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

Syrian Rebels Poised for Anti-Russia Collaboration

Forty-one insurgent groups issue joint statement vowing retaliation for Russian air offensives More

Political Maneuver Revives Export-Import Bank's Chances

Parliamentary tactic gets bill out of committee, but it faces opposition in the Senate More

Beijing Warns US on S. China Sea Patrols

Warning follows news reports Thursday that US military is planning to sail warships close to artificial islands Beijing has been aggressively building More

This forum has been closed.
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.
House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdrawsi
Jim Malone
October 09, 2015 12:32 AM
The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

VOA Blogs