The Philadelphia Eagles are going to the Super Bowl — and so is former Penn State offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski.
Wisniewski, a two-time All-Big Ten selection with the Nittany Lions, is the starting left guard for the NFC conference champions. He helped protect Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles, who guided the Eagles’ offense to 456 yards and a 38-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night at Lincoln Financial Field.
With the victory, Philadelphia is headed to Minneapolis to face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII.
Wisniewski and the Eagles are underdogs for their third straight game — but the former Nittany Lion doesn’t mind. He’s just ready to live out a lifelong dream.
Q: Was playing in a Super Bowl something you always thought of as a kid?
A: Yeah, absolutely. I grew up a die-hard football fan and player and always watched the Super Bowl. When you dream of playing in the NFL, you also dream of winning on the big stage. I always wanted to play in one, win one, and I’ve been watching them my whole life. I can’t even really believe that I get to play in it. I’m so pumped up I can’t even quite explain it. I couldn’t sleep (Sunday) night I was so excited. I’m just so fired up.
Q: How many hours of sleep did you get Sunday night?
A: Probably three. I wasn’t even doing anything. I was just hanging out at the house with my family. But it was 4 a.m. and I was wide awake. I was just watching episodes of “The Office” because I didn’t know what else to do. I was just trying to fall asleep, but had a fun time with my family and friends who were around.
Q: Take me through the emotions of Sunday night. After dominating a game in which you were underdogs, what was that post-game feeling like?
A: It was fantastic, and the crowd was unbelievable. We embraced the underdog mentality, and we really just came out firing on all cylinders. Honestly, we kind of started to celebrate once the fourth quarter started. We were up 30 points, and the game was really over. We started soaking it in at that point, which was pretty cool. Just soaking in the crowd and the energy and the fact that we actually got to go to the Super Bowl. It’s just an unbelievable feeling, being on the field with the trophy presentation and the confetti raining down. It’s pretty awesome.
Q: You mentioned spending time with your family and friends. What’s it been like sharing this Super Bowl with them?
A: It’s been really cool. Any success in life isn’t worth anything if you don’t have people to share it with. I have my teammates to share it with, but my wife, my dad, my family, my close friends — a lot of them, really all my buddies are guys I played Penn State football with. Those are my lifelong friends, and I’ve had them come along a lot, which has been a blast. It makes it fun. My boys are Matt Stankiewitch, Andrew Szczerba, Shane McGregor, Jon Rohrbaugh, Kyle Johnson and Anthony Tortorelli. Those are my boys. They were all in my wedding, and hopefully a bunch of them will be at the Super Bowl with me if they can make it.
Q: Last thing for you: Do you own a dog mask like Chris Long and Lane Johnson?
A: (laughs) I don’t yet. I was debating whether or not to get one before the championship game. I think I might have to get one now as we are officially underdogs in the Super Bowl.