by Eowyn Langholf

Nepotism Anyone? Super Bowl LII is Full of Cousins

Doug Pederson of the Philadelphia Eagles once said this about bringing a win to a city that hasn't had one in a long time: "You do it ONE day at a time. You do it ONE player at a time and you do it ONE coach at a time."  The same philosophy is true for genealogy when you're trying to get a win in your family history research.  You work one day at a time, to find one person at a time and build out one family at a time.  For many researchers, this is their passion, while for others it might be something like football.  At first glance, these may seem to have nothing in common but whether you are a researcher, a quarterback, or the President of the United States, we're all connected.

Since the beginning of time, there have been some hardcore rivalries, not the least of which were between quarterbacks of various football teams.  Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, anyone? {Peyton is Tom's third cousin once removed's husband's 9th cousin, by the way).

Even though Wentz and Brady won't be facing off on the field on Sunday due to Wentz' injury,  they can take comfort in knowing that Carson is Tom's third cousin once removed's husband's first cousin 8 times removed's wife's 8th great nephew.  Maybe not close enough to end any rivalry between the two, but...maybe Tom will send a get well card and some flowers.


While they don’t have other quarterbacks in their connection line-up, they do have a couple of ship Captains as well as a whole lot of Soule (pretty fly for two white guys).  Not to mention a Reverend.  Hey, maybe they are related to Tim Tebow?  (I checked. Carson and Tim are 16th cousins once removed. Just saying. Maybe the Eagles do have a chance?)

We hope Tom Brady won’t be deflated to learn that while he is Bill Belichick’s first cousin 9 times removed's wife's 7th great nephew's wife's third cousin once removed, Bill and Carson actually have a much closer connection as 17th cousins.


Incidentally Bill and Roger Goodell are even closer, 12th cousins once removed.

(Speaking of Roger, you may remember the little beef between him and Jerry Jones. Maybe if Roger had known that Jerry was his wife's fifth great aunt's husband's second cousin's wife's second cousin five times removed, that whole debacle would have gone more smoothly. I digress…)

How about the owners though?  The rivalry betweeh Robert Kraft and Jeffrey Lurie started over 20 years ago!  First, in 1994, when Kraft got ownership of the Patriots, and again when the Patriots beat the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX.  Will it finally be Lurie's time? Will he get to hold the Lombardi trophy in his hands on Sunday? We'll see! If not, maybe he can find some comfort in knowing that he is Robert's son's wife's great aunt's husband's second great niece's husband's great grandfather's wife's second great nephew's wife's aunt's husband's sister's husband's second cousin once removed's ex-husband. That's gotta mean something.  Right?


Meanwhile, when you are listening to the play-by-play of the game by the voice of Monday Night Football, Mr. Al Michaels himself, you can rest easy knowing his commentary is bias-free!  Al is Jeffrey Lurie's ex-wife's first cousin four times removed's wife's sister's husband's sister's husband's fourth great nephew's wife's first cousin's husband's sister's husband's first cousin's wife's father AND Robert Kraft's son's wife's great aunt's husband's second great niece's husband's great aunt's husband's first cousin's wife's first cousin's husband's uncle's wife's brother's wife's aunt's husband's second great nephew's wife's father.  There's no favoritism there.

Even if the game is a blow-out, we can still look forward to the entertainment. Super Bowl LII has lined up some heavy hitters with Pink singing the National Anthem to kick off the game and then Justin Timberlake to (lite?) rock us at half-time.  Justin is Pink’s first cousin once removed's wife's great uncle's wife's third great uncle's wife's sister's husband's 7th great nephew.


Hopefully, there are no wardrobe malfunctions this time. (Janet is Justin’s  second great grandfather's wife's first cousin thrice removed's husband's second cousin five times removed's ex-husband's sister. They connect through Elvis Presley. That should get you all shook up.)

All things considered, it’s like what author Terry Pratchett wrote in one of his books: “The thing about football - the important thing about football - is that it is not just about football.” Football, like genealogy, helps people connect.  It brings us together and gives us some common ground, even when we can’t agree on the team (-coughs-Go Packers-coughs).  In the world we live in today, anything that unites, rather than divides us, is worth celebrating.

Dilly Dilly.

PS:  Since the State of the Union took place earlier this week, we'll throw in a little bonus and show you how some presidential connections. Think of this as overtime.

It's no secret that Tom Brady and President Trump are friends.  But did you know Tom is also the President's ex-wife's second great grandfather's wife's second cousin twice removed's wife's first cousin's husband's 7th great niece's husband's first cousin's ex-partner? No wonder they bonded!


Carson Wentz may not have as many Super Bowl rings as Tom Brady, but we think he scores a touchdown since he and the President are 18th cousins. (Flag on the play?)


Al Michaels once said, "We live in this world of tweeting, and social media, and anti-social media, and all the rest, so no matter what you say, there is going to be what people say is a firestorm. I don’t know what a firestorm is."  Tweeting? Firestorm? Do we need to say more to segue into his connection with the President?  We think not.  Al is the President's daughter's husband's aunt's husband's fourth cousin's husband's first cousin once removed's wife's aunt's husband's second great nephew's wife's father.


Note: All connections and connection images are courtesy of

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