Super Bowl LVII had no shortage of surprises. After the Eagles took a commanding lead in the first half, the Kansas City Chiefs made a killer comeback, winning the game 38-35. Between Patrick Mahomes’ untimely injury in the first half and the Eagles’ ability to take advantage of that injury, it seemed like there was no hope for the KC underdogs.

However, part of the team’s unlikely victory is thanks to newcomer Isiah Pacheco. The Chiefs running back scored a one-yard touchdown during the team’s first run in the second half. After helping close the gap between the two teams, the Chiefs would eke out a victory and become the 2023 Super Bowl champions.

But there’s more to Pacheco than his stats. In fact, he has quite a life story and his journey to the top is not without its bumps. To help introduce Pacheco to the national stage, here are some must-know facts about one of the latest Super Bowl champions.

He is of Black and Puerto Rican descent

Although there is little information about his parents’ life stories, we do know that Pacheco’s parents are named Julio Pacheco and Felicia Cannon. The Pacheco family lived in Vineland, New Jersey, and supported Isiah’s career from the very beginning. Although his origins are humble, Isiah’s success is a result of his loving upbringing.

Pacheco is the youngest of five children

However, Isiah isn’t the only child in the Pacheco family. In fact, he’s the youngest of five children. Family is key to Isiah, who plays to honor and support the people who did the same for him as a rising star in the local and college football scenes where he developed his game.

Here he is celebrating with his family after his first Super Bowl win.

But two of his siblings died within two years of each other

Tragically, Pacheco lost two of his siblings within two years of each other. His older brother Travoise died in January 2016 from a stabbing by someone who claimed he acted in self-defense. Just 21 months later, Pacheco’s younger sister Celeste died from a gunshot wound.

Her death came just three months after Pacheco committed to Rutgers as a college freshman.

As quarterback of the Rutgers team, Pacheco rushed 222 yards and threw a touchdown pass just three days after his sister died. He then rushed 150 yards and scored three touchdowns on the same day as his sister’s funeral.

Pacheco earned his nickname “Pop” after knocking out a quarterback

Pacheco continues to honor his late siblings by keeping the nickname Pop, first used by his late brother, Travoise. He earned the moniker during a high school game where he knocked the quarterback off his feet, prompting his brother to yell “Pop!” In fact, Isiah hit him so hard, an ambulance had to come to wheel him away.

“That always just sticks with me,” Pacheco said, “and has that little sense of reminder of my brothers there with me.”

Others call him the “Energizer Bunny,” or the “Super Mario invincibility star”

In addition to Pop, Pacheco’s list of nicknames continues to grow. Acclaim for his style of play only grows louder every year. Sometimes, it’s someone saying he runs with the speed and tenacity of Super Mario’s invincibility star. Other times, KC’s coach will refer to him as the Energizer Bunny.

Our personal favorite? Ben Stevens saying Pacheco “runs like he’s angry at the ground.”

Pacheco stayed close to home by playing college ball at Rutgers

Speaking of Rutgers, it turned out to be an unconventional choice for the up-and-comer. Following his high school career, universities along the eastern seaboard — like Syracuse and Virginia Tech — were aggressively courting Pacheco. However, Pacheco ended up choosing a team that wasn’t exactly highly regarded at the time.

Rutgers was on quite the losing streak when Pacheco came on board. But his decision to stay close to home and work with a team in need of a shakeup turned out to be the best decision of his career. Pacheco left Rutgers with a stunning record and a spot on the Kansas City Chiefs.

Pacheco almost missed his shot during the 2022 NFL Draft

It might seem crazy to think about now, but Pacheco almost didn’t make it into the NFL. During the 2022 Draft, Pacheco was one of the last twelve players to earn a spot in the league. Overall, he was the 251st pick in the seventh round of the NFL Draft.

The running back waited anxiously at Vineland’s Double Eagle Saloon. He didn’t get any sleep the night before and was pacing around the bar, waiting for his phone to ring. Eventually, it did, and the rest is history.

He turned his hometown from Birds territory to diehard Chiefs fans

Speaking of Vineland, Pacheco’s hometown was a breeding ground for fans of the Philadelphia Eagles for years. The South Jersey community is just 45 minutes away from Philadelphia by car. The community was, by extension, crazy about the Eagles. However, since Pacheco joined the team in 2022, Vineland has become diehard Chiefs territory.