Sunday is a big one for all football fans, but even more so for one proud metro father who is getting ready to watch his son play in this year's Super Bowl.
Before Aldon Smith gained national attention for player with the most sacks in his first two NFL seasons, his athletic career began at Raytown High School.
The former Bluejay and outside linebacker for the University of Missouri will now compete in front of the nation as a San Francisco 49er in Super Bowl XLVII.
Smith gave his dad an autographed high school picture at graduation, promising it would be worth something one day.
"His senior year in high school, the first game of his senior year, I realized he had a talent," Thurston Smith said.
Aldon Smith's skills in high school got attention from big universities. His father saw this as an opportunity for his son to go to college.
"I never dreamed of the NFL," Thurston Smith said.
The NFL came calling much sooner than agents and experts expected.
"When we got the call backstage after the sixth pick, it was coach Harbaugh asking me, 'Do you mind if your son comes and plays for the 49ers?' I said, 'Absolutely!' It was a shock a pleasant shock," the proud father said.
Now, the boy who grew up as a Bluejay will play as a 49er against the Baltimore Ravens.
"It should be a Super Bowl for the ages," Smith said.
Thurston Smith and family members are flying to the game to show their support.
"This is my first rodeo. We've never been to a Super Bowl. I've been watching it all my years of life. To now be a part of it. It leaves me speechless," he said.
The family is flying out Friday to head to New Orleans.
Thurston Smith says there are some "first Super Bowl nerves" for his son, but says he has always been able to turn nerves into energy on the field.
Aldon Smith is known for his ability to sack, but hasn't recorded a sack since Dec. 9. Many in the metro will be watching to see if he breaks that streak.
Don't forget, you can watch the big game on KCTV5. The action kicks off at 5:30 p.m. Sunday.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.