Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Hawkeye in the Super Bowl

For the third year in a row, the Iowa Hawkeyes will have a representative in the Super Bowl. In 2011 Green Bay offensive lineman, Bryan Bulaga will be representing the black and gold.

Bulaga left Iowa with one remaining in his college career. There were skeptics, but Bulaga took advantage of being a potential first round pick and was picked up by Green Bay as the 23nd pick. A quarter of the way into the Packers' season, the rookie was called upon and began a start streak that will continue with Sunday's Super Bowl.

Bulaga hit gold quick. Many veterans of the NFL don't make it to the NFL's premiere game. Bulaga will be part of the starting OLine in the 45th version of the Super Bowl.

And while it has been quoted in the of the Chicago media, Bulaga didn't necessarily grow up in the suburbs as a fan of the Chicago Bears. But when Bryan was at Iowa, many of our conversations were devoted to baseball and his love for the White Sox.

Since he came from the north side, I assumed he would be found in the friendly confines on a beautiful sunny day. But he wasn't and we continued to find a bond in disliking each other's baseball teams. Typically I wouldn't care about what Ozzie and his squad would be doing, but I kept an eye on their box scores to ensure I was able to fully discuss baseball with him. Although I don't think he had time to follow the Cubs, he would remind me of how much US Cellular, the home of the White Sox, is better that the Cub's home at 1060 W. Addison. Of course he liked Sox manager, Ozzie Guillen while letting me know how much better he is than the Cubs' Lou Pinella.

Now a short year after playing his final college game at the Orange Bowl, Bulaga is preparing for what may be the biggest game of his career. Reaching the Super Bowl is a long, tough road which comes with no guarantees. Green Bay wide receiver, Donald Driver hasn't participated in a Super Bowl during his twelve year career, but the rookie from Iowa has reached it in his first year.

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