I certain don’t want to be the guy that starts every sentence with the word Super Bowl, but right now I’m still feeling it. The excitement is almost impossible to suppress.
As Alicia Keys began signing the National Anthem, I suddenly realized that every single football fan in the planet wanted to be where I was standing, on the five-yard line of the Mercedes Benz Superdome.
I realized that I had been given a once in a lifetime opportunity.
A lot of trust had been placed on me to do a job and I was immediately determined to do it a spectacular way.
But let’s jump back to the initial moments to the beginning of the weekend.
As I rolled up on the convention center in downtown New Orleans, I saw Steve Young (former quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers) getting out of a limo. After I picked up my credentials, I nearly bumped into Donovan McNabb (former quarter back of the Philadelphia Eagles).
Although this was pretty cool, I should be used to seeing superstar quarterbacks, I happen to know the first African American quarterback to win a Superbowl, Doug Williams, the current coach of Grambling’s football team.
As I wondered around New Orleans, I saw more fans and celebrities; there was a lot of people in town.
I couldn’t help but think of the preparation required for an event of this size.
More importantly, the people behind the scenes required pulling it off and the amount of money that this event will generate to the city’s economy.
On Saturday, the excitement did not die down. When I walked through the tunnel on to the field, I was again reminded of how special this game, this job was.
I kept thinking this is cool as hell….I’m at the friggin Super Bowl.
Then I settled down mentally and got busy rigging my camera, building the announcers booth and checking lines.
We did a rehearsal for tomorrow’s events, then took my camera back to the truck for the night and left.
Sunday is GAMEDAY, which started bright and early for me at 6 a.m. I was staying in Kenner and knew traffic into the city would be heavy. At 8:30 a.m.
I headed for the stadium but I didn’t arrive until hour and half later. A trip that usually only takes about 15 minutes.
Call time was set for noon, so I spent a couple hours walking around the dome looking for souvenirs.
Getting through the security onto the field was hectic, but it was worth it.
Once again, I began to feel the excitement start to take over. There were sets for ESPN, CBS Sports and NBC Sports, all aligning the edge of the field.
Things began to pick up quickly. There was the National Anthem that I mentioned early.
Then here comes the kickoff, and we have a football game.
I hunted for the best shots; framed up extreme fan, watched the replay screen, set up for good crowd reaction and anticipated the next good play.
I was becoming apart of the game.
I remembered so much about the game it’s hard to shorten it.
Let’ just say it was incredibly exciting, I had the time of my life.
I got to do what every football fan on the planet wants to do; stand on the five-yard line during the Super Bowl with a camera.
Alan Blakeney is the director of the Television Center from Grambling State University