My Super Bowl Experience
Back in November, I decided to apply for a media credential for the Super Bowl. I figured the worst they could (and most likely would) do was say no.
Then, a couple of days before Christmas, I received an email with an update to my application. As it turned out, I was approved!
After completing an FBI background check (and somehow passing it), I was given instructions on where and when to pick up my credential.
When the day of game came I was a little nervous. Driving into downtown and seeing all the armored vehicles and heavily armed police officers stationed on every corner was a little unnerving. However, once I made it to the perimeter I was a little more comfortable.
The setup for the Super Bowl was not like the setup for a typical Vikings game, where you walk right up to the gate and get your ticket scanned. Instead, there were tents set up blocks away from the stadium itself that served as the security checkpoints. It was a little surprising to leave the tent and see the stadium was still blocks away!
I was not seated in the actual press box and was instead placed in the "auxiliary" press area, which was section 328. I was in the last row of the stadium but it was a view of the field I actually prefer.
I arrived at 2:30 or so, and I was wondering how to kill three hours of time before the opening kickoff. As it turns out, time flies at the Super Bowl when they show tons of hype videos on the big screen in between shots of the different celebrities at the game.
Pink sang the National Anthem despite being under the weather and sounded amazing in the stadium. She clocked in under two minutes for those of you keeping score at home.
The Super Bowl merchandise was not cheap to say the least. A t-shirt would set you back $40 and a hoodie $80. I decided to get a little stuffed bear for my son, which ran me $18!
One guy in front of me had a Super Bowl souvenir cup that I thought my kid might like, so I went to the concession stand to check it out. Turns out it cost $30! For a cup!
Beer cost $13-15 for a can, and bottled water was a bargain at just $6 for 20 oz. Media members were given a ham sandwich boxed lunch dated February 1st, and a hot dog at halftime.
Justin Timberlake performed the halftime show and included a tribute to Prince, as a sheet was dangled from the rafters with a projection of the late Minnesota legend. The halftime show was about the only thing I didn't have a good view of from the nosebleeds, but I re-watched it when I got home and it seemed pretty amazing.
Leaving the stadium after the game was a bit of a nightmare because, for some reason, the stadium staff only had two sets of doors open. But everyone made it out safe into the below-zero degree night, back into the maze to get back to their cars and hotels.
It was a great, once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will never forget. And in case you were wondering, the Eagles fans all seemed like normal, decent human beings.