This Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots will square off in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, and one name on the Eagles' roster may ring a bell with some local high school football fans.
On the Eagles roster is Brandon Brooks, a Milwaukee-native and alumnus of Riverside University High School.
His biggest fan is his mom, who lives in Mount Pleasant.
Behind every tough man, is a strong woman. In Brandon’s case, that’s his mom, Dorothy.
“Don't forget your roots and don't forget you weren't always at the top,” Dorothy said. “Whatever you decide to do, try your best at it.”
Those are just some of the things she instilled in her only child, who's ready to play in his first Super Bowl.
“I’m so nervous,” Dorothy said. “I’m trying to prepare for all this, and it’s just so much.”
Dorothy will be in Minneapolis too to support Brandon like she always has been. She loves sharing memories from his childhood. Like how when he was just three months old, he was wearing clothes for a one-year-old!
“He was like a sweet, fat little teddy bear,” she said. “I mean look at the rolls on him in that baby picture. He’s going to kill me!”
At 28, Brandon is now 6’5” tall and 340 pounds. But he's much more than football.
Dorothy is proudest of his kind heart, his bravery to share his struggles with anxiety with the world, and his strong mind. Brandon made sure to finish school and get his college degree from Miami University before going into the NFL. He still takes college courses, is learning Spanish, and completes internships in different fields, while a pro-athlete.
“I can’t even say how proud I am of that,” she said. “Education will open doors you never knew existed. Football is only one part of life.”
She set that example herself going back and getting her Master's degree while working full time when Brandon was in high school.
“I rarely missed a game,” she said. “I would bring my homework. He would laugh at me, until he got to college and realized how much work it is.”
This week, she's taking a few days off from her job at MillerCoors to go to the Super Bowl.
She showed us what’s she’s packing. Her suitcase is full of Eagles gear. She plans to wear her son’s jersey, that she gets his teammates to sign, while she waits for him outside the locker room.
“It always embarrasses him when I stand outside the locker room and ask other players to sign my jersey,” she said. “You know how he is. He’ll say ‘Why do you have to do that mom?’”
It’s because she’s never been prouder to wear anything in her life.
Dorothy says she’ll say a prayer before the game like she always does, then she will have fun in the crowd with fans.