Super Bowl champion Bryan Braman returns to Spokane to help kids - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Super Bowl champion Bryan Braman returns to Spokane to help kids through SYSA

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

Sitting on my couch on Friday, my day off, I received a call from work. 

"Should I answer it?" I thought. "Yeah, I better." (Because I always do, in case management is reading this)

It was KHQ Executive Producer Luke Thoburn. 

"Hey man, Philadelphia Eagle and Spokane native Bryan Braman is in town for an auction,I know you're a huge Eagles fan, you want to interview him?" 

As a die-hard Philadelphia Eagles fan, the 12-year-old kid in me screamed with joy. The 34-year-old adult in me played it cool.

"Interview a Philadelphia Eagle? Sure."  

If you're a big fan like me, you know who Braman is. He's been called the one of the craziest special teams players in the NFL (Here he is as a rookie tackling a Tennessee Titan with no helmet on).  He signed with Philadelphia in 2014 with the mindset "Kill, Maim, and Destroy." He plays hard and he plays with tons of emotion and an unparalleled passion for the game. And it shows.

If you're a casual fan, he's the Eagle with the most glorious head of hair you'll ever lay your eyes on. He has a mindset of "Look good, play good," and he's done it well during his time in the NFL, but this last season, despite joining the team late, will reign as his best because of the outcome. 

It's been 40 days since the Philadelphia Eagles beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, and for me, after coming so close so many times, and finally being able to watch the team I've loved unconditionally for so many years, the excitement hasn't worn off. 

It hasn't hit Braman yet. 

"I don't even think it's registered yet. I'm still trying to decide if it's actually started," Braman questioned. "It's been Amazing. An incredible whirlwind. Obviously being able to come back and share this with the family I have up here - friends - everybody that's really taken a part in the journey knows me, what it means to me and my pursuit of happiness."

Braman grew up in Spokane, and fresh off his Super Bowl win, he's looking to give back to the community he grew up in. 

Braman filled a room at the SYSA Event Center with autographed memorabilia on Friday for an auction benefiting a program he knows well: Spokane Youth Sports Association. 

Growing up, Bryan knew he wanted to be a professional athlete, but it wasn't always football. He was initially supposed to be a soccer star, then the next Ken Griffey Jr. But he eventually put all of his focus into football and it paid off this season with a Super Bowl ring. 

But it all began with SYSA and now, as his career is winding down (his words, not mine), he wants to give back. 

"I really wish I would've spent more time in Spokane early on in my career, but now that my career is kinda winding down, I'm getting a little older, I have kids of my own, I'm really starting to understand the importance of what role models are in a child's life," Braman said. 

With family and friends still in the area, he reached out to find how he could make that happen.

It started Friday night with an auction for the program that meant so much to him as a kid growing up in Spokane: Spokane Youth Sports Association. 

"Whether it's one kid or 500 kids. Whether it's the entire SYSA program or just one kid out of the SYSA program, anyone I'm able to reach or touch or provide any type of help for, whether it's a child that can't pay for gear or their fee... being able to give back to that is definitely important," Braman said.

To achieve that goal of giving back, Braman brought cleats, gloves, cards, koozies, Super Bowl programs, photos, and much more to the SYSA and signed them all for the auction. All proceeds raised will go to SYSA and help kids get involved in sports and maybe one day, be a Super Bowl champion just like him. 

Of course I had to ask, as a fan, if the Philly faithful could expect another Super Bowl championship next year and, sorry Seahawks fans, Braman thinks the Eagles are in just the right spot for it. 

"We're looking like it. The D-line's stacked. Carson (Wentz) is coming back. We've got a Super Bowl MVP for a backup quarterback. our receivers are nasty... I don't see why we wouldn't be able to destroy everybody like we did this last year." 

I like it. Fly Eagles Fly. 

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