HOUSTON (WPRI) — After joining the Patriots last spring, Chris Long is gearing up to play on football’s biggest stage for the first time.
The Super Bowl will truly be a family affair on Sunday as his son, Waylon, watches from the stands and his father watches from the sideline as a member of the Fox broadcast team.
“To now have a son who’s not only playing for the Patriots, contributing, and playing in the Super Bowl, is surreal,” said Howie Long.
The NFL Hall of Famer and Massachusetts native played in Super Bowl XVIII as a member of the Los Angeles Raiders 33 years ago, defeating the Washington Redskins 38-9. Back then, the big game wasn’t quite as big as it is today.
“I took a cab to the game with Lyle Alzado and walked last three quarters of mile to the stadium,” Long recalled.
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Chris said he received some advice from his father about how to handle the situation.
“He just told me to keep things in perspective, enjoy it,” said the 31-year-old defensive end. “Don’t let the moment just fly by and be so into your work that you can’t just take a step back and be like, ‘hey, it’s pretty cool we’re all here, we’ve earned it,’ and go have fun.”
Chris and his wife have an 11-month-old son, who now gets to watch his dad play for a ring of his own.
“Chris was born two years after my Super Bowl,” said Howie. “For Megan and Waylon to be here and experience Super Bowl LI and watch his dad is so special. It really is.”
Despite Waylon being less than a year old, Howie said he has a fast 40 time and all the intangibles to be the next Long in the NFL.
Fox will have a piece featuring Howie and Chris during the pregame show on Sunday, according to Howie.
Watch the Patriots take on the Falcons on Feb. 5 on Fox Providence. All this week, Eyewitness News is bringing you all the sights and sounds leading up to the big game with live reports from Yianni Kourakis and Kelly Sullivan in Houston.