The hype is building for the Super Bowl on Sunday. There are several local connections between Michiana and the Giants and Patriots.
Tim McDonnell just finished the most intense part of his year: National Signing Day.
He says, "It's been a little hectic."
Tim is a part of football royalty. His uncle is John Mara, the owner of the Giants.
Mara says, "I've told him on numerous occasions, he definitely drank the Kool-aid because he is definitely Notre Dame through and through. As dedicated as he is to Notre Dame, he still has a lot of Giant blue in his heart."
McDonnell is so dedicated that even in the craziest times of recruiting, he squeezed in a cross country trip to California to see the Giants in the NFC Championship game.
McDonnell says, "We had an official visit weekend, running around crazy for that, got up early Sunday morning, drove to Chicago, got on a plane, flew to San Francisco, saw the championship game, and got on the red eye to get back to work Monday morning to continue the recruiting process."
And it was in the postgame celebration that Tim's grandmother made some national headlines.
"I was actually in the locker room standing on a trunk looking at the stage watching the whole thing unfold, and I saw the whole thing: her walk in and walk right up to the stage. And I said 'oh boy.’ She definitely was going after Terry Bradshaw. I knew that was coming, and no one was going to stop her."
Ann Mara broke her shoulder the day after the championship game, but she is toughing it out and is in Indianapolis, and her grandson has joined her.
"Don’t have to hop on a plane this week."
The Mara's will be in full force. Sixty family members will be at the game.
There in spirit will be Tim's grandfather, Wellington, the Giants patriarch who passed away in 2005.
"I was very close to my grandfather growing up. I don’t think there's a day that goes by that I don't think about him. Obviously, I wish he was here, especially the last one, a great win that was for the franchise. Every single day, and especially moments like this, you just think how much fun he would have had and enjoyed it."
WNDU is your home for Super Bowl XLVI.
You can catch the game on Channel 16 on Sunday. We will have live game coverage starting at noon.