By: Thea Nagle
The winter months in Florida bring the best weather with them. It was beautiful the whole time we were in Miami except for last night. It rained on and off throughout the afternoon while I was at Super Bowl LIVE. Rain has never really affected my mood. Yesterday, I learned that I can keep the same amount of energy and quality work ethic even while I’m soaking wet in the rain.
My iPhone is waterproof so capturing content for the host committee was not a problem, however my khakis and shoes are not waterproof. Within 10 minutes I was soaked to the point of no return and walking in perpetual slush. It doesn’t sound enjoyable but it made the experience all the more fun. Walking around the park meant dodging puddles everywhere and the best way to do that was with parkour. I got very crafty while maneuvering around to avoid the water that walking around became a type of game.
My crafting abilities came in handy while guiding the media to their stand-up spot and completing PA tasks for them while they were shooting. Getting the equipment to the stand-up location meant hurdling and lifting it over puddles and onto booths for drier travel. Once we made it to the media spot the rain picked up and we needed clear plastic bags for the equipment. I have no authority to use a walkie talkie at Super Bowl LIVE, but I was given one from the information booth and I put a call in to operations. The response elicited an all-out sprint for me to a tent on the far side of the park. I ran the clear trash bags back to the media and then had to find an umbrella for the anchor. There were lots of umbrellas to choose from but none of them were black! You would think I would easily be able to find a black umbrella but it was a process. I spotted a woman with one and ran right at her (you should have seen her face). She gave me the umbrella and right back to the media I went with two minutes to spare until air time.
Did I save the broadcast? I tell myself I did. Did the rain hinder my performance? No, I enjoyed the challenge it presented.
By: Thea Nagle
I think I found my calling today. I got to go to Super Bowl LIVE for the first time and it was everything I wanted it to be. It is like one big football party. It’s at a park along the ocean and there are several sponsors with booths, food trucks and vendors, decorations, shows, demonstrations and decorations. If I could describe my ideal work environment, this is it. It was like working at a giant party with lots of fake friends.
At Super Bowl LIVE, I was a legitimate VIP. I walked on that exclusive, fake sand area looking like a legitimate VIP, in a teal polo and black chinos. The best part of the VIP tent was the bathroom. It was the nicest porta potty I’ve ever been in. There was air conditioning and fixtures, a backsplash and fancy mirror and it smelled great. Even the food wasn’t as good as the bathroom.
After leaving the VIP area I was ready to go get some content for the host committee. Once leaving an area that designated me as a person of higher status, I kept that mentality for the rest of the time. I walked into every sponsor’s booth and flashed that credential like I was Madame President. I worked hard to get to exclusive places to create Instagram-worthy content.
It all came to a stop at Casa de Crunch. There was an exclusive rooftop that housed the stars before they came down to the stage. I found the woman in charge and followed her through a secret Cheetos-branded door and hid behind the stage where I took photos. I then pushed to go up to the rooftop but unfortunately my VIP pull couldn’t take me there.
I still got to see Lil Nas X. He’s a funny dude. Very eccentric.
By: Thea Nagle
There are managers and coordinators and staff and then there’s the team mom. Every team has to have a mom because without the team mom who would bring the fruits and vegetables? The team mom makes sure everyone is happy and ready for the day.
This morning I decided, per a vote by seven people, that I was the group’s team mom. After my run this morning I took a brief grocery run to Publix to purchase some produce either keep them in my fridge for myself or allow my inner mom to kick in and share the nutrition with the rest of the students. I immediately went upstairs to grab my grapes to share with the group. I cleaned my grapes and walked them down the line of teal-shirted people sitting on the couch. After everyone had a handful of grapes, it was time to cover another food group. I went upstairs to get the carrots and distributed them down the row once again.
The carrots traveled with me and substituted as a healthy snack for us today while we were favoriting, retweeting and writing tweets in the social media center.
The other responsibility of team mom is to make sure the team is in a good mood. Some moms are better at cheering the players up than others. Some think they are doing a good job at cheering up the team and really just aren’t. I’ve found the key is to have so much energy that other people just feel awkward if they aren’t exerting energy. I think it works. My favorite tactic is to come up with games to play while we commute to the next location.. The alphabet game has been pretty popular. Carrots, grapes, and the alphabet game: that’s the key to being a team mom.
By: Thea Nagle
My press credentials get me pretty far. I have access to the places where the cool people go: the press, the players, radio broadcasters, television broadcasters and all the other famous people that have way more clout than I do. That square piece of plastic with my smiling face puts me on the same level as them (ish). Usually I’ll take a lap through the media broadcast room just to feel important, but today I had a purpose.
My friend is a journalism major creating a package while she’s here. She changed out of our teal fleet outfit and dressed to impress. She needed to film a few stand ups and I got to use my VMA skills. Film was my thing in high school. I dabbled in broadcast journalism, tech work, editing and producing. Being the cameraman meant bringing back my former career and equating myself to all the other professionals in the room.
