Ohio man, former Marshall player reflects on playing in two Super Bowls
POMEROY, OHIO (WCHS/WVAH) —
Playing in the Super Bowl is a dream many athletes have, but only a few actually achieve it. A man from Meigs County, Ohio was lucky enough to play in two Super Bowls.
"God just blessed me to snap a football between my legs. That kept me in the league for 13 years,” former NLF player, Mike Bartrum, said.
A former Marshall University football player, Bartrum looks back on his long-running NFL career as a long snapper and tight end. He played for the Kansas City Chiefs, Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles.
He was lucky enough to play in two Super Bowls, one in 1997 with the Patriots, and in 2005 with the Eagles.
"I was fortunate enough to make some championship games and a Super Bowl with them and we played against New England, then New England beat us so I was never on the right team but it was a great experience,” Bartrum said.
Bartrum said having loved ones cheering him on from the seats and the electric atmosphere made those two big games unforgettable.
"That’s one thing you will never forget. It was just an amazing, kind of pinching myself, like am I really here? Am I really playing? It was surreal but it was a great experience and I thank God every day for the experience not only for myself but for a lot of other people too,” Bartrum said.
But life wasn't always a snap for Bartrum.
"It was a long journey. There were a lot of injuries, a lot of adversity, a lot of moving. You can ask my wife about that,” Bartrum said.
He retired from the NFL when he suffered a neck injury during a game in 2006.
Bartrum, his wife and four children ended up back where it all started at Meigs High School, where he played football as a teenager. He’s been the head football coach there for five years now.
Bartrum said his family and his faith are what helped him persevere through difficult times.
"I’ve been fired a lot in my life and that’s made me the man I am today. It really humbled me and the big perspective of what life and God chooses. Everything that happens, happens for a reason,” Bartrum said.
Now Bartrum shares the lessons he's learned on and off the field with his players and his kids in hopes that they can succeed too.
"It’s really humbling. I don’t only try to instill that in the football team but our family, our kids. Let them know how fortunate you are able to walk and talk and play football and if you get fortunate as I was to play in college and in the NFL level, it’s a blessing,” Bartrum said.
Nowadays, Bartrum doesn't just teach high school students how to play the game. When he returned to his home town of Pomeroy, Ohio, he started doing a lot for his community. He started a Christian based pre-school and has been a Meigs County commissioner since 2008.