Hemlock going wild for Super Bowl-bound Andrew Wylie
(1/31/2020) - The people of Hemlock are painting the town red ahead of the Super Bowl this Sunday.
That's because a man born and raised in the small Saginaw County community has a huge presence on the Kansas City Chiefs offensive line.
Jenn Neiderquill of Jenn's Place is hoping to pack in a crowd for the big game.
"We are hoping that the town of Hemlock will come and support our local player," Neiderquill said.
Wylie is an offensive lineman for the Kansas City Chiefs. While he grew up in the Hemlock area, he actually graduated from Midland High School.
But he went to school for a time in Hemlock, his family still lives here, and the students are fans.
"Kids, who are you rooting for." the Hemlock elementary students are asked.
"The Kansas City Chiefs."
"And more specifically, what player,"
"Andrew Wylie," they scream.
"I don't think we've ever had anyone play in the Super Bowl, as far as I know," said Phil Mulvaney, who owns Farmer's Home Tavern in Hemlock.
He's had big crowds for the big game before, but this one will be different.
"Sunday is a little extra. We have a hometown boy playing. That's pretty cool. I know his dad quite well. Scott comes in quite often and once in awhile we see Andrew in the offseason," Mulvaney said.
An autographed picture of Wylie is on the wall in the tavern. There have been signs popping up around town, as well.
Vick Rathaur owns the party store in nearby Laporte, and across the street there is more support for Wylie.
"Two people came and they hang that sign, I see the name and I saw, oh wow, that's the guy here," he said.
It's not clear if Wylie will play in the Super Bowl. While he was the starting tackle for much of the regular season, he has missed the last four games with an injury, but Neiderquill says she will be watching for number 77.
"Big Kansas City fans now?" we asked.
"We are turning into them," Neiderquill said.