For Tom O'Brien, deciding who to root for in Super Bowl XLVIII is a bit complicated. The 'Hoos Associate Head Coach for Offense has four former players in the big game, three on the Seahawks and one on the Broncos.
"It's better if you only have guys on one team, then you can really root hard," he said. "Generally for the Super Bowl, I root that it's a great game and it's decided at the end. I hate it when it's over by the middle of the third quarter."
O'Brien coaches three current Seahawks players while at North Carolina State, including quarterback Russell Wilson.
"He was always very athletic and he always had a great work ethic," he says of Wilson. "He's a great kid, great leadership."
O'Brien also coached Seahawks kicker Steven Hauschka and J. R. Sweezy, an offensive lineman for Seattle. On the other side, Broncos linebacker Nate Irving played under O'Brien in his time with the Wolfpack. The former head coach says he's taken the time to remind all his former players to enjoy the experience of playing on football's biggest stage.
"That's what they've spent every moment since they were probably in junior high school doing, working hard to achieve this moment. I texted all of them 'hey, enjoy the moment. Who knows if you're going to get back there? Who knows what's going to happen in the future? Enjoy you're time there and best of luck, and stay healthy.'"