Mother Will Experience Super Bowl Through Sound

It has been 16 years since Mae Smith was able to watch her son Lovie stand on a football field.

"I know he was excited," Mae said. "I could just imagine how excited he was. I was pretty excited myself. I couldn't see anything, but I could feel it."

In 1991, Mae Smith lost her eyesight to diabetes. Since her son was named a head coach in the NFL, Mae has not be able to physically see one of Lovie's games, although she follows every play. 

"I kind of follow along with the commentators and then, when I get lost, I'll ask [family] what's happening," she explained. "They tell me - they say, 'Mother, they are showing Lovie' when something exciting happens or when something goes bad."

What most fans can see and experience through sight, Mae feels with sound. She did not see the smile on her son's face Sunday as he became the first black coach to lead a team to the Super Bowl, but, she knew that smile was there.

"We were just happy," she said. "I told him I was just really proud for him, and he's really excited, too. He called me and told me, 'was that exciting?' and I said, 'that's really exciting.'"

Though Mae says she is accustomed to a world without sight, she does have one thing she wishes she could see: Lovie on the sidelines at the Super Bowl.

"I wish I could," she said. "I can just imagine him standing there. I can't see him, but I can just kind of imagine him."

Mae talked to her son not long after the NFC Championship win. She said the cool demeanor fans and analysts admire has not been wavered by the big game.

"He talked just like he doesn't have any pressure on him. He sounds the same."

Lovie has said he learned patience from his father, calling him a calm man. Lovie's father passed away 11 years ago. He would have celebrated his 78th birthday this week.

"I wish his dad was here to enjoy this with us," she said. "But, it's just one of those things that he went on. I know, wherever he is, he's looking down on him. He'd probably say, 'Keep the good work going. Go ahead and try to win the Super Bowl.'"

Mae will be in Miami for Super Bowl Sunday, and this mom already knows what she will say when the game is all said and done.

"I'll just say, "You finally finished what you started out for." His goal - what he started for - he made it."