While guys like Green Bay defensive back Charlie Peprah (Plano East), Steelers offensive lineman Jonathan Scott (Carter), Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders, (SMU) and others are experiencing incredible homecomings for the Super Bowl, there's a familiar name on the other side of that coin.
Running back LaDainian Tomlinson came within one win of not only coming back to North Texas for the Super Bowl, but the former TCU star would have been working out at the indoor facility he helped get built.
He'll come right and out tell you, he's devastated, "It was heart-breaking, to be honest with you," said Tomlinson at a party for his charitable foundation.
"I'm still in a bit of a funk, just watching the two teams and playing against both of 'em, and beating one and coming close to winning that NFC championship game to get back here."
Tomlinson's Jets were manhandled early in the AFC championship game, and failed to pull off their stirring comeback bid. Tomlinson knows full well he missed out on the chance of a lifetime, "Its a dream come true. As a kid, you dream about the moments, like these. I grew up a Dallas Cowboys fan...and watching them win three Super Bowls in the 90's and Emmitt Smith being my guy, so I always dreamed of having that opportunity to play in the Super Bowl. As so it just would have been such a dream come true."
"I really wanted this. My family and my fans wanted this to come back home, but it didn't happen. You pick yourself and you go back at it."
The 10 year veteran says he'd like to take another shot at reaching his first Super Bowl. Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum says he expects Tomlinson to return, but that "things could change."
"I definitely would like to play,' said Tomlinson. "No question. I'm under contract and I fully expect to play football with the Jets next year. Until I'm told otherwise, I just expect to be there."