A northwest Iowa woman is beaming with family pride after seeing her little brother, all 300 pounds of him, hoist the Super Bowl trophy in New Orleans last weekend.
Katie Yanda's brother is Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Marshal Yanda. She was one of 15 family members who traveled to New Orleans to sit in the Superdome stands and help cheer the Ravens to victory. Despite a few setbacks, Yanda wants to do it all over again, next year.
Yanda's trip to The Big Easy was anything but easy. She came home with a bag full of Super Bowl souvenirs, but Yanda's luggage ran the wrong route on the flight to New Orleans.
"Luckily, I had the two essential things: I had a toothbrush, capris and my Ravens jersey. So I wore my Ravens jersey for the first 24 hours, which was fine," Yanda said.
But lost luggage wouldn't stop the Yandas' winning ways at the Super Bowl. The family was excited when the Ravens jumped out to a big early lead, only to have the stadium lights go out during the second half.
"Everyone thought, were you freaking out? What were you doing? I got like 25 text messages, are you in the dark? The lights are out. So eventually, I just turned off my phone because I'm like, if I win, I want to be able to celebrate with my phone, my battery's going to die," Yanda said.
This family pass got Yanda onto the crowded playing field after the game to celebrate the victory with her brother.
"I was kind of dodging all the reporters and the cameramen, almost down on my hands and knees trying to get through them and saying excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, with no real regard to them because I was just trying to get to my brother. And so right before the trophy presentation, I got right next to him and gave him a big hug. He was covered in sweat and I was covered in sweat, but it was a moment I will never forget," Yanda said.
Yanda is confident of a Raven repeat. She expects the team and her brother to play again in next year's Super Bowl in New Jersey, where she plans to pack along an extra battery for her cell phone, just in case there's another outage.
"Go Ravens," Yanda said.
Yanda says her brother Marshal will undergo surgery on his shoulder on Monday. She says he plans to spend several weeks ice fishing, as part of his recovery.