Adam Thielen's rise from walk-on free agent to Pro Bowl wide receiver has been well-chronicled. But wait 'til you hear the rest of the story.

When Thielen was starring for Detroit Lakes High School, he lined up against Sartell High. One member of that Sartell team, Luke Inveiss, is now Thielen's marketing agent.

The two connected when they both tried out for the team at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Thielen got a $500 scholarship; Inveiss took his talents to St. John's University in Collegeville.

They rekindled their friendship when Inveiss was breaking into sports marketing and Thielen was an unknown on the Minnesota Vikings practice squad.

Inveiss has represented Thielen ever since. But little did he know that one day hundreds of fans would line up for his client's autograph at the Mall of America on the day before the Super Bowl.

"It's a crazy little story, how our lives have intertwined for 10 years," Inveiss said. "I always did truly believe in him. He just needed the opportunity.

"It couldn't happen to a better guy."

John Reinan