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9 Images

FROM SMALL TOWN TO MOTOWN

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HOMETOWN HER0: Willie Parker Sr. shows off his favorite memento from the wall dedicated to son’s achievements. (Lissa Gotwals / For The Times)
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STARTING POINT: Lorraine and Willie Parker Sr. are at the football field where it all began for Steelers’ running back Willie Parker Jr. This field, across the street from their home, is where Parker played youth football as a child in Clinton, N.C. (Lissa Gotwals / For The Times)
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GLORY DAYS: The stadium at Willie Parker’s alma mater, Clinton High School, displays the proud heritage of football in Clinton, N.C. (Lissa Gotwals / For The Times)
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WORDS TO LIVE BY: Willie Parker Sr. wears the inspiring words of his son across his chest. “We’re gonna make it,” is what Willie Parker Jr. said to reassure his father after a disappointing college career at North Carolina. (Lissa Gotwals / For The Times)
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CHOP SHOP: One of at least five of the barber shops in downtown Clinton, N.C., Willie Parker’s hometown (Lissa Gotwals / For The Times)
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NOT SO TERRIBLE: Barber and Parker family friend Larry Swinson displays his terrible towel at his barber shop in downtown Clinton, N.C., hometown of Steeler running back Willie Parker Jr. (Lissa Gotwals / For The Times)
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MAKING A PLAY: Willie Parker breaks into the Bronco secondary, where Champ Bailey attempts a tackle, during the AFC Championship game. (Matthew Emmons / US Presswire)
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DOWN TIME: Jerome Bettis (right) and Willie Parker talk while stretching before practice Saturday. (Gene J. Puskar / AP)
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MEDIA BLITZ: Willie Parker is all smiles as he is interviewed during Media Day on Tuesday. (Doug Benc / Getty Images)
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