Geraldine Barber had no problem rooting for Tampa Bay to win the Super Bowl and not just because one of her twin sons had played 16 seasons for the Buccaneers.
Her connection with the Bucs' head coach, Bruce Arians, goes back to their college days at Virginia Tech in the early 1970's.
"This whole week is about Bruce," she said in a phone interview from her Maryland home. "I don't want to do anything to take anything from the focus on him because he is so deserving."
Arians' wife, Christine, is another Tech alumna.
"Chris reminded me last year, when we were together at a game, that it has been 50 years since we met each other," said Geraldine, who now goes by Barber-Hale.
"Bruce was already [at Tech]. I believe this was right after Chris and Bruce had gotten married because they were long-time sweethearts. Before they had gotten married, Bruce and Tiki and Ronde's daddy, [J.B. Barber] were roommates and the first inter-racial teammates to be football roommates there.
"They got to be real good friends and then, when J.B. and I got married, I was taken into that friendship. Bruce and Chris were always there for me. When Tiki and Ronde were infants and were having problems with seizures, I could always count on Chris."
Geraldine later divorced from J.B. Barber and moved to Roanoke, where she raised her sons as a single mom.
"I didn't see them for years," Geraldine said of Bruce and Chris Arians. "We kept in touch but I didn't spend any time with them until I was at a [New York] Giants game and I think, at the time, Bruce was coaching with the Indianapolis Colts and they came to Giants Stadium.
"I was coming down to the back of the stadium with parents and guests and Bruce was headed to the visitors' dressing room and I heard somebody say 'G-e-r-a-l-d-i-n-e,' and I turned around and it was him. It was like seeing your long-lost brother.