It's been Sam Koch's lifelong dream to play in a Super Bowl, Edward Lee of the Baltimore Sun writes. Since growing up watching Joe Montana, Koch has wanted the spotlight on him in the world's most-watched event. When he made the NFL as a punter in 2006, he waited patiently for his chance to shine.
Much attention has been heaped on inside linebacker Ray Lewis' bid for his second Super Bowl ring. And free safety Ed Reed and outside linebacker Terrell Suggs have been waiting 10 and nine years, respectively, for their first shot at lifting the Lombardi Trophy.
But after those three, Koch and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata have been waiting the longest. Both players were selected in the 2006NFL draft (Ngata in the first round round, Koch in the sixth) and have waited patiently for Feb. 3 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
That's what makes getting to this stage all the more satisfying for the 30-year-old Koch.
But like any athlete who plays an essential role on one of the two best teams in the league, Koch isn't just happy to be here. He wants to play, and play well.
It has been 30 long years for Sam Koch, but now he's finally on a Super Bowl team that has a quarterback known for producing occasional clunkers, an offensive coordinator brought in late in the season after the previous one was fired, facing one of the best — and certainly the most talented — defenses in the league.
If ever there was a better situation for a Super Bowl punter, Koch couldn't remember it. It was like having his dream within a dream come true. Koch's fantasies are running wild. Maybe he will be able to punt seven, eight times. Maybe the Ravens will be able to string together a couple of first downs and he'll be able to pin the 49ers deep inside their 20. Maybe the Ravens will suffer a safety and Koch could take the kickoff.
The possibilities are endless. Finally, Koch is in the spotlight and his dream can come true.