When the final whistle blew for the 56th Super Bowl – the hometown Los Angeles Rams celebrated their victory in their own stadium for the second time in history.
It was the first championship for many of the team’s players and staff, but it was the second championship for Niceville High School Alumni Taylor Morton. He won a state championship in football in 1988 with the Eagles.
After two decades in the National Football League (NFL) – the Rams’ Senior Personnel Advisor has a ring and has held the Lombardi Trophy.
“It was a pretty exciting experience, I’ll say that. I’ve been in the NFL for 22 years and this is my second Super Bowl to ever go to and the first one to ever win – so it was an exciting night,” Morton said.
The Rams held off the surging Bengals at the end of the game to win the Super Bowl 23-20.
30 years ago, Morton experienced something similar, as a 17-year-old on the Niceville High School football team. In 1988, the Eagles won their only state championship.
The state championship was a fantastic memory:
“I think it was the most exciting thing that had ever happened in Niceville at the time. There were probably 10,000 people at the game. For a small town back then it was a really big deal,” Morton recalled.
But so is this the win with the Rams:
“It was definitely a feeling that was hard to explain,” Morton said.
There are plenty of kids (and adults) that would love to be in Morton’s shoes right now. To them, he says, “I would say ‘dream big.’ And I would probably say that I didn’t dream big enough when I was their age. My plan was to go to college and get a PE degree, come back and coach high school football – get my old lifeguard job on the beach and get a surfboard and live happily ever after. I just kind of stumbled and fumbled through it and ended up as a graduate assistant on the college level. I made some contacts that eventually helped me be in the right place at the right time.”
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