NOVATO (KPIX 5) — From the quiet neighborhood his parents still call home, to the quaint streets of downtown, Novato is a place just small enough for people to know, and remember, a young Jared Goff.
“It’s a very small community, it’s quiet, it’s unassuming,” says neighbor Patty Schalich. “It’s quite the talk of the neighborhood.”
“Went on to Marin Catholic, did well there. On to Berkeley, did well there,” recounts Roger Goodwin of Old Town Sports. He remembers Goff playing in the streets outside his store years ago.
“We were ecstatic to see him go onto the NFL and now he’s headed for the Super Bowl.”
Neighbors who remember the Rams quarterback from his childhood were watching the NFC Championship game, and they’re thrilled to see him heading to one of the biggest stages in the world of sports.
“You know, after the game yesterday I see him interviewed, and he’s just so polite and poised,” Schalich added.
It’s not just neighbors. The Viking Bar in downtown Novato may as well be a Rams bar for the next two weeks.
“Oh, one hundred percent,” says bar owner Tom Baseheart. “Maybe will be on the map now. It’s about time Novato gets recognized for all the professional players we’ve always had.”
This, however, is more than just a player in the NFL. Playing quarterback in the Super Bowl is among the upper thresholds of sports achievement. And that, of course, raises talk of the competition.
“Yeah he’s taking on the GOAT,” says Goodwin, referring to the “Greatest Of All Time” discussion. “Wearing the actual GOAT’S number on his chest,” he finished, a reference to 49ers legend Joe Montana.
And while it may be a collision of Bay Area quarterbacks in Atlanta, many in Novato are not afraid to take sides in this game.
“I like Tom Brady,” says Tom Schalich. “But Tom has had his success, and we’re going to be rooting for Jared.”