Even though D.C. fans won't see their hometown team in the Super Bowl this year, lots of players have strong ties to D.C., Prince George's or Montgomery counties and Northern Virginia. Here are 8 Super Bowl athletes you can root for on Feb. 4, even though they play for the New England Patriots or the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Redskins didn't make it to the Super Bowl this year, but these eight NFL players built their careers in the D.C.-area.
The Patriots' cornerback is DMV-bred. He was born in D.C. and grew up in Silver Spring. He woke up at 6:30 a.m. to take the bus and Metro from Silver Spring to Gonzaga College High School, where he received financial assistance, according to
Cleveland.com. After graduating from Gonzaga in 2007, Bademosi attended Stanford and played for the Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns. Look for No. 29 on the field Sunday, and you'll find Bademosi. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Joe Cardona is a New England Patriots long snapper and a supply corps officer in the U.S. Navy Reserves. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis in 2015. In this photo, Cardona smiles after defeating the Steelers. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
Ronald Darby, whose Twitter bio simply reads "DMV," grew up in Maryland and attended Potomac High School in Oxon Hill. He suffered a gruesome injury earlier in his career, but is ready to bring it for the Super Bowl. "I know it's going to be crazy," he told
NBC Sports Philadelphia. "I know Philly fans are going to show up and it's going to be a crazy atmosphere, almost like it was here during the playoffs." (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Ricky Jean Francois of the New England Patriots is likely a familiar face to Redskins fans. Francois played for Washington's team in 2016 and 2017. You'll see him sporting No. 94 as the Patriots' defensive lineman. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
The Eagles' wide receiver was born in Baltimore but attended Wootton High School in Montgomery County and Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia.The 6-foot-4 player raised a python and a boa during his teen years, his NFL bio says. This year is Hollins' first in the NFL. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Eagles' defensive end Chris Long went to high school in Charlottesville and University of Virginia for college. It's not his first Super Bowl, either: Long was with the Patriots when they took home the Vince Lombardi Trophy last year. We'll see how he fares against his former teammates! Above, you can see Long with his son, Waylon, after the team defeated the Minnesota Vikings.
Even when he played football at DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland, Rodney McLeod was a standout. He helped his team earn second-team all-state and first-team all-conference honors before heading to University of Virginia. Every year, his Eagles' bio says, he hosts a free camp at DeMatha that focuses on football fundamentals and healthy living. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Torrey Smith played for the Baltimore Ravens for four seasons before moving to San Francisco then Philadelphia. Smith grew up in Virginia and went to high school in Stafford. He attended University of Maryland after he graduated in 2010, played four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. This won't be his first Super Bowl, either: Smith scored eight touchdowns in the Raven's 2012 season that ended with a Super Bowl win. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)