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Western New York has 3 Super Bowl connections this year; Fortson a champion

The Eagles had head coach Nick Sirianni of Jamestown and punter Brett Kern of Grand Island. The Chiefs had Buffalo's Jody Fortson, who is now a 2-time champion.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Some longtime NFL dreams are coming true on Sunday, as three people with connections to Western New York are on Super Bowl rosters.

For the Philadelphia Eagles, there's head coach Nick Sirianni from Jamestown and punter Brett Kern from Grand Island. Kern did not play Sunday, after the Eagles activated punter Arryn Siposs from injured reserve.

The Kansas City Chiefs have Jody Fortson from Buffalo, who is now a two-time Super Bowl champion after a 38-35 victory.

Fortson already had one ring as a Chiefs practice squad player from the 2019 championship. This time around he was on the active roster, playing behind All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce.

Earlier this week, 2 On Your Side's Ron Plants talked with Fortson's high school coach at South Park High in Buffalo. Sparks coach Tim Delaney said Fortson hasn't forgotten his Western New York roots, and that he speaks with players about what it's like to not be recruited or drafted, yet still making it to the NFL.

"It's been really good for him, and really good for our kids to see, for our kids to see somebody that came up through our program, the same way they did," Delaney said. "To go on and have such success, and I think it's really good for him to be able to give that message back to younger kids."

Former Erie Community College Scott Pilkey remembered Fortson's moves and body awareness.

"His over-the-shoulder grabs. His ability to adjust on the fly on the sidelines and still get both feet in. We just saw him on film and said, 'This kid's going to play on Sundays," Pilkey said, adding that he wouldn't be surprised to see Fortson score a touchdown on the game's biggest stage.

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