All the New Jersey connections in Super Bowl LVI
At long last Super Bowl LVI is upon us. A sporting event so big, it forces you to use symbols meant for a system of numerical notation from the ancient Roman Empire.
On Sunday, Feb. 13, the Los Angeles Rams will face off against the surprising Cincinnati Bengals at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.
While legal mobile sports betting, Super Bowl box pools, greasy food, and an epic Halftime Show lineup might be more than enough reasons to tune in to the big game on NBC, why not factor in some New Jersey natives who may be a part of the Rams' or Bengals' organizations?
The list of NJ-born players and coaches involved in Super Bowl LVI is shorter than it should be, but if you look hard enough, there's always a Jersey connection you can find.
Clark Harris #46, Long snapper, Cincinnati Bengals
Clark Harris was born and raised in Manahawkin. Harris played college ball about an hour up the Parkway at Rutgers University. Prior to that he played tight end and defensive end at Southern Regional High School in Manahawkin.
Raheem Morris, Defensive coordinator, Los Angeles Rams
Morris has been overseeing defensive plays for the Rams for one season. Prior to that, the Newark, NJ native had an extensive coaching resume, including a stint as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach from 2009-2011, and serving as interim head coach for the Atlanta Falcons in 2020. Raheem Morris attended high school in Irvington, then moved on to college at Hofstra on Long Island.
Lou Anarumo, Defensive coordinator, Cincinnati Bengals
This one is more for our transplants. Lou Anarumo was born and raised on Staten Island, which, whether you want to admit it or not, is pretty much New Jersey. Anarumo attended Wagner College on Staten Island. He has been the defensive coordinator for the Bengals since 2019. I have no doubts Anarumo is also in charge of ordering pizzas for the entire team, because if nothing else, we native Staten Islanders know a thing or two about it.
Some other names we would hope to see under other circumstances:
Rams safety and defensive team captain Jordan Fuller is forced to miss Super Bowl LVI due to a season-ending ankle injury he suffered in the regular-season finale. Fuller was born in Newark and attended high school at Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan.
Larry Ogunjobi of the Cincinnati Bengals had to be carted off the field during the team's first playoff win in 31 years. The team placed him on season-ending injured reserve shortly thereafter. Known as one of the best defensive linemen on the squad, Ogunjobi was born in Livingston.
And last but not least, the pride of Stratford, NJ, defensive tackle Mike Daniels of the Cincinnati Bengals, will not be a part of the festivities this weekend. While Daniels has been a member of the Bengals since 2020, he has spent most of this season on the team's practice squad.
It's comforting to know that no matter which team wins this weekend, New Jersey will be one Super Bowl ring richer.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 producer, writer, and host Joe Votruba. Any opinions expressed are his own.