HOUSTON, Texas - The guy who will call plays for the Patriots in Sunday's Super Bowl did the same in Norfolk for more than six seasons.
No, Bill Belichick nor Tom Brady come from the Commonwealth. However, the guy who literally calls the plays for New England does: Pats radio broadcaster Bob Socci.
"I was so lucky to have the chance to work for the Tides," Socci told News 3 Sports Director Adam Winkler.
Socci started as Norfolk Tides play-by-play man in 2006 and did games for more than six seasons. He moved into the Patriots booth in 2013 and the team has reached the AFC Championship every season with Bob on the mic. Sunday, he'll call his second Super Bowl.
"You look forward to every broadcast as if it's going to be the most important you'll ever call," Socci explained. "I've always felt that way- whether it was high school football or small college sports, Class A or Triple A. And looking at the Super Bowl - it's really no different in that sense."
Super Bowl 51, the sport's biggest stage, is a long way from Harbor Park. But Hampton Roads, and the Tides especially, are still as close to Bob as a fastball that runs high and tight.
"People like [Dave Rosenfield], people like (media relations director) Ian Locke and other people on the Tides staff," Socci pointed out. "They were so supportive and complimentary. They made you feel like you still connected with the listener and still could get to the big leagues."