Mike DeVito will be watching the Super Bowl at his home in Hampden, rooting for one of his former NFL teams – the Chiefs. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

When Mike DeVito watches the Super Bowl on Sunday night, he will not be surrounded by former Kansas City Chiefs teammates. As the only member of the Chiefs alumni association in the Greater Bangor area, DeVito is content to be a fan club of one. He wishes he thought to see if his favorite barbecue joints back in Kansas City would ship him ribs for the game.

“I’ll watch it at home, by myself,” DeVito said. “I can’t do a crowd.”

As a college player, DeVito was a standout defensive lineman at the University of Maine. DeVito was a first-team all-conference nose tackle as a senior in 2006, and was inducted into the Black Bears Sports Hall of Fame in 2017. He spent the first six seasons of his nine-season NFL career with the New York Jets and finished his career with three seasons as a Chief, retiring after the 2015 season. A graduate of Nauset Regional High School in North Eastham, Massachusetts, DeVito and his family came back to Maine when his playing days were complete.

Now, DeVito hosts a podcast, 3 Point Stance, on which he interviews current and former NFL players, including many former teammates. DeVito also works on his education. Online courses have allowed DeVito to pursue master’s degrees in philosophy and theology from the University of Edinburgh, the Augustine Institute and Houston Baptist University. Soon, DeVito will apply to doctorate programs and begin work on a PhD.

“I really enjoy that,” DeVito said. “The NFL pays for it.”

DeVito’s life is in a good place. Now, finally, one of his former teams is in the best place.

“This is the first time a team I root for is in a championship game,” DeVito said.

DeVito played in nine playoff games, and none were a home game. He played in two AFC championship games with the Jets, losing at Indianapolis in 2010 and at Pittsburgh in 2011. Patriots fans will remember the 2011 divisional round game at Gillette Stadium, in which the Jets won 28-21, barely a month after coming to Foxborough and losing 45-3. On reflection, that was the biggest win of his pro career, DeVito said.

“I can’t complain. I know guys who played 10, 15 years who never sniffed a playoff game,” DeVito said.

While he never experienced Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium in the playoffs, DeVito knows how loud the stadium can get. As excited as he is to see the Chiefs in the Super Bowl, DeVito knows the longtime fans – and any supporter under 50 has not seen the Chiefs play in the Super Bowl in their lifetime – will be ecstatic to see their team take the field in Miami.

Thinking about all the fans lined up early on Sunday morning to get into the stadium parking lots, and dressed head to toe in red, DeVito knows the Super Bowl is for them.

“I was on the field in Arrowhead the first time they broke the record for loudest stadium,” DeVito said. “It feels like an earthquake. The ground is shaking … I loved Arrowhead. I got to see a whole another side of the NFL.”

An undrafted free agent, DeVito earned a spot on the Jets roster in 2007. Like at Maine, DeVito played with a high motor from snap to whistle. He finished his career with 250 tackles, six forced fumbles and five and a half sacks. In his final season with the 2015 Chiefs, DeVito made 19 tackles, three sacks, and learned how things can go from bad to great quickly in the NFL.

The Chiefs won their season opener over the Houston Texans, then dropped five games in a row. At 1-5, the season was spinning away from the team when Coach Andy Reid sat the team down for a meeting.

Here’s the deal, Reid said. We can only control what we do each day. Reid asked the players to focus on winning whatever was next. Film session? Win that. Position battle at practice? Win that. Date night with your wife? Make it the best date night and win that.

“We took that mentality, and things started to turn around,” DeVito said. “Andy Reid, it’s easy to have respect for a guy like that. Everything he does is calculated. Everything has a meaning and everything has a purpose.”

Winning the little things morphed into winning games – 10 in a row to close the regular season at 11-5. The Chiefs won their wild-card game at Houston, 30-0, before ending the season with a 27-20 loss at New England. That season is when DeVito saw the Chiefs grow into a team that can contend for the Super Bowl.

This Super Bowl will come down to line play, DeVito said.

“It always comes down to the trenches. I’m not just saying that because I’m a D-lineman,” DeVito said. “That sets the tone for the game. Who’s setting the tempo?”

DeVito sees tackle Chris Jones as Kansas City’s most important player on defense. Jones has to disrupt things in the middle of the line if the Chiefs are going to slow down the 49ers’ strong running game. Offensively, it’s up to tackle Mitchell Schwartz to keep pass rusher Nick Bosa off Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

If the Chiefs are down early, DeVito will not panic. Kansas City has rallied in back-to-back playoff games.

“No lead is safe against this team,” DeVito said.

Since the Patriots were one-and-done in the playoffs, the Super Bowl buzz in Maine is more about a Hyundai ad featuring Massachusetts native actors and David Ortiz. In his Hampden home, DeVito will wear his red and become a one-man Arrowhead Stadium. If seismographs record activity in Penobscot County on Sunday night, it’s just DeVito cheering for this team.

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