"To lift him up in the air and kiss him," Keisel said, "it was a special memory I'll never forget. I've got a great picture of him coming back on the plane. We passed around the Vince Lombardi trophy and my son, you could see him lipping on the trophy. It was remarkable, something I'll never forget.
"Around here, we call it hoisting the sticky Lombardi -- everyone puts their sticky hands on it and their sticky mouths. I don't think people care too much about sanitary-ness."
Even with the greatest game of their lives just ahead, shrewd players scout out the family section during pregame warm-ups.
Three years after the disastrous 1-15 season in 1989, the Dallas Cowboys surfaced at the Rose Bowl in Super Bowl XXVII. After bludgeoning Buffalo 52-17, Emmitt Smith knew precisely where to go to find his parents and goddaughter.
"I knew exactly where the family section was," the Hall of Fame running back said. "I wasn't married at the time, didn't have any kids, so I reached up and gave them a hug.
"My father didn't play college ball, he played semi-pro football and I'm sure he had some regrets about pursuing his career the way I pursued mine. To have that warm embrace, to see the excitement on his face and that joy on my mother's face, it's priceless."
Nineteen years earlier, Dick Vermeil had been on the losing side of a Super Bowl, with the Philadelphia Eagles. But when Rams linebacker Mike Jones brought down Titans receiver Kevin Dyson as time expired in Atlanta's Super Bowl XXXIV, Vermeil was a winner at last.
"My first thought is, 'It's over, we are world champions,'" he said a year ago in Los Angeles. "My next thought is, 'Where's my family?'"
The answer was the stands behind the Rams' bench. The problem was that security workers on the field -- and guarding the railing in front of the seats -- were discouraging Vermeil's large extended family from joining him.
His wife, Carol, was undaunted.
"I'm coming down!" she screamed.
"No, you can't do that lady," the overmatched on-field security guard said, looking up.
"Well, you better catch me because I'm jumping," she answered. "We're coming over."
Vermeil laughed at the memory and shook his head.
"So she jumped and someone caught her," he said. "And by the time I got there they started handing down the grandkids, one at a time. I took the littlest one, Christopher, and put him on my shoulders and headed over to the podium to receive the Lombardi Trophy."
NFL Films captured the memorable scene:
"We won the Super Bowl, did we not?" Vermeil shrieked. "Did we win the Super Bowl? Did we win the Super Bowl?"
And Christopher nodded and yelled right back, "We won the Super Bowl!"
"Even to this day," he said, "when I start talking about it, I get emotional. It just pulls it out of you … "
And, sure enough, Vermeil started to tear up.
James Barnett was one of those grandchildren. He was in seventh grade at the time.
"It was the most incredible moment … ever," he said. "I can't even begin to explain it."
And then, the family's low threshold of emotion revealed itself again.
"I'm pulling a grandpa right now," he said, sighing. "I'm emotional just thinking about it."