BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — No matter who wins, Western New York will have a Super Bowl champion. There are local ties to both the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs teams playing Feb. 12 in Glendale, Arizona for the Lombardi Trophy.
Jody Fortson, tight end: South Park graduate who also played for Erie County Community College already has a championship ring as practice squad player for Kansas City in Super Bowl LIV, and in college as a wide receiver with Division II Valdosta State. Was activated from injured reserve (elbow) before AFC title game, playing in postseason for first time in two seasons on Chiefs’ active roster. Has nine receptions for 108 yards and two touchdowns this season. Didn’t score a touchdown in high school.
Nick Sirianni, head coach: Jamestown native in his second season coaching Philadelphia, played for his father Fran Sirianni at Southwestern Central, where his brother Jay later coached. Started coaching career at Division III power Mount Union, and got his first NFL job with the Chiefs in 2009, working with another WNYer Brian Daboll. Spent three seasons as Colts offensive coordinator under coach Frank Reich, the former Bills quarterback.
Brett Kern, punter: Grand Islander signed with the Eagles on Dec. 13 after injury to starter Arryn Siposs, punting in four regular season games and both playoff wins. Went to three Pro Bowls and was an All-Pro in 2010 during 13 seasons with Titans. Before that played two seasons with Broncos after All-MAC career at Toledo.
Tyree Jackson, tight end: Former University at Buffalo quarterback who spent 2019 preseason with the Bills went on IR in December after hurting his knee for the third time in two seasons since changing positions with the Eagles. Caught a touchdown during the 2021 preseason.
Dave Caldwell, senior personnel director: St. Francis graduate making his second Super Bowl appearance in 27 NFL seasons. General manager of the Jacksonville Jaguars for eight seasons before joining the Eagles in 2021, was an area scout for the 2007 champion Colts.
Alex Tanney, assistant quarterbacks coach: Spent rookie minicamp with the Bills in 2012 and one day on the practice squad in 2015, after achieving viral fame for trick-shot videos while setting NCAA D-III touchdown passes record at Monmouth. Started NFL career with the Chiefs as undrafted free agent in 2012. Joined the Eagles last season as offensive quality control coach.
Scott Kaniecki, administrative assistant to head coach: Grand Island native who played collegiate football as a wide receiver at Brockport from 2004-2007. Joined the Eagles staff in the 2022 offseason after spending seven years with the Cleveland Browns organization. Was a quality control coach at Indiana University of Pennsylvania from 2008-2011 where he crossed paths with Eagles coach Sirianni, who was on the Crimson Hawks’ coaching staff in 2008.
Jonah Bronstein joined the News 4 roster in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. Read more of his work here.