News 12 at 11 o'clock / Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012
GROVETOWN, Ga. -- A local soldier won big after placing in a national contest.The contest, DIRECTV's Ultimate Displaced Fan, looks for the biggest football fan who doesn't live in the same city as their favorite team.
Jacob Neal and thousands of others across the country sent in videos hoping to win tickets to Sunday's Superbowl. Neal, who lives in Grovetown, was chosen as one of five honorable mentions.
Jacob Neal has been a Dallas Cowboys fan his whole life. "We had a a little mini draft to simulate the NFL I actually got drafted to another team refused to play with them because I wanted to play for the Dallas Cowboys. After a lot of kicking a screaming and fighting, I ended up getting to play for the Dallas Cowboys and that was the best thing that ever happened to me," said Neal.
Neal lives in Grovetown but is currently stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. When he was transferred to Fort Bragg, he decided he didn't want to move his family again so instead, he commutes. He's lived all over the country and has been deployed four times, but no matter where he is, he cheers on his Cowboys. "Win, lose or draw, I stuck with them. It gave me something to do. Gave me something to look forward to and it's been that way ever since," said Neal. "Here I am 37 years old still following the Cowboys."
And his video entry for the contest shows that he is not the only fan in his family. His children were both in the video, playing checkers on their Cowboys vs. Redskins Football Helmet checkers set and playing Go Fish with their Cowboy's playing cards. His wife also supports his love of the Cowboys. She has given him a lot of his memorabilia and is a Cowboys fan herself.
Neal wishes he could have been at the Superbowl this year, but he's not giving up yet. He said he's planning on entering the contest again next year. "If at first you don't succeed try, try again," said Neal. "I will not stop until I get those Superbowl tickets."
And when asked who he was cheering for on Sunday night, Neal replied "I will not be cheering for anyone, lets make that clear because I"m a die hard Cowboys fan and I refuse to cheer for anybody else. But I will be cheering against the Giants because that's who put my beloved Cowboys out of playoff contention."
As an honorable mention he won money that he will use to buy Cowboys tickets this season for their games in Atlanta, Charlotte and D.C. He said his ultimate goal is to one day lead the Cowboys onto the field in his one-of-a-kind Cowboys truck.