January 30, 2008
Climax -- The road to the Super Bowl for James Butler started in Climax, Georgia, in a small house on East Broad Street, just about a mile from the center of town.
Butler's father, Rev. James Butler Sr. says, "There's only one caution light here, and we are happy here. Now Climax is in the Super Bowl, and that's great."
Butler played four years at Georgia Tech, after his high school days at Bainbridge.
Despite being a two-time semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe award, presented to the top defensive back in college football, and twice named first-team all ACC, the safety went undrafted out of college, and signed as a rookie free agent with the Giants in 2005.
"If anyone would have told us we'd be in the Super Bowl, I'd have told them 'No,'" says Butler Sr.
James Butler Jr. is the first Climax-native to play in the big game, and his parents say the town of 229 residents has Super Bowl fever.
Nadine Butler says, "It's exciting, and then again, it's unexplainable. A lady at church yesterday said, 'I don't usually watch football, but I will be watching Sunday.'"
The underdog Giants will be looking to knock off undefeated New England in Arizona.
Butler Sr. says, "I do believe we're gonna be those Patriots. They can be whupped."
The Super Bowl officially kicks off at 6:18 on Sunday.
James and Nadine will be in Arizona to watch their son play, but at least 227 other South Georgians will rooting loudly for New York.