Steeped into the final editing of my book, I still found the time to visit the NFL Experience at the Phoenix Convention Center in downtown Phoenix. Phoenix is where the XLIX Superbowl will be played on February 1 at 4:30 PM Phoenix time. This is one of the reasons we chose a big city for a winter destination…events like this happen! I got into football only a year ago when we decelerated our RVing. Bill has been a fan since HS when he was the captain of his school’s football team in Pittsburg, Kansas.
Superbowl is the annual game between the National Football League Conference Champion (New England Patriots for 2015) and the American Football Conference Champion (Seattle Seahawks for 2015). It decides which team is the best in professional football and is an unofficial American holiday, second to Thanksgiving for food consumption, and the most watched TV show of all. The XLVIII Superbowl had 111.5 million viewers or a third of the whole country! So who am I not to join the fun!
|two buildings of the Phoenix Convention Center|
|the trophy building|
As soon as we made the turn from 7th Street to go to 3rd, we were greeted by a huge building asking the big question: "There's gonna be only one winner. Who’s gonna win?" Blinking bracelets asking the same question, reminding us to vote online, were also being distributed. In exactly two days we will find out! Two days ago, an article by Kristian Dyer in Yahoo Sports reported that Predictalator on PredictionMachine.com, ran 50,000 simulations “using an astounding array of analytics”, and 57.5 % of the time the Seahawks beat the Patriots! It predicted the Seattle win over the heavily favored Broncos in 2014, too!
The NFL is hosting the 22nd year of the NFL Experience Engineered by GMC at the Phoenix Convention Center from January 24 to February 1. This provides the poor fans like us, who find the $2,750 per seat fee to see Superbowl just too unreasonable to digest, a chance to enjoy all the fanfare and hoopla the annual championship brings. And words will surely fail to express the fun Bill and I had.
|I can hit this one!|
|his (and my) favorite uniform|
So here are some of our photos: seeing the Vince Lombardi trophy, getting glimpses of football greats signing autographs or being interviewed at the NFL Network booth, kicking the biggest football or wearing the biggest helmet ever, being captured on a video while Bill was trying to tackle me, comparing Bill’s hands to the big hands of football greats, buying my now favorite Seattle Seahawks Superbowl XLIX tank top from the NFL shop, and lots of photo ops with “enhanced realities” of football celebrities, a “pretty in pink” NFL mascot, and various angles of exciting venues!
|we were there!|
|Half Time Hyped!|
At the Verizon Power House across the street, there was a concert going on at the Pepsi Halftime Hyped Stage while, outside, the buildings and the Phoenix Metro Light Rail passing by don the same Halftime Hyped Theme. It was at this Power House where the giant XLIX letters stand for great photo-ops. There was also a giant rock climbing wall with a faux waterfalls and giant screen featuring football scenes courtesy of the National Bank of Arizona. Several CNN booths were also doing interviews there.
|the magical Stadium at night|
|a rock climbing wall|
But I also wanted to see the 2,000 sq. ft. truck they had advertised will be at the Walmart parking lot near the University of Phoenix Stadium. Alas, I found out that the event was held on January 22 and I didn’t know where they took the truck. We were too late! But then we were surprised to see, from about a mile away, the Stadium looking magical. We were there to see the Cardinals/Seahawks game a few weeks ago and it didn’t look like this. It is all decked up for Superbowl! It was stunning, like a marvelous mirage suddenly appearing from nowhere in the middle of a dull desert night! And in the skies, a DirecTV Blimp was flying, as if saying this is one special place on earth!
|the Vince Lombardi Trophy Wall|
|Bill is happy!|
Our day was complete. Even with the expensive parking fees ($40) and the not inexpensive admission fees to the NFL Experience ($70 for both of us), it was well worth it. Last year Superbowl was in New Jersey. Next year it will be in San Francisco. Have some fun and go!
|with Russell Wilson|
|my Superbowl Seahawks tank top|
|at the NFL Shop|