Excitement in the town
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Lovie Smith and Big Sandy

The storefront windows of TexasChecks, LLC, on Big Sandy’s one downtown street in East Texas express the town’s excitement about Lovie Smith taking his team to the Super Bowl. (Courtney Perry, xx)
Cars parked on West Gilmer Street in Big Sandy, Texas, are marked with messages of support for the Chicago Bears and coach Lovie Smith. (Courtney Perry, xx)
TALK OF THE TOWN: Susan Hubbard, owner of an employment screening agency, is planning a pep rally for Lovie Smith and the Bears in Big Sandy. She used to attend his junior high football games. (Courtney Perry / For the Times)
STREET SCENE: Lovie Smith returned to Big Sandy last summer to visit with old friends and attend a ceremony to rename the street where he grew up. (Courtney Perry / For the Times)
LOVIE THEN: Smith’s 1976 senior yearbook picture. (Courtney Perry / For the Times)
THEY LOVE LOVIE: Big Sandy High football Coach Darold Turner, shown Friday with one of his players, says Lovie Smith is “an inspiration to every young man, young lady and even adults in this community that a small-town boy can make it big-time.” (Courtney Perry / For the Times)