Kyle DeVan: From substitute teacher to protector of Peyton

At this time last year, Kyle DeVan's(notes) job was to stand in front of large groups of random children and somehow, make them behave and/or learn something.

This year, it's going to be his job to protect the most famous football player in the world, with about 100,000,000 people watching him do it.

The AP has the story Monday about DeVan, who has spent the last year of his life journeying from substitute teacher to Super Bowl starter. It's an amazing story. Out of the blue last year, he got a chance to play with the Boise Burn of arenafootball2, did that, and somehow the Colts noticed him and gave him a chance in training camp.

He made the most of it, earned a spot on the roster, ascended to a starting position, and here he is, protecting arguably the game's most valuable asset, Peyton Manning(notes).

I'm just thrilled for everyone involved. I'm happy for DeVan, of course, because he didn't give up on his dreams, he kept working hard, and ended up at the pinnacle of his profession. That's incredible, and the substitute teachers of the world certainly deserve a break now and then.

And I'm happy for the kids in his old school district, too. Because when a child learns that it's a substitute teacher day, that child has a right to expect that they'll be able to get away with some wild stuff that day. But when you walk in and the substitute teacher is 6-foot-2, 306 pounds, that's just not fair. No one's going to want to throw spitballs at Mr. DeVan.

So it worked out for everyone, and DeVan provides Super Bowl XLIV a very solid good-guy story. Best of luck to him on Sunday.

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