After a canceled flight, a one hour drive to Fort Lauderdale at 6:00 AM, and a three hour wait in the airport, I'm back home in Kansas City from covering Super Bowl XLIV.
When I first found out that I would be attending the Super Bowl for SBNation.com, I heard one quote from Chris all week:
Are you freaking kidding me?
No, Chris, I was not kidding. He was jealous, excited, nervous…all bound into one. I'm sure Mrs. Arrowhead Pride had fun with him.
Now that I'm back from my 10 day journey to South Florida, I can definitively say that Super Bowl week, at least in the fashion that I did it, is the best experience any sports fan can have. I refuse to believe there's any sort of sporting event that can top Super Bowl week (and I've been to the Olympics). The athletes, writers and celebrities just walking around the city is worth the trip alone.
Where else can you listen to Roger Goodell talk, spot Chiefs great Willie Lanier across the room and say hi to Clark Hunt on your way out?
Oh, and Len Dawson is walking around, chatting it up with folks all week. This is the man that carried the Lombardi Trophy to the Saints after the game.
I have a new-found respect for the sports reporters that do this all the time because it's a hard job.
After the experience, I come back with a lot of ideas on how to make our coverage of the Chiefs even better going forward. (And I've got an idea of how the whole Super Bowl week works in the instance I can head to Jerry World next year….In other words, send me back!)
To quickly sum it up, the best and worst of Super Bowl week…
The best part: Writing whatever I wanted.
Other than a few pre-planned interviews, I didn't have much set-up in advance for my trip. SB Nation sent me down there and basically said, 'Show everyone Super Bowl week through the eyes of a fan'. Since everything there is such organized chaos, this is the way to do it (in my opinion). There's a slew of events going on every day and I would pick the ones that sounded most interesting to not only me, but our readers.
Wake up, see what looks cool and do it. It was nice.
The worst part: The hours/traffic
Don't mistake this for complaining - because I'm not - but Super Bowl week is draining. Most days started around 8:00 AMish at the Fort Lauderdale convention center, which was about 45 minutes to an hour from where I was saying (I stayed with a family member in Miami mostly because it was cheaper and I could hang out with my three and five year girl cousins in the evening).
That means an average day was getting up and leaving the house before 7:00 AM, driving to Fort Lauderdale, meeting with the players and recording stuff, heading back to the media center to transcribe and then more interviews/press conferences in the afternoon.
Then, driving home in rush hour (the awfulness of Miami's traffic is underrated), to get stuff ready for SBNation.com and AP the following day. Sometimes that meant staying up to 1:00 or 2:00 AM even though I had an early wake up call.
Again, not complaining, just saying that it's quite a bit of work.
It was truly the experience of a lifetime and I hope to be covering the Chiefs in Dallas For Super Bowl XLV.