FOXBORO, Mass. — Defensive lineman Ron Brace stood in front of his locker Thursday wearing a Patriots winter hat and sporting a wide grin.
The Springfield, Mass., native has been living the dream while playing for the Patriots, who he grew up rooting for, and now it's about to get a whole lot better as he prepares to represent them in the Super Bowl.
"It's a blessing," Brace said. "I'm living every Massachusetts football player's dream, went to BC, got drafted by the hometown team and now we're on the verge of going to the Super Bowl and trying to win it. I'm lucky, and I've got to live up every moment."
Brace said his family is just as happy as he is about the forthcoming trip to Indianapolis, but they've respected his need to prepare for the season's ultimate game.
And as Brace thinks back to his childhood and getting together with his friends to watch the Patriots' previous Super Bowl trips, he can't help but think of the possibility of being on the other side of that television set.
"I remember watching it with my football teammates at my house, and if it wasn't at my house, it was one of their other houses," Brace said. "We didn't have that much money back then, but we found a way to make it work. We'd get $20-$30, go to BJ's, get us a bag of honey barbecue wings and support the Pats. Now it's crazy that I'm actually going to be on the other side on the TV while my boys are out there getting the honey barbecue wings watching us. It's a good and humbling experience. Just so truly blessed to be here at this time."