It’s Super Bowl weekend

Published 2:04 am Saturday, February 2, 2019

Atlanta area is home turf for Patriots center

While New England Patriots center David Andrews may be happy to be in his native Georgia for this weekend’s Super Bowl, he wasn’t excited about the Patriots’ practice venue.

Andrews, who played college football for Georgia, has been practicing this week with his teammates at the Georgia Tech facilities.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick wasn’t feeling overly sympathetic.

“The Georgia guys [Sony Michel and Andrews] are not thrilled being at Georgia Tech,” Belichick told a reporter this week. “But that’s all right. They’ll get over it.”

Andrews, who is the grandson of Andalusia’s Era Andrews, told reporters this week that he’s had a running rivalry with Georgia Tech alum Shaq Mason, who lines up every snap about five inches to his right.

“I like to always remind him that I’m 3-1 against him, and he always likes to remind me that he beat us our senior year and that’s all that matters — and it was Between the Hedges,” Andrews said this week of Mason. “But we always give each other grief. He’s fun-loving. He’s a great teammate, and he’s become one of my best friends. It’s kind of crazy, after this year we’ve played more football with each other than our respective schools, so I never thought that would happen but here we are.”

Andrews, a captain on the Patriot team, also made news in Georgia this week when he gave three of his 30-plus Super Bowl tickets to his former high school coaching staff,  The Gwinett Daily Post reported.

Wesleyan Academy head coach Franklin Pridgen, Wesleyan athletic director and assistant football coach Marc Khedouri and former Wolves offensive line coach James McKeel will attend Sunday’s game as his guest.

“I knew that if I was able to get that opportunity, something that I wanted to do was give them to three of my coaches from high school,” Andrews told The Gwinette Daily Post. “It was really important to me. They spent a lot of time doing stuff for me that they didn’t have to do. Things they didn’t get paid to do. Those were some of the most special times in my life and I just felt like I owed them something. What better way to try and repay them than this. I’m glad they get to experience it.”

Sunday will mark Andrews’ third straight appearance in the Super Bowl, having won in his first trip in 2017 when the Patriots defeated the hometown Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime.

Having played his first career Super Bowl in Houston, Texas, and his second in Minneapolis, Minn., Andrews told The Post it’s great to be back in his home state of Georgia for his third trip.

“It’s special,” Andrews said. “It’s kind of where my football journey started. Watching the Atlanta Falcons with my uncle coaching, things like that. It’s special to be home, but what really matters is the game on Sunday. That’s really what you will remember when it’s all said and done.”

Dan Reeves is David Andrews’ great-uncle.

As for his grandmother, she’d be pleased if her friends cheer for the Patriots, but don’t call her during the game.

“I will not be answering phones,” she told The Star-News last year “I will be glued to the TV.

“I watch every time a play is over with to make sure he is up and looks OK.”