The journey to Super Bowl LVI started in some unexpected places for these football stars.
This year’s epic Super Bowl showdown between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals has us thinking about what it takes to become a player of this caliber. Not only is it the dedication, countless hours of practice and support of friends and family, but something else…
These players are all hometown heroes, and today we’re celebrating the great cities they hail from — cities that no doubt will be cheering louder than anyone on Sunday.
Los Angeles Rams
Matthew Stafford, quarterback
Why We Love Tampa: Tampa was once an underdog, but now the city is riding high. The city is one of the best places to live in America, thanks largely to the relatively low cost of living and welcoming community. But, of course, the stunning views from the Riverwalk don’t hurt either!
Baton Rouge, LA
Odell Beckham Jr., wide receiver
Why We Love Baton Rouge: One of the best tailgating cities and home to Odell Beckham Jr, it’s easy to understand that deep love of football runs in Baton Rouge’s blood. There are countless reasons to move to Baton Rouge, but the city’s mix of historical appreciation and modern-day amenities make it the perfect place to settle down.
Von Miller, outside linebacker
Why We Love Dallas: Sports lovers rejoice! Dallas is home to some of the best sports bars in the country, mouthwatering foods and the Rams Von Miller. Business is booming in this southern city and the schools, skyline and lack of a state income tax make it a great place to be.
Cooper Kupp, wide receiver
Why We Love Yakima: Talent is ripe for the picking in Yakima, WA. Not only does the state produce more than half of the apples in the nation, but stars like Cooper Kupp are also a product of this pacific northwest paradise. Thanks to its stunning views and booming business climate, Washington is a great place to live.
Aaron Donald, defensive lineman
Why We Love Pittsburgh: Steel City has it going on. Not only is Pittsburgh Aaron Donald’s hometown, but the city also ranks as one of the best places to live, top craft beer cities and the best place for first-time homebuyers.
Cam Akers, running back
Why We Love Jackson: Jackson is the capital of Mississippi and is one of the south’s crown jewels. Jackson has an incredible arts scene, is an important landmark for the Civil Rights Movement and has all of the southern charm you could dream of.
Matt Gay, kicker
Why We Love Orem: Affectionately known as ‘Family City USA,’ Orem, UT, has established a well-earned reputation for being a great place to live. Outside of that, the city doesn’t skimp on stunning natural beauty and affordability.
Van Jefferson, wide receiver
Why We Love Brentwood: Located just outside of Nashville, the booming Brentwood area is the perfect place to raise a family, thanks to its ample green spaces, safety ratings and superb schools. Van Jefferson is no stranger to the communities charm and was raised in the spacious suburb.
Austin Corbett, offensive lineman
Why We Love Reno: Reno is affectionately called “The Biggest Little City in the World,” and it’s a well-earned reputation: Reno has a strong economic engine and is spoiled with amenities from the resorts and casinos to the restaurants and an unparalleled craft beer scene. On top of all this, the Truckee River flows through downtown and residents can get to Lake Tahoe in 30 minutes or so.
Joe Burrow, quarterback
Why We Love Ames: Talent and opportunity intersect in Ames, IA. Not only is the city Joe Burrow’s hometown, but it is also considered to be one of the best places to live in America, a hotspot for remote workers and a favorite college town.
Warner Robins, GA
Trey Hill, center
Why We Love Warner Robins: Home to one of the largest air force bases in the country, Warner Robins, GA, is a city steeped in history. Perfect for history buffs, recent college grads and those just looking for a change, the greater Robins Region is the place to be.
Logan Wilson, linebacker
Why We Love Casper: Caper is the second-largest city in Wyoming and this gorgeous town packs quite a punch. Offering scenic views of the Laramie Mountain Range and the North Platte River, Casper provides a great backdrop for families and those with a passion for the outdoors.
Sam Hubbard, defensive end
Why We Love Cincinnati: Sam Hubbard’s hometown of Cincinnati is dripping with an east-coast-meets-midwest charm that can’t be beaten. With all of the amenities of a major city at a fraction of the cost, Cincinnati is one of the best places to live in America, thanks to its foodie scene, appreciation for the arts and entrepreneurial spirit.
D’Ante Smith, guard
Why We Love Augusta: Is Georgia on your mind? Us, too. Internationally famous for hosting The Masters every spring, the sweet southern city of Augusta is a historical haven. The city is the birthplace of The Godfather of Soul, James Brown, and is a city with a deep appreciation for Black history. So whether you’re an entrepreneur or art aficionado, Augusta is a great place to call home.
Mike Thomas, wide receiver
Why We Love Chicago: Opportunities are endless in the ‘Windy City.’ Mike Thomas’ hometown is the perfect spot for pizza lovers, bookworms and people crazy for the Christmas season. Whether it’s a walk along the shores of Lake Michigan, an afternoon exploring the more than 75 neighborhoods dotting the city or sipping on a cocktail, you’ll never run out of things to do here.
Brandon Allen, quarterback
Why We Love Fayetteville: This charming city in northwest Arkansas is home to the University of Arkansas and more than 86,000 residents. Residents can take advantage of 37 city parks, 84 miles of trails and tons of other places to experience the great outdoors. Fayetteville is a great spot to raise a family, live a more sustainable life or take in the arts. Plus, the region will even pay you to move there!
Wyatt Hubert, defensive end
Why We Love Topeka: As the capital city of Kansas, Topeka is full of things to do and provides residents with first-class attractions, art galleries and performing arts venues, expansive parks, nature trails and excellent schools…all at a relatively low cost of living.
Fort Wayne, IN
Jessie Bates III, safety
Why We Love Fort Wayne: Jessie Bates’ hometown of Fort Wayne is a sports lovers’ dream. The city is home to three different minor league teams and is located in the Hoosier state. Fort Wayne is the most populous city in Indiana and has a top-notch library system, a strong economy and is one of the best places to live in the state.
Virginia Beach, VA
Zach Kerr, nose tackle
Why We Love Virginia Beach: Nestled at the meeting point of the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, Virginia Beach has it all — beaches to beat the crowds, delicious food that is locally sourced and, if you’re expecting, it’s the perfect place to have a babymoon. Plus, the city is one of the Best Places to Live in America!