Preparation is the road to victory for the Rams in Super Bowl LII, now just nine days away.
And one super fan says he’ll be front and center in Atlanta. If you’ve ever seen a Rams game, there’s a good chance you’ve seen Matthew Valdez and his fellow flag-bearers.
“You grab the flag when they make the touchdown, wave ’em out there, make sure every fan and every opposing fan sees it,” he said.
But there was no guarantee that he’d be able to go with the team to their first Super Bowl, after the return to Los Angeles, until a couple of nights ago.
“I called my dad up and I told him, like, ‘guess where I’m going?'”
The team had given him the green light, an all-expenses paid trip to Atlanta, bearing that flag for a worldwide audience of tens of millions.
For a young man whose family has more than a passing interest in the Rams, it was a dream come true. To say the Valdez family is made up of Rams fans would be an understatement.
His dad, Ralph, has a Rams Room, complete with a signed jersey by Kurt Warner.
“I’ve been a fan since 1967… or when I was born,” he said.
Ralph Valdez is not going to the Super Bowl to be with his beloved team.
But he insists that’s OK, even though it’s crossed his mind more than once.
“Never been to a Super Bowl,” he said. “Never. It’d be nice to go.”
He’s got other things to do that night, he says, like host a thousand fans at a Pico Rivera viewing party. He is a little envious of his son, but seeing the flag on TV is all he needs to see.
“The first thing I’ll look for,” he said. “And I’ll probably be in tears.”
Added Matthew: “He’ll see me out there, on TV, and he’ll say, ‘That’s my son. That’s my son out there.'”