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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs