The journey to Super Bowl LV started in some unexpected places for these football stars.
This year’s epic Super Bowl showdown between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 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.
Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes, quarterback
Why We Love Tyler: Less than 100 miles east of Dallas, Tyler is America’s Rose Capital, one of the best places to live in Texas and the birthplace of some amazing breweries, public art and Patrick Mahomes.
Darwin Thompson, running back
Why We Love Tulsa: Living in Tulsa is like scoring a touchdown. Whether you’re a freelancer or a star running back like Darwin Thompson, the city provides opportunities and entertainment for all.
Stefen Wisniewski, guard
Why We Love Pittsburgh: Steel City has it going on. Not only is Pittsburgh Stefen Wisniewski’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.
St. Louis, MO
Khalen Saunders, defensive tackle
Why We Love St. Louis: Looking for a city to start a business, view wildlife or cash in on some free goodies? Look no further than St. Louis. Khalen Saunders’ hometown is continuously evolving but remains an affordable, fun place to live.
Eric Fisher, offensive tackle
Why We Love Rochester: Not only is Rochester Eric Fisher’s hometown, the city is also part of the Detroit metro area and is an idyllic town that combines both hip and historical.
Virginia Beach, VA
Derrick Nnadi, defensive tackle
Why We Love Virginia Beach: 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.
Martinas Rankin, offensive tackle
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 charms you could dream of.
Mike Pennel, defensive tackle
Why We Love Aurora: Adventurers can rejoice! Aurora is the perfect home base if you love golf (the city has half a dozen public golf courses!), it’s one of the most vibrant cities in the country and is known for its affordable house market.
Harrison Butker, kicker
Why We Love Decatur: The motto of this charming city is ‘Everything is Better in Decatur,’ and boy does Decatur live up to its name! One of the best places to live in Georgia, the community has more than a dozen public parks and endless opportunities for fun as it’s one of the country’s best beer cities.
Mike Remmers, offensive tackle
Why We Love Portland: With a rich history of supporting both men and women’s sports, it’s no surprise that offensive tackle Mike Remmers calls Portland his hometown. Plus, Portland is the perfect home-base for remote workers.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
San Mateo, CA
Tom Brady, quarterback
Why We Love San Mateo: About 20 miles south of San Francisco is San Mateo, CA. The tech industry is booming here, but families, like Tom Brady’s, find it’s the perfect place to call home because of its tight-knit community and abundance of job opportunities.
Rob Gronkowski, tight end
Why We Love Amherst: Gronk and his four (you read that right, four!) brothers were born in Amherst, a suburb of Buffalo. The city is both affordable and full of fun.
New Orleans, LA
Leonard Fournette, running back
Why We Love New Orleans: The living is easy in the ‘Big Easy.’ Leonard Fournette’s hometown of New Orleans is known for its boisterous Bourbon Street, beignets and breeding Tampa Bay’s running back.
O.J. Howard, tight end
Why We Love Prattville: Nicknamed the ‘Fountain City’ for its abundance of artesian wells and abundance of waterways, Prattville is overflowing with fun. The Bucs tight end O.J. Howard hails from this small Alabama city with the most charming downtown and an affordable housing market.
Ke’Shawn Vaughn, running back
Why We Love Nashville: Music City is the place to be! Nashville may be most known for its music scene, but the city goes all out for sports and even hosted the NFL Draft in 2019, so it is no surprise that the city raised all-stars like Ke’Shawn Vaughn.
Antoine Winfield Jr., safety
Why We Love Columbus: Antoine Winfield’s hometown Columbus consistently ranks on our annual list of the Top 100 Best Places to Live and it’s easy to see why! Like Winfield, the city knows a thing or two about winning and is home to the Ohio State Buckeyes football team, who have won eight championships.
Mount Vernon, IA
Tristan Wirfs, offensive tackle
Why We Love Mount Vernon: Located just outside of Iowa City, is the picturesque town of Mount Vernon, known for its tree-lined streets and historic uptown district. The town is the perfect place to visit during a road trip and has an amazing foodie scene.
Shaquil Barrett, linebacker
Why We Love Baltimore: Baltimore is an ideal place to grow up – whether you’re a travel addict, freelancer or even a professional baller like Shaquil Barrett or part merman like Michael Phelps. While you’re in town, be sure to grab some of the city’s famous crab cakes.
T.J. Logan, running back
Why We Love Greensboro: If you love craft beer and hate traffic, then T.J. Logan’s native Greensboro is the perfect spot. Located in the heart of the Piedmont region, Greensboro is the third-largest city in North Carolina and one of the top towns in the Tarheel State.
Cameron Brate, tight end
Why We Love Naperville: Naperville is known for being one of the most notable suburbs of Chicago and raising homegrown talent like Cameron Brate. The city is a great place to visit and has a vibrant downtown. A popular spot is the Naperville Riverwalk, a 1.75-mile pathway along the DuPage River’s West Branch. It is often called the city’s ‘crown jewel,’ featuring bridges, fountains, outdoor sculptures and artwork for visitors to enjoy.
Tyler Johnson, wide receiver
Why We Love Minneapolis: In 2019, Minneapolis was ranked #13 on Livability’s Top 100 Best Places to Live list and it is easy to see why. Not only is Minneapolis the hometown of Tyler Johnson, but the city also has more than 30 breweries, an abundance of arts to enjoy and lives up to its trademark ‘Midwest nice.’
Illustration by Cara Sanders.