A Visalia man had a special reason to watch Super Bowl LIII this year.
He used to play for the Los Angeles Rams.
We caught up with him as he watched the game from the comfort of his home, right here in the Central Valley.
The game brought up a lot of mixed emotions for former Los Angeles Rams offensive lineman, Irv Pankey.
And even though the team didn’t win, Pankey says they’re a young team and thinks they’ll be back next year.
It’s not a fancy, over the top Super Bowl party for Pankey, he’s watching the big game from the comfort of his home in Visalia.
And as he critiques each play, he says it takes him down memory lane to throwback colors of blue and yellow.
“That’s what we played in,” he says while looking over the team’s uniforms.
Pankey spent a decade playing for the Rams as an offensive lineman.
“When I played, we had two shots to get to the Super Bowl, two NFL Championships, we didn’t get it done, so can’t be mad at that,” he says, adding, “Well I am mad at that, but you know it’s good to see them.”
After his football years, Pankey coached at different schools, then landed a gig at the College of the Sequoias in the Central Valley.
He says, “I applied and got this job and it’s worked out great.”
Something else great, he says having the Rams back on the west coast giving him a chance to hang with his old teammates and reminisce about their playing days.
“It’s good to get back to seeing all those guys,” he says.
Just before halftime, he was reminded of the frustration of being on the field during a rough game.
“I’ve played in games like this to where you’re just waiting for something good to happen,” he explains.
As for the patriot win, he says, “Tom Brady’s already won… I mean what six rings so come on, how many more do you need?”
As much as Pankey enjoys the Central Valley, once he retires, he and his wife will head to their “top secret oasis.”