Super Bowl: Day 3
Thursday was by far the busiest day of my week down here in New Orleans! Thinking about all I did exhausts me.
My day started with a press conference at the Bud Light Hotel. Each Super Bowl week, Bud Light literally takes over a hotel. They change all of the signage on it to read “Bud Light Hotel” and have crazy events throughout the week.
After the press conference, I walked to the Super Bowl media center. There, I attended a press conference on counterfeit merchandise. As a lawyer, this was fascinating to me. The head of ICE was there and he laid out the efforts the federal government and the NFL have taken to prevent counterfeiting. In the last 5 months, $13.6 million worth of counterfeited sports goods have been seized by the federal government.
Afterward, I headed to a press conference for the got milk? campaign. They’re unveiling a new ad for the Super Bowl. I had a chance to do a one-on-one interview with Kurt Warner. I’ve always respected him for his outspoken voice on his faith. He was a kind man whom you could tell puts family first.
Next, I visited with Green Bay Packers player Donald Driver. Again, Donald is a man who is known for his kindness and he was no different in-person. He announced his retirement earlier in the day, so it was fun to get the firsthand word on what his retirement plans are. J.J. Watt strolled up as we were chatting and it was cool to watch one of the league’s rising stars mingle with a veteran. They both had a mutual admiration for one another that was apparent and made them both seem humble.
Around this time, it was time to eat lunch. At the media center, Zatarain’s is cooking Cajun food all day long. It’s amazing. I’ve eaten like 20 bowls too much of jambalaya. As I was walking through to get my next bowl, I saw that THE Papa John was in the media center passing out pizza. So, I can now officially say I’ve eaten a piece of pizza from Papa John.
The afternoon featured a press conference on NFL health and safety. Many leading doctors were present and it was definitely a much different conversation than most I’ve been hearing this week.
After that was the main event of the week: Beyonce’s Super Bowl Halftime press conference. The room was full and I have never seen so many cameras flash as they did when she walked out 22 minutes late. When she hit the stage, she sung the National Anthem (and killed it) and promptly asked, “Any questions?”–as a snarky response to the criticism she’s received for lip-syncing at the Inaugural.
I actually left the Beyonce press conference before it was over and headed over to Don Shula’s restaurant, Shula’s. There, I met in a private dining room upstairs with one of my favorite bands, Train, for a one-on-one interview. They were so gracious with their time and kind to me. It was fun to talk about the muse for their lyrics and stories from the road. At the end, their lead singer, Pat, invited me to be his private guest at the band’s upcoming concert in Aspen. Amazing.
After I met with Train, I walked back home and changed into a cocktail dress. From there, I headed to a cocktail hour sponsored by clothing brand Express. There were a good number of NFL players on hand, including J.J. Watt, who I’ve literally seen everywhere this week. T.O. was there swiping more free stuff than anybody else–players could pick up free shirts, ties and socks. He definitely took several of each.
From there, I headed to the St. Jude’s Legends for Charity Event honoring Archie Manning. They had a phenomenal silent auction set up and the event was very well attended. All of the Manning’s were there, as were other NFL players.
I only stayed for cocktail hour at the event, as I had to next go to the Hall of Fame set up at the World War II museum. There, I had one-on-one interviews with Barry Sanders and Jim Brown. These interviews might be the greatest honor of my life. Barry was more shy, but well spoken. Jim was a hoot. We talked about the state of the NFL when it comes to protecting its players. He had strong feelings on the issue. He said he was impressed by me and asked me almost as many questions about myself as I did of him. It was a blessing for me to meet these two sports legends.
From there, I got in a cab and headed to the EA Madden Bowl at the Bud Light Hotel. There, top-NFL players like Drew Brees and Adrian Peterson were competing against one another in a Madden tournament. After the tournament was over, a really fun band came on stage. Then, Big Boi from Outkast performed for an hour. Around midnight, Lil’ Wayne came on. The bass was so loud but it was so much fun. It was also great to meet my friend Kelli, who is an NFL agent and a great woman to look up to!
Then, it was off to bed around 1:45 a.m. to get started all over again today!
This has been the experience of a lifetime!