Saturday, February 16, 2013

SB XLVII - Part 3

It's FINALLY game day!!  If you missed Part 1 and Part 2, you'll definitely want to check them out to see all the fun we had in NOLA prior to the highly anticipated match-up at the Superdome!

Game Day began around 10am for me.  I headed off to the stadium with my fellow accreditation buddy to pick up our radios and man our posts at the tunnels on the ground level of the stadium.  Oh, thought I'd be watching the game?  Sorry to disappoint you, but more likely than not, you saw more of the game than I did!  But back to the story...

Quick photo op on the way into the stadium...
Once we made it to through security and into the restricted perimeter, we stopped to take a few pictures around Fan Plaza before we entered the stadium.  Chris and McKinley had tickets to the Tailgate Party, but they wouldn't be showing up there until it opened roughly three hours later around 2pm.  Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures to show you from that party, but from what I hear it is pretty awesome!

My co-worker and I entered the stadium on the 100 level.  Our guests' tickets were on that level so we took a quick minute to find their sections before we headed to the Field Office on the ground level.  Chris and McKinley would be in section 124, the corner of the 49ers endzone, roughly 20 rows from the field.  I would be working in the tunnel where the 49ers entered the field on the same end of the stadium, but opposite corner!

From the very tip top of the Superdome!

We picked up our radios and headed to our respective tunnels at around 11am or so.  At that point, traffic to the field was beginning to pick up so our job of monitoring proper access began.  As I mentioned, I was working the 49er tunnel so the pace was a little slower than most there because media and other working personnel were being directed to other tunnels for field access.  Around 2pm or so, the action picked up as team personnel began to arrive.  It was pretty interesting to watch them arrive.  Everyone had their own routine.  Some players immediately changed and headed out to the field in sweats while some waited until much later to make their entrance to the field.  Each position group did something different just before they took the field...which was pretty neat to witness.

Finally, the game began.  I took a quick peak out onto the field pre-game, but watched the anthem on a small TV screen near the top of the tunnel.  I saw a few drives here and there on that same TV throughout the first half as well.  It looked like it was going to be a blow out at the half.  I was a little anxious knowing the losing team at the time would be headed through our tunnel, but for the most part the just seemed focused and determined...and very sweaty with a smear of blood here or there.

I wasn't about to miss Beyonce and the halftime show so as soon as our tunnel was set, I went out to the end of the tunnel to catch the action.  She is SUCH a rockstar!!

Beyonce's appearance to the stage...

Destiny's Child...Reunited!!

Performing All the Single Ladies...loved it!!

After halftime, the players headed back to the field with no problems.  We had been rotating around to give everyone a break at various times in the game so I had arranged for my break to be during the 3rd quarter...and I quote myself, "Nothing ever really happens during the 3rd quarter."  Not this year!!  I had plans to visit Chris and McKinley at their seats and was headed there when I got a little influx of text messages asking me if I was ok and if the lights just went out.  I thought it was strange, but just responded that everything was perfectly fine.  Then, right before my very eyes, I saw two CBS employee go completely crazy and run in different directions screaming.  Seriously, I thought that ONLY happened in the movies.  I was still confused until I saw the TV with that terrible black and white dot/line insanity.  NOT GOOD!!  I realized then that something had gone wrong...somewhere...somehow....but still wasn't entirely clear on the proceedings until I made it to Section 124 where Chris filled me in.  The best I understood, we weren't affected in the tunnels because we were on generator power.  All I know is the lights were on in my area...and it proved a perfect time for some great photo ops in Section 124 :)

Back in Action!!  And the only live play I saw with my own eyes!
We all know what happened next.  The 49ers ALMOST came back to win.  Too bad almost doesn't count.  I was surprisingly overcome with sadness as the players exited the field in our tunnel.  You could see the heartbreak and disappointment in their faces.  It was really hard to watch actually.  Once they cleared the tunnel, I headed out to the perimeter of the field to check out the Ravens celebration.  And my sadness quickly turned to sheer joy and excitement for those players.  It was an odd feeling altogether.  In all the commotion going on, I somehow ended up about two feet away from Ray Lewis as he began his signature dance at the urging of fans.  Scared for my life, I quickly scurried away and back up to Section 124 to meet Chris and McKinley and head back to the hotel.  After all, I had been on my feet for nearly 12 hours straight...and needless to say, it had been a very long day!!

I was pretty exhausted, but Chris and I had tickets to the NFL Post-Game Party. We definitely didn't want to let those go to waste so I quickly changed and we headed to the party.  There was some really great food there so I'm really glad we didn't pass up the opportunity.  I was also able to introduce Chris to a lot of my co-workers, too!  He even got to meet the Commissioner (again)!

We didn't crash until around 2am, but luckily neither of us had to be up very early!  McKinley and Alex left pretty early since they had the long drive back to Kentucky, but we got to sleep in a little.  I dropped Chris off at the bus station around 11am.  He took a wild and crazy route back to NY, but it saved him hundreds of dollars so I'm sure it was worth it!  I was scheduled for my first ever chartered flight headed out of New Orleans around 4pm.  Long story short, we got majorly delayed, and I didn't end up back at my apartment in midtown until around midnight.  I was completely exhausted, but thankful to have one more Super Bowl in the books!

Hope you've enjoyed my Super Bowl XLVII recaps.  It was definitely an experience to remember!

Andrea :)