News / USA

    Football Fans Grab Chance to Get Closer to Super Bowl Players

    New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning answers questions during Media Day for NFL football's Super Bowl Jan. 31, 2012
    New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning answers questions during Media Day for NFL football's Super Bowl Jan. 31, 2012
    Parke Brewer

    This is Super Bowl week in the United States - the lead-up to the nation's biggest sports event.  Devoted fans of American football are gathering in Indianapolis, Indiana ahead of this year's championship game between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants.  But tickets to the Super Bowl are expensive - and hard to get.

    Some fans, however, are more than happy to pay money for a behind-the-scenes look at how journalists and players interact.

    Tickets for this Sunday’s Super Bowl sold out long ago - at $800 to $1,200 each.  The few tickets on resale markets are going for as much as $16,000.

    But this year, for $25, 5,000 fans got a chance to get closer to their football favorites, at this week's Super Bowl Media Day. While about 2,000 journalists interviewed the players, the fans could listen in on special radios to hear exactly what the players were saying down on the field.

    New England Patriots supporter Dean Tambling says that made the experience special.

    “It was good to hear a full interview, and not just, you know, the sound bites that you get on TV and radio,” Tambling said.

    This is the first time the National Football League has allowed fans into the Media Day event.  New York Giants fan Kevin Stumpf was among them.

    “I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I thought it was kind of nice for the NFL to open it up for fans.  I think we all thought when we first heard about it we’d be down on the field,” Stumpf said.

    Instead, they sat in the stands, watching the action on the field as journalists jockeyed to talk to players and coaches.  

    One Spanish language television crew played loud music for some impromptu salsa dancing to attract players for interviews.

    A reporter plucked unsuspecting New York Giant Jim Cordle away from his interview with VOA for a quick dance.

    “That was maybe the most awkward moment of my life. See what I mean, this is your world experience right here,” Cordle said.

    New England Patriots fan Paul Tetuan said getting a close-up view of the media action was a treat.

    “You can’t get right up on top of the players, and I understand that.  But sitting where we were, that was great.  I mean you could sit there, you could move around and get in front of the different players.  They let you bring your camera in to take pictures and so forth.  So I mean it was great; great experience; good idea finally - let the fans participate in this,” Tetuan said.

    Tetuan’s wife, Cindy, says the $25 ticket was an affordable way to experience the Super Bowl atmosphere.

    “When we first heard about it and thought, 'Well, let’s check it out and see what it is'.  I would have paid $100 for this, just to be able to see our players, yeah, pretty cool,” she said.

    Even the players liked having their supporters close by.

    “I’m glad the fans are here.  I feel they are a huge part of the Super Bowl.  I mean the fans - outside the players - the fans are what makes the Super Bowl,” said New England defenseman Markell Carter.

    Thousands of fans are flocking to Indianapolis this week as the excitement builds up to the game.  Those who do not have Super Bowl tickets can instead take advantage of a host of activities - concerts, charity events and the like.  

    Each year, fans make the NFL championship game the most widely watched television program in the United States.

    You May Like

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells state's Republican Convention delegates campaign will be 'battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora