An ankle injury is almost certain to keep Anchorage's Chris Kuper out Sunday's Super Bowl, but he's on the Denver Broncos roster, will be suited up for the big game and will become the third Alaskan to earn a Super Bowl ring if the Broncos are able to beat the Seattle Seahawks.
The injury didn't excuse Kuper from media day earlier this week in East Rutherford, N.J., where the mob of reporters and cameras flabbergasted him.
"It's nothing like you'd expect on a typical week," Kuper told undsports.com, the website of his college alma mater, North Dakota.
"I mean, it's like they let anyone in there. I think I did only three interviews that pertained to the game. Everyone is trying to make a story out of something."
The story on Kuper is one of talent tainted by injury.
Kuper, a 6-foot-4, 300-pound offensive guard, was drafted in the fifth round in 2006 by the Broncos and has played eight seasons in Denver.
He became an anchor of the offensive line and a team captain. Then in the final game of the 2011 season, Kuper snapped his ankle -- a injury captured in a stomach-churning video.
He has been coming back ever since, and it's been slow-going. Kuper, 31, has had two surgeries, the second of which kept him out of pads for more than 200 days, and he has missed most of the last two seasons. This season, he started one game and played in three others.
A Denver win would make Kuper the third Alaskan to earn a Super Bowl ring. Anchorage's Mark Schlereth won three (1991 with the Washington Redskins and 1997-98 with the Broncos) and North Pole's Daryn Colledge won one with Green Bay (2010).
"I'm excited," Kuper told undsports.com. "Obviously I would rather be playing, but there are thousands and thousands of players that never even get the opportunity to be here. I am one of blessed few."
Anchorage Daily News