Orlando Franklin of Toronto eyes Super Bowl ring for hometown

DENVER - As the city of Denver celebrated the sixth berth of its Broncos in the Super Bowl by painting the town orange on Sunday evening, Orlando Franklin’s thoughts were on another metropolis, a place he still calls home.

“This is 100% for Toronto,” the behemoth right tackle of the Broncos said after their 26-16 win over the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game. “This is great. But we have one more step to take.”

A step he hopes will come at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on Feb. 2 when Franklin and his teammates play in the Super Bowl.

“I can think of nothing better than to bring back a Super Bowl title up to Toronto,” he said.

From developing his football skills as a kid with the Scarborough Thunder to spending a couple of stints at an East Toronto juvenile detention centre, Franklin’s meandering path from southern Ontario to the Super Bowl is now just one win shy of being complete.

Making this particular Sunday even more special was that Franklin’s mother Sylvia was in the stands to see her son and the rest of the Denver offensive line dominate the Patriots in the trenches, leaving franchise QB Peyton Manning virtually untouched all afternoon.

“All the guys ... Orlando ... I can’t say enough about the job they did out there,” Manning said. “They are a very close knit group.”

Sylvia will also be in New Jersey in two weeks. As the woman whom Franklin credits with keeping him from remaining in the “dark place” of crime and confusion he found himself in as a young teenager, she may have been the most thrilled person in the stadium on Sunday.

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