Lowville native headed to Super Bowl, will hang out with ‘Gronk’

Published: Feb. 9, 2022 at 3:05 PM EST
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WESLEY CHAPEL, Florida (WWNY) - Come Sunday, millions of people will watch the Rams take on the Bengals in Super Bowl LVI. But, one north country native will have a front row seat.

“They were like, ‘Do you want to go to the Super Bowl?’ I’m like, ‘Okay, yeah. I do. I really do.’”

It’s a question football fans would say dreams are made of - a question Lowville native and Army veteran Erik Hanno never saw coming.

“Honestly, I don’t even know what I’m getting myself into. I guess I’ll know this weekend,” said Hanno.

The free-pass to the sidelines wasn’t easy to get. Hanno served in the Army for 13 years, deploying to Afghanistan and Iraq.

After getting wounded, Hanno was medically discharged and earned a Purple Heart.

Out of the Army, he found his way into live video game streaming.

He serves as an ambassador for the United Service Organization, or USO, which gave him this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s part of the NFL and USAA’s “Salute to Service Campaign.”

“They just started the program about a year-and-a-half ago, where they brought some streamers on board to work with active duty and stuff like that, and promote USO and what they do for service members,” said Hanno.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any cooler, it does.

Once he hops off the plane in Los Angeles, the full Super Bowl experience will include Tampa Bay Buccaneers star Rob Gronkowski.

“We have just like a private hangout time with my wife and I and Gronk, which is crazy,” said Hanno.

Hanno, who now lives in Florida, may be an Eagles fan, but is ready to root for a different team during the Super Bowl.

“Honestly, Bengals. I hope the Bengals win,” said Hanno.

And even if they don’t, just being there is a dream come true.

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