Travel #19 A Taste of SuperBowl Traditions

Taste of the NFL

If you are going to the Superbowl this year, you are already in Indianapolis living it up….why you say?  Because the Superbowl festivities begin a week in advance of the actual game.  Yes- it is that super…and the traditions are rich.

You can Taste the NFL for $8750. Experience the NFL for $100.  Sing with the NFL for $75 or Report the NFL for $25 . Volunteer…FREE.

One of my favorite events of the SuperBowl experience is the Taste of The NFL.  This party with a purpose is a superb wine and food event.  The night highlights a top chef from each NFL city serving their signature dish alongside a current or alumni NFL player. That’s over 35 food stations!  We enjoyed this event at a table with family and friends.  Each guest received a gift bag full of goodies at your seat, my fav was the apron.   As I strolled from station to station enjoying so many wonderful dishes and wines, I had the players sign my apron..they even gave us Taste of the NFL Cookbooks which I had the Chef sign by their dishes that were published.   Best part…proceeds benefit food banks in 32 NFL markets. More than $11 million has been donated to hunger relief organizations nationwide thanks to this annual tradition – one of the most coveted tickets of Super Bowl week.

Experience the NFL – an amusement park for fans.  This annual fan event opened on Friday, January 27 and runs until Saturday, February 4.  This park houses the NFL Experience which costs $25 for adults to attend and $20 for children 12 and under…but you can upgrade to a fastpass bracelet for a few extra bucks and bypass the crazy lines.  The attractions at the event include autograph stages with former and current NFL players, memorabilia shows, Super Bowl displays of rings and replicas of  NFL locker rooms.

There is also 60 youth clinics, interactive games, an NFL Rush Zone for kids, displays by the NFL Hall of Fame, a “Measure Up to the Pros” area where you can test your skills against pro players and of course, an extensive NFL shop presented by Nike.  You name it, this park has it.  Fun for all ages.

 Indy Ariel file photo

Feeling a bit gospel?  You can get down to some serious celebrating at the Superbowl Gospel Celebration, which pairs artists and athletes.  Over 150 organizations participate and several thousand underprivileged children get to enjoy the event for free.  The NFL Players Allstar Choir is a highlight – a fellowship that goes beyond the field.

Superbowl Gospel file photo

You can now even be part of Media Day!  Media Day is full of crazy stunts.  Media Day is where reporters and others meet with players and ask silly or serious SBXLVI questions.   This year, someone in the League came up with a brilliant idea of opening up its doors to the public for this annual mocked SuperBowl tradition.  They offered 7,300 media day tickets online for $25. They quickly sold out. They hand you an ear piece and a seat stub to watch and listen in on how reporters get the story.   Kudos NFL.

Barton Silverman/The New York Times

How about volunteering at SBXLVI?  When you have a Superbowl Village built for 10 days of entertainment and celebration, you need volunteers! If you want to enjoy the overall experience from a different angle, try this new tradition.

  • Estimated number of volunteers needed to host Super Bowl XLVI is 8,000
  • Over 13,000 volunteers pre-registered to volunteer for Super Bowl XLVI well in advance of the opening of the position registration website
  • Total number of volunteer shifts is 34,000
  • Since the Host Committee formed in 2008, they have had volunteers helping with planning and pre-event activities
  • They will exceed more than 150,000 volunteer hours by game day
  • Over 10,000 Super Scarves have been knitted by volunteers from 40 states and 3 countries- the scarves were knitted by volunteers to keep SB volunteers warm!

Big Applause for the NFL Volunteer Recognition Event when an especially touching moment occurred during the introduction of the Indy’s Super Cure initiative when breast cancer survivor, Traci Runge of Carmel, was honored as the first woman to donate healthy and cancerous breast tissue to the Komen Tissue Bank.

So, no matter where you will be Sunday, I hope you will join us fab football freaks as we enjoy the final championship game of the American football season.  It will provide you mega hype, mega commercials and mega eating.  Fire up your pots of chili, mounds of nachos, spicy chicken wings and all the chips, dips, spreads and salsas…we do it all for THE LOVE OF THE GAME.  I hope you learned a few new traditions that make Superbowl so special….it is way more then just a game.

I will be enjoying SBXLVI, the food and the festivities…of course I will don my normal attire on any game day- Silver and Black.  Yes- I still bleed it….always will. January 26, 2003 was my last SuperBowl taste.  All for my Raiders.  Yes- it was a bittersweet game, seeing how the Tampa Bay Bucs had to steal our head coach (and a few other staffers) to beat us…but overall, it was truly a SUPER time.  I will go again…probably next year when Dennis Allen manages to get us to New Orleans.

Extra point: For those who did not make the trip to Indy…or really don’t want to host any party…we have a new tradition for you…