Idaho's connection to Superbowl XLVIII

Boise's Tyler Wright will pilot his Blackhawk Helicopter over Met Life Stadium for Superbowl XLVIII

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by Matt Standal

Bio | Email | Follow: @KTVBMatt

KTVB.COM

Posted on January 31, 2014 at 3:37 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 31 at 5:17 PM

BOISE -- To say Annie Smith is proud of her son Tyler Wright, is perhaps an understatement.

"I love this one, and I love this one," she says, while selecting photos of Tyler on a glass coffee table in her apartment complex in Boise.

Of course, every mother has a favorite photo, and she shows it off with tears welling up into her eyes.

"That's the night he deployed to Afghanistan," she says.

COMBAT HELICOPTER PILOT

Wright is a combat helicopter pilot and graduate of Boise High who surprised his mom with big news just a few weeks ago.

"He said, 'Mom, I've got good news', and I said 'Oh, awesome, you guys are expecting a baby!'" Annie Smith recalls, laughing.  "And he said 'no' ... he said 'Mom, I get to fly my Black Hawk at the Super Bowl.'"

Indeed, Wright will fly his Black Hawk helicopter in formation over Met Life Stadium in New York before the Superbowl on Sunday. It's a distinctive military honor for the Kentucky-based U.S. Army warrant officer, but he won't be the only Idahoan in the big game.

GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Cody Pearson is an intern graphic designer from Nampa who's traveling with the Seahawks to New York.

"It's an exciting environment, everyone at work is really positive, and actually, it's an internship for the Seahawks and the (Seattle) Sounders both," Pearson explained to KTVB over the phone.

A recent grad of Northwest Nazarene University, Pearsons's professors say he was a standout, and his artwork has already gained recognition from the Seahawks media department. For example, Pearson supplied the unique design for a 30th Anniversary playoff logo used by team.

"It hasn't been long at all," said NNU Graphic Design Professor Paul Kinsman. "We're excited to see where he ends up."

NFL STAFF  / PLAYERS

Then there's Donald Rich.

Rich is a Boise State grad, and he's also Seattle's head athletic trainer. He's spent 10 seasons with the Seahawks and was promoted to his current job in 2012.

This former Bronco is the youngest athletic trainer in the NFL, and will be on the sidelines with the Seahawks come Sunday. He'll be overseeing the treatment of player injuries and well-being of two NFL players.

They include defensive end Mayowa Benson from the University of Idaho and Boise State's Jeron Johnson. Benson is a rostered player with the Seahawks, while Johnson is on the reserve/injured list.

The Denver Broncos include notable left tackle Ryan Clady, formerly of Boise State University.

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