big games by going outside to hand wash his car, a superstition that began during his college career at Troy University and continued into the professional ranks.

With the Super Bowl being held 700 miles from his New Jersey home, Tynes, who booted the winning field goal to defeat the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC championship game, thought he would miss the opportunity to complete his lucky routine this weekend.

But local car dealer Pat O'Brien of O'Brien Toyota -- ironically located in the Indianapolis suburb of Lawrence -- stepped forward with an offer to give Tynes and his team a helping hand on game day.

"He is very welcome to come down here and we will let him wash any car he wants," says O'Brien, whose family-run business has been in operation since 1933, in a telephone interview with "It might be in the 20s on Sunday though, so it might not be the best idea to do it outside."

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One of our nation's finest just got a well-deserved second shot at a football dream.

Justin Aysse starred as a tight end and defensive lineman at Downey High in Southern California, and got looks from then-Pac-10 schools such as Oregon, USC and Washington. But he figured his dreams of playing big time college football were over because of poor grades. He dropped out of school and decided to join the military.

"At that time in my life," Aysse told, "I didn't think I was ever going to play football again. And I was heartbroken."

But following four years proudly serving his country as a member of the United States Marine Corps in Iraq and Afghanistan, Aysse enrolled at Long Beach City College and began playing on the offensive line. The now 6'5", 285-pound lineman drew interest from schools such as Texas State, Hampton, Utah and Eastern Kentucky.

Right before he was about to choose which program he would join, San Diego State "came out of the blue" with interest in the junior college transfer.

"It's a pretty cool school and you can't beat the year-round weather," Aysse told "I spent a little time in San Diego when I was training to become a Marine, so I'm familiar with the weather. It's also a veteran-friendly school and I think I can draw a lot of Marine Corps and naval support as far as the fan base goes just from being out there and being a former Marine myself."

Aztecs coach Rocky Long gave Aysee, 25, a full-ride scholarship, and the vet planned to sign with SDSU bright and early Wednesday morning. He's expected to have a chance at playing right away because of a lack of depth on the San Diego State offensive line.

"I'm being blessed to get a second opportunity, go to a D-I school and continue to play ball," he told "I'm going to play until the wheels fall off."

Whatever happens on the field, after fighting in two wars, we know Aysee is confident his Marine training will pay off.

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"I've been to Iraq and I've been to Afghanistan on both combat deployments," Aysse said. "Unless I'm going up against Dwight Freeney or Michael Strahan, I'm not really worried about who I'm going up against. Everybody can be beat."

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