With the fifth anniversary of Super Bowl 50 nearly upon us, we’re spending the week sharing stories from five players who made key plays in the game.Today, we hear from tight end Owen Daniels, whose two touchdowns in the AFC Championship helped get the Broncos to Super Bowl 50. Daniels had never been to the Super Bowl before and it would turn out to be his final NFL game, which would combine to make the overall experience a very sentimental one as he reflected upon it five years later.
Owen Daniels was feeling nostalgic as he got on the bus to Levi's Stadium.
Hours before the Super Bowl, he realized the significance of what was before him, and also what was behind him.
Moved by what he was thinking during the five- or 10-minute drive to Levi's Stadium, the 10-year veteran pulled out his phone.
"[It] wasn't a long bus ride, but I was able to fire off some text messages to family and friends," Daniels says. "I just felt this huge wave of gratitude to anyone who had been part of supporting me during my life and my career. Family, friends who helped me get through some tough times in my career and were there to support me all the way through. … They were my why, as guys like to say — the reason for playing.
"Why I get up in the morning, why I work so hard — why do I sacrifice? It's to get in this position. It's obviously great as a player to play in those games, but to have to close family and friends be able to experience that with me, I think it was as much as I could give them as far as a thank you for supporting me all those years."
He had taken an arduous path to reach this point, and midway between the Santa Clara Marriott and Levi's Stadium, he felt it.
"It's really hard to put into words what I was feeling at that time," Daniels says. "I just think I felt just so grateful to be in the position I was in, to have the support from my family over my whole career and now to be able to share my experience with my son was super, super special. I was pretty emotional that day and even on the bus ride to the stadium on game day."
Then he got off the bus, put on his sunglasses and went to work.