It's always good to see former South Carolina Gamecocks do well in the NFL. It's even better to see them make it to the sport's biggest stage.
That's the case with Denver Broncos safety Darian Stewart and Carolina Panthers wide receiver Dameire Byrd. The duo are headed to Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, California, by virtue of their respective teams' wins on Championship Sunday yesterday.
Stewart, the only one of the two currently on his team's active roster, had a hand in the Broncos' 20-18 win over the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship. The six-year veteran, an undrafted free agent who signed with the St. Louis (now Los Angeles) Rams in 2010, had a second-quarter pick yesterday - only the second of his career.
After the game, Stewart had some thoughts about the Patriots electing to receive the opening kickoff, because, well, they apparently didn't feel the Broncos D would stop them:
"That was disrespectful. We knew that going in we felt disrespected. We knew what we had to get done, we wanted to play this game two days ago. We had the fire.
"Our reaction was just like ‘really? Ok.' That's the way we were. You can get riled up for these games."
At the end of the day, it's Peyton Manning and his team headed to Levi's Stadium, and not the Patriots. We'll see if Stewart is able to go because he has been listed as questionable for Super Bowl 50.
As for Byrd, although he is on the practice squad, a big congratulations to him as well as the Panthers torched the Arizona Cardinals 49-15 in the NFC Championship. It's nice to see the rookie latch on to the organization that is on the verge of winning their first title.