New Ravens fans turn out to support brothers' Super Bowl dad

Posted Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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ALEDO-- Principal Bob Harmon began the countdown for 380 sixth-graders gathered behind a tear-down banner in the McAnally Intermediate School gym Wednesday.

"One ... two ...," Harmon counted.

He never made it to three.

A torrent of screaming adolescents surged prematurely through the banner wearing Baltimore Ravens purple and gold and scrambling around classmate Brannon Johnson, 12. The sound of popping balloons filled the air.

Brannon is the oldest son of Ravens defensive back Chris Johnson, No. 39, who will be playing the game of his life Sunday in New Orleans.

McAnally students and staff wanted to mark the Super Bowl occasion and offer their support, as did folks at McCall Elementary School a half-hour later.

Christopher Johnson, Brannon's little brother, is a first-grader there.

"I didn't think this was going to be this exciting," said Mioshi Johnson, their mom, after the preteen rush at McAnally. Then she vowed to the crowd that the Johnsons would be bringing home a Super Bowl ring after Sunday's contest with the San Francisco 49ers.

"It's not very often you get a dad playing in the big game," Harmon said later, adding that Brannon is considered a school leader at McAnally.

Harmon's earlier lament, "Sorry the Cowboys aren't there," was met with a student chorus of loud boos.

The scene was a little calmer at McCall, where the students in kindergarten through fifth grade had signed a large banner for Mioshi Johnson and her sons to hold up during the big game.

Christopher's first-grade class celebrated with a party after the banner presentation.

The boys, their mother, sister Krissy, grandmothers and one friend each will go to see the game live, the first Super Bowl for all of them.

Krissy Johnson is a freshman at Duncanville High School.

Chris and Mioshi Johnson are not far from their hometown of Longview, where he played for Longview Pine Tree High School. He signed with the Ravens in November after playing for the Oakland Raiders.

Christopher confidently estimated Wednesday that his dad's team had "about a thousand percent chance" of winning.

"I'm really excited because this is a new thing for my dad," Christopher said.

Shirley Jinkins, 817-390-7657

Twitter: @startelegram

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