Starks with older brother at Super Bowl 45
BUFFALO, N.Y. - "It was extraordinary," said Lillie Hall of Niagara Falls, in summing up her experience this past weekend in Dallas where the Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers to win Super Bowl XLV.
While just about anyone who is able to witness a Super Bowl in person could say the same thing, in Hall's case you'd have to also realize that her son , James Starks, was the starting running back for the victorious Packers to begin to appreciate how special the experience was.
Starks, a graduate of Niagara Falls High School and the University at Buffalo, finished the game with 11 carries for 52 yds. for the new world champions.
By Monday morning, when she stepped off a plane at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, it was evident Ms. Hall had yet to step off of cloud nine.
"When they do the big introduction of the players at the Super Bowl, it's enough to give anyone in the stadium butterflies in their stomach," Hall told WGRZ-TV.
"But then when I saw my son running out ...of course it got different. I started screaming, I started yelling, ...and when they won..it was amazing," she remarked, in relating an experience few if any of us could ever hope to realize.
Hall also recalls fondly being able to leave her seat and enter the field to join in the wild celebration involving her son and his teammates.
"Two family members can go on the field, so James' older brother Quin and I were the ones who got to go. When I reached him I had tears in my eyes. I just hugged him and told him I loved him, and he told me 'I love you too, Mommy'," Hall said.
Starks' brother, Sanquin, was also overjoyed in the occasion.
"When I finally got to him I just gave him a big old hug, and I told him I was real proud of him. He had a big smile, ...he was laughing and said, 'I told you I was gonna do it, I told you i was gonna do it!' "
As she left the airport with a suitcase full of fond memories, Hall said it was an experience she'd highly recommend to any mom...or anyone for that matter.
"I can't even describe the feeling. All I can say if anyone ever wants to go through or experience what I experienced just go to a Super Bowl game. It is awesome."
Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster confirms he's looking forward to giving Starks the key to the city, but says no firm date has been set. He expects that might occur in late spring or early summer.
Click on the video player to watch the story from 2 On Your Side Reporter Dave McKinley and Photojournalist Scott May.