When you cut your football teeth in counties like Lincoln and Washington, you grow accustomed to competing for championships.
But Jarius Wynn and Josh Gordy never imagined anything like this.
Wynn and Gordy -- a former Red Devil and Golden Hawk -- started the season with the pain of being cut from NFL rosters. Now they find themselves in the middle of the biggest event in American sports with the Green Bay Packers at Super Bowl XLV.
"It's a dream come true," said Wynn, a second-year pro out of Georgia, who got cut and picked back up after the first game of the season by the Packers. "It's really happening. You really work hard to get to this position and we're here now. I'm just humble and blessed to be in this position."
Gordy, a rookie from Central Michigan who got cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars, picked up by the Packers practice squad and now on the 53-man roster, feels lucky to be a part of it all.
"First year in the NFL, you can't ask for much more than this, going to the Super Bowl," he said.
The two locals got their first taste of Super Bowl mania Tuesday at the infamous media day at Cowboys Stadium, when a couple thousand folks posing as media try to stump the players with the most outrageous and often idiotic questions.
"There's reporters everywhere asking you one question after another," Gordy said. "It was a whole lot of fun. It's much more than just a game. You can tell somebody about media day but you can't put it into perspective until you're there and see all the reporters walking around for an hour straight."
"I always thought the Super Bowl was big, but not like this," Wynn said. "Being here I'm just speechless about it."
Nobody is allowed to remain speechless on Super Bowl media day. Wynn got off relatively light in the absurd question department, having to explain to someone the necessity and proper use of a jock strap.
Gordy got the full force of the silliness.
"I had some pretty crazy questions," he said. "One guy asked me if I would have sex with one of my teammates if it would guarantee a Super Bowl victory."
Gordy declined to answer. Needless to say, it was nothing like his high school experiences in the House of Pain or his college postseason trips to the Motor City and GMAC bowls.
While Gordy, who played in two games this season as a defensive back, is likely to be on the inactive list for today's game against the Steelers, he's relishing the experience nonetheless. He's got about 25 family members in Dallas for the week just soaking up the atmosphere.
"A lot of people want to be where you're at so you want to embrace everything and take it all in while staying focused at the same time," Gordy said.
Wynn has a whole set of other issues to contend with along with his defensive end duties.
His wife, Martavia, still hasn't given birth to their first child, but she is intent on attending the defining moment of her husband's career.
"She's doing good-- going day by day," Wynn said. "I'm hoping (the baby) will hold off 'til after Sunday. I tried to talk her out of (attending the game), but she really wanted to be there to support me. Nothing I can do but go with the flow."
Wynn said his family and the Packers support staff have arranged a contingency plan with a local Dallas hospital if Martavia goes into laber before they get home to Atlanta.
Only a game-time delivery will keep Wynn from being at her side.
"If it comes any time other than the game, I will try my best to be there," Wynn said. "I hope I don't get in that situation and pray we make it home first."
In a Super Bowl pitting two of the most storied programs in the NFL. the Packers are slight favorites over the more experienced Steelers. Wynn and Gordy don't believe their relative inexperience will be a factor today.
"I feel like we're capable of handling it like every other game that we've played in," said Wynn.
Said Gordy: "We have a lot of older guys on our team. I don't think it's a big deal. It all comes down to that 60-minute game on Sunday. With our leadership and skill on this team, I think everybody will be ready."
While Gordy hasn't been active for any of the playoff games yet, he'll be ready to play if called upon.
He'd love to repeat his performance for Washington County against Cartersville in the state semifinals at the Georgia Dome. Gordy returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown to lift the Golden Hawks into the state championship game.
"It's one thing to say you're on a Super Bowl team. Then to actually play, that would be a bigger accomplishment," Gordy said.
Wynn will play, and his primary goal is to shut down Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
"I'm looking forward to the game and going out to perform to the best of my ability in this kind of atmosphere," he said. "It may be the one chance that we get and a lot of people never get to this point. I'm looking to do great."