Wednesday, February 22, 2012


The Super Bowl XLVI experience began for me on January 27th with a delayed, then cancelled flight to Indy.  What a way to kick things off, huh?  It was a long day which turned out to be a reflection of most of the next 10 days or so of my life. The good news is that I eventually made it to work on that Friday - right around 6pm.  Some people would have just chalked it up to a lost day, but I trudged over to the Accreditation Center and got settled into my new home. 

Welcome signs at the airport
Where I spent my days...and some nights :)
The weekend proved fairly calm, but we stayed busy for a full 8-10 hours even on Saturday and Sunday.  I was able to grab dinner at Chick-fil-A one night and go to the movies late on the other night, but otherwise it was all business.

By the time Monday rolled around, we were in full swing.  Busy was the name of the game for the Accreditation Crew.  Don't get me wrong, we had a great group and made our own fun.  We just stayed busy roughly 12 hours a day.

Tuesday was Media Day.  I made the trek walked over to the stadium to congratulate an old pal on finally making it to the big game.  In the process, I apparently ended up all over NFL Network.  Seemed like every time I turned around the rest of the day someone was saying, "I saw you on TV." or "You're famous."  I was horrified.  Not exactly how I had intended my discreet journey to end up.  Little did I know this wouldn't be the most interesting occurrence of the week.

Behind the scenes look at the set up for Media Day
Just a mere 24 hours or so later, I found myself at lunch with the Commissioner.  Seriously, how do these things happen to me??  It all began when I sat my plate, coat, and purse down at an empty table before walking over to grab a bottle of water.  When I came back, I wasn't really sure what to do as one of the high level executives was now also sitting down at this table.  I wasn't exactly sure whether I should move altogether as completely awkward as that would have been or stay put which had the potential for the exact same level of awkwardness.  I didn't have long to contemplate because I was almost immediately engaged in conversation.  I decided to just go with it.  The Commissioner joined us shortly thereafter and a rather pleasant, yet indeed awkward at times, lunch conversation took place.  Definitely the most unique moment of my week!

On Thursday, my guests arrived.  I could NOT have been any more excited to see them.  At this point, it had already been a very long week.  We ended up going to dinner nearby where our friends Tony and Myra live outside of Indianapolis. It was nice to get away from the city for a little bit.

NFL Staff Hotel
Friday, Jordan and Chris went to the Media Center.  They LOVED it!!  They came back talking about player after player that they saw on Media Row.  I was so glad for them to have such a great experience.  Here are some pictures of their sightings...

Media Hotel

trophy and helmets set up for press conferences

Chris with Stevie Johnson of the Bills

the red rifle - Andy Dalton!!
Saturday, I was given tickets for Chris and I to both the Inaugural NFL Honors and Super Bowl Saturday Night Party.  Chris and I had a great night.  NFL Honors was an awards show hosted by Alec Baldwin and there were so many players and coaches there than we couldn't even keep track.  I spoke to Andy Dalton telling him that I was glad he was our QB and Who Dey :)  Chris spoke to D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Rex Ryan of the Jets.  I had to kind of talk him into it, but he was glad he made the effort afterward.  SB Saturday Night turned out to be a joint concert with Carrie Underwood and Steven Tyler for CMT Crossroads.  It was interesting and fun, but not quite what I had in mind prior to attending.  We had one fun celebrity sighting at the party - Bunk from The Wire.  We both spoke to him.  Here are some pictures from the evening.

Stage for NFL Honors

Ice Sculpture at SB Saturday Night Party

Steven Tyler and Carrie Underwood - CMT Crossroads

On Sunday, Jordan and Chris enjoyed NFL Tailgate and the Big Game while I was working inside the stadium.  Again, they had a wonderful time, and I was so happy to be able to give them the opportunity.  I was able to sneak away in the 3rd quarter to grab some pictures with them near their seats.

I met up with them after the game for a few more pictures before heading over to the NFL Post Game Party with Chris.

A couple of years ago, Jordan was able to meet the Commissioner at the post game party so we had been talking it up to Chris for a few days.  As luck would have it, it worked out perfectly for Chris to be able to chat with the Commissioner for a few minutes.  The only thing I really remember about the conversation is that the Commissioner told Chris that I "do a great job".  That kind of made me laugh cause I'm not 100% sure he really knows what it is that I do exactly, but also made me a little proud at the same time :)  Needless to say, I was able to snag a photo of the two of them.

After that interaction, we enjoyed the food and the entertainment of the photo booth as well as the company of several of my colleagues.  We basically shut the party down with my new buddy Jen and her two fun friends.  It was a long day, but a great way to end it.

On Monday, Chris and I met up with Jennifer and Jordan to take some pictures at the big XLVI letters and grab some last minute souvenirs.  This turned out to be a bit of a fiasco, but we made some good memories along the way.  We were trying, pretty relentlessly, to get a picture with the letters with no other people in it.  Seemed like the harder we tried, the more difficult the task became.  We have a couple that came close...and one that is a true classic, especially considering how much out of the way Jordan went to help the couple get some good pictures so they would move on and we could get ours...true classic.  Take a look...

Look closely...true classic!!
We were soooo close here...soooo close!!

This has been an insanely long post so I'll just close by providing the link to a behind the scenes of the Super Bowl podcast that Chris did with his friend Joe that blogs for the Albany Times Union.  It turned out great.  Check out his version of the SB XLVI here.

Andrea :)

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