With the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens set to play in the biggest game of the year, there are some local connections to make a note of.
Some are more obvious than others, but after rifling through their respective media guides, here are some of the connections from the competing teams to both the city of Buffalo, and the Bills.
S Donte Whitner, San Francisco 49ers: Bills first round draft pick in 2006. Played five seasons in Buffalo, starting 66 games over that span. Whitner had 451 combined tackles, five interceptions and two forced fumbles in his rookie contract. He signed with San Francisco as an unrestricted free agent in 2011.
CB Corey Graham, Baltimore Ravens: Buffalo native, attending Turner Carroll High School. There he rushed for 1,700 yards and 22 touchdowns in his senior season. He also had 99 tackles on defense before heading off to the University of New Hampshire. He was drafted in the fifth-round by Chicago in the 2007 NFL Draft.
DE Arthur Jones, Baltimore Ravens: Born outside of Rochester, Jones went on to play college football at Syracuse University. In his final season in 2009, Jones played under current Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone. He was a fifth-round pick by Baltimore in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Clarence Brooks, Baltimore Ravens: Presently serving as the defensive line coach for Baltimore, Brooks' long career also had a stop at Syracuse University. He was a positional coach for the Orange at the same time Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone was a player there. Marrone played for Syracuse from 1983 to 1985.
Jim Caldwell, Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens' offensive coordinator has a tie with the most successful General Manager in Buffalo Bills history. In his time with Indianapolis, Caldwell rose from quarterbacks coach to head coach under the direction of Bill Polian.
Geep Chryst, San Francisco 49ers: The quarterbacks coach for San Francisco, Chryst got one of his first NFL gigs with the Chicago Bears. Although he wasn't the head coach when Chryst started his tenure with the Bears, former Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt kept Chryst on board for three more years (1993-1995) as the Director of Research/Quality Control.
Greg Roman, San Francisco 49ers: In his first year as offensive coordinator, Roman was seen as a candidate for the Jacksonville Jaguars opening for head coach because of his relationship with GM David Caldwell. Caldwell, a Buffalo native and graduate of St. Francis High School, was roommates with Roman at John Carroll University when the two went to school there.
Tom Gamble, San Francisco 49ers: Rising through the ranks since getting his start in the NFL, the 49ers Director of Player Personnel got to learn under the most successful GM in Bills history. Gamble served as a college scout in Indianapolis under Bill Polian from 1998 through 2004.