BGSU Alumnus Goes Behind the Scenes at Super Bowl

BY DAN SPEHLER

The Super Bowl experience is like nothing else in sports – largely because the Super Bowl is so much more than a sports story. The world of sports, the advertising, media and entertainment industries all intersect at the Super Bowl, and it makes for one “giant” of a news story every single year

Around 2,000 reporters and photographers are credentialed for the Super Bowl every year, and in my career, I have been very fortunate to cover multiple Super Bowls, including the Indianapolis Colts’ victory over Chicago in Super Bowl XLI.

This year, the big game is in Indy, and I’ll be back to cover some of the Super Bowl festivities, including Media Day, where players and coaches from both teams answer questions on the field, in uniform.

There really are some quirky moments every year at Media Day. At the Super Bowl XLI media day back in ‘07, I still remember one reporter asking the Colts’ Antoine Bethea, “Who was the hottest Golden Girl?” I forget if he said Blanche or Sophia. These are obviously defining moments in journalism, but in all seriousness, it does make for good TV and provides unique, light-hearted access to both teams.

It’s also fun to get a chance to talk with other media from around the world, like Chris Berman and Stuart Scott from ESPN, who I met at my first Super Bowl, along with some of the crew from CBS, who were on hand to broadcast the game that year. Again this year, the NFL Network will be on hand. They will be televising the Media Day events live in the morning and again in the afternoon. They also stream it live on NFL.com.

This year, the NFL is also allowing fans to attend Media Day for the first time ever! All week, stadium tours have allowed fans to purchase tickets for a behind-the-scenes tour of Lucas Oil Stadium. My wife and I took the tour this weekend, and I’ve included some of the pictures from that tour, and some behind-the-scenes videos showing what it’s like around Indy, and inside the NFL media center.

Over the next few days, be sure to check back for more insights from Media Day and Super Bowl week. I’ll be posting more observations and behind-the-scenes information.

Editor’s Note: Dan Spehler is a BGSU graduate who majored in broadcast journalism, and took part in Richard Maxwell’s NFL Sport Media & Management class. Spehler has worked since 1999 as an anchor/reporter at TV stations across Ohio & Indiana, including WTVG & WUPW in Toledo, WDTN in Dayton, and WRTV in Indianapolis. He currently works as a reporter/anchor at WKRC in Cincinnati.

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About The Richard A. Maxwell Sport Media Project

The Richard A. Maxwell Sport Media Project is a hub for teaching, research, and service related to sport media. The Project benefits students and faculty at Bowling Green State University, and offers outreach and media consulting to area and regional groups that work with student-athletes. Through collaborative efforts of the Sport Management program and the School of Media and Communication, BGSU students have the opportunity to learn such skills as sports writing, reporting, broadcasting, announcing, public relations, media relations, communication management and production. Faculty and other scholars have access to resources about the commercial and sociological aspects of sport.

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