NFL sends local boy to Super Bowl to represent the Green Bay Packers
Braylon Backaus is a fifth-grader in Black River Falls. However, last Sunday, he was on the Super Bowl field representing the Green Bay Packers.
Braylon's family entered the NFL's 'Next 100' contest with a video highlighting his football skills.
A little while later they got the news he had won.
"We got another email that said, 'Now, can you please keep it a secret?' Don't tell anybody, keep it hush-hush,'" said Joe Backaus, Braylon's father.
That secret was kept from Braylon too, who found out via a video Packers' Running Back Aaron Jones sent him.
As for being a fan, that's something Braylon has in his blood.
"It's a right of passage for the Backaus family," Joe Backaus said. "We're all die-hard Packers fans, always been. I pretty much had a football in his hands since the day he came out of the womb."
As part of the contest, Braylon ran on the field with other kids representing the various NFL teams.
Braylon says that moment was the biggest of his life.
"There's butterflies in your stomach and when you hear the crowd, it's like your heart pumps really fast and your eyes get really big and everybody's cheering," said Braylon Backaus.
It was also very moving for his father.
"I was a little emotional, not going to lie. I was very excited for him, but definitely had some butterflies," Joe Backaus said. "[I] definitely had to hold back a few tears. It was just a very proud dad moment."
Braylon has a football signed by several of the kids who joined him on the field.
The representative for the LA Chargers even became one of his friends.
"His name was Noah and we hung out at the pool... and we played catch with a football," said Braylon Backaus.
Many of the parents have stayed in contact and joke about a ten year reunion down the line.
Braylon may be talented on the field, but his dad says it's who he is off the field that matters.
"I'm more proud of him just for being a good kid, more than all the things he does in sports," Joe Backaus said. "He's just a really good genuine kid."
The fifth-grader says he loves answering people's questions and re-living the day over and over again.