When the New York Giants and New England Patriots meet in Super Bowl XLII today, Augusta's Arthur Marshall will be rooting for the team from the Big Apple. After all, he spent three seasons playing for the Giants.
"I tend to watch the game by myself so I can concentrate on the action," said the former Hephzibah quarterback who was a wide-receiver at the University of Georgia.
Although Marshall never played in a Super Bowl during his five years in the NFL from 1992-96, which also included two seasons with the Denver Broncos, he chuckles when he thinks about how close he came to making it to the big dance.
Between 1987 and 2001, his former teams played in a combined eight Super Bowls. The Broncos made it there just two years before he started playing for them, and the Giants did so three years before he joined them and again five years after he left.
Still, at 38, he said he couldn't be happier with the professional career he's had.
"The Super Bowl is the ultimate goal, but I was blessed enough to make it to the NFL. That is the dream-come-true," he said, adding that he occasionally keeps in contact with two of the Giants' current team members, Amani Toomer and Michael Strahan.
After graduating from Georgia, Marshall signed a free-agent contract with the Broncos in 1992 and stayed with them for two years. After three seasons with the Giants, his pro football career came to a screeching halt after he suffered a back injury in 1997.
"When you realize you can't rehabilitate or train to the point where you can compete, it's time to leave," he said.
Marshall used the knowledge he gained as a real estate major in college.
Today, he owns several companies, including his flagship Marshall Homes, a Martinez-based housing development company. He's also involved in mortgage and real estate consulting.
Through it all, he said he manages to keep a keen eye on his children's developing careers.
Son Arthur Marshall III, 19, plays football at Valdosta State University, and daughter Aubern, 17, is a standout guard on the Hephzibah High School basketball team, where Marshall serves as an assistant coach.
He said he tries to instill in other young people the same philosophy he has given his own children -- the value of education and "just doing the right thing."
"People often mistakenly think that my success comes from what I did in football," he said.
"I tell young people all the time, 'It's not about staying on the phone or doodling with your MySpace page all night. It's more important to study and get your education."
Reach Timothy Cox at (706) 823-3217 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
"If the Giants can get 3-4 sacks, a couple of turnovers and score in the red zone, I predict they can win by a score of 27-24. If that doesn't happen, the Patriots will win by a score of 35-24."