I walked around the room in circles to scout out a good spot and made eye contact with all my fellow cameramen because I was, of course, just as important as them. We settled with a nice shot with radio row and the Super Bowl LIV sign in the background. I set up the equipment admittedly with some struggle. My friend got in front of the camera and we took a few shots, except all the shots weren’t just her but several other people walking by super close, way too close.
It’s a bit different when you’re CNN, ESPN, MSNBC, ABC and the list continues. People see them filming and say “wow” and stay out of the way. People saw us filming and said “who are they” or maybe they didn’t even ask. Even though we aren’t in the big leagues, we still got to play with the big leaguers and that’s enough for me.
By: Thea Nagle
Today’s focus was digital content. We took shelfies, selfies, panoramas, boomerangs, videos and photos. My day of press started with a shelfie with Teacher Lisa. She had her typical Caturday space buns in, a new Saturday staple for me, and deemed that Caturday can be celebrated everyday. The shelfie followed the Transportation Booth group pictures we took this morning.
Typically manning the transportation booth is a very stressful task because it requires adequate people problem solving skills. When you have to tell someone “no” to every question they ask, usually they don’t elicit a kind response. Our first photo op of the day granted us a much-needed mental break.
The Social Media Command Center faced some complications after various team accounts were hacked, so we were assigned the task of creating content. We split up field trip-style and took photos and videos of everything and anything, even a lizard I found outside (the lizard was not used). Our task brought us into radio row and the broadcasting stages to get content. I was busy taking pictures while everyone else was in a huddle pointing and talking. I thought I was just taking pictures of people and broadcasting sets, but apparently there were famous people involved. I’ve been told I’ve been in the presence of several famous people. I wouldn’t know.
The series of photos wrapped up with an impromptu photoshoot. I’m talking prom poses, escalator dancing, statue posing, finger pointing, sorority squatting and smiling. The group got together for several photos. Our matching uniforms really came in handy today because we were looking good. Just wait, you’ll see.
By: Thea Nagle
I aim to start every morning with a run. Coming to the media center every morning means that I cannot stick to my strict workout regimen. Once we arrived to work this morning, we helped prepare for a press conference. I came into my first press conference running.
I ran to get copies. I ran to map the perimeter of the convention center. Iran to find room numbers for people. I ran to grab a binder and ran to and from the media shuttle. Not to brag, but I logged 10.6 miles today.
My title is no official, but I’d say I’m the group runner. Initially, we were supposed to walk the talent for the press conference to the green room. Everyone waited downstairs for all the attendees to arrive while my professor asked me to find the fastest route to escort them to the green room. I ended up running the entire perimeter of the Miami Convention Center. I high fived some security people, received cheers from the press and completely broke a sweat.
We ran in a Flying V formation to the press conference and nonchalantly walked into the door. As a cool down, I jotted down quotes from the speakers. Each time I looked up from my note-taking, I noticed the people from the press did not look anywhere near as excited as I felt. My facial expressions and reactions definitely made it clear that it was my first press conference.
It won’t be my last.
By: Thea Nagle
When I was a child, my mother nicknamed me T-Bone. I don’t remember where the name came from, or if it actually had an origin story worth telling. As I grew older, my family stopped using any nicknames… but today, I learned that Ronda and “Teacher Lisa” love using them.
Ronda was my lunch buddy for the day. Her real name is Ronnie, but she claims Ronda sounds like a better name. She spotted my name on my credentials, then commented on the mound of vegetables on my plate. After this stranger said my name correctly, we began to chat. Ronda told me that even a four-letter name needs a nickname, so I told her about T-Bone. Ronda seemed even more excited about the nickname than I felt seeing so many vegetables. For the rest of lunch, Ronda shared what it’s like to be security personnel at the University of Miami and her experiences volunteering for Super Bowl LIV. She was very upset to see her vegetarian T-Bone leave for her social media shift.
Teacher Lisa is one of our supervisors for the NFL Transportation booth. We bonded over statement socks and earrings. While she gave me the task of using a $30,000 copier that was far beyond my technological capabilities, she started looking up other people with my name. I managed to make copies of transportation directions during her explanation of a planet called Theia that crashed into Earth and exploded.
Between T-Bone and planet Theia, I must really be making a name for myself in PR so far.
By: Thea Nagle
I try to be self-reflective and acknowledge when I do not know something. Today I acknowledge that sometimes multitasking is dangerous and I do not know the physics of flying with a water bottle.
My staple water bottle is a teal Hydro Flask with an overwhelming amount of stickers. If you gave a five-year-old a DIY water bottle kit, my Hydro Flask would most likely be the result. Considering the professional atmosphere of the media center, I decided to keep the teal disaster at home. The water bottle replacing it is a more conservative one that I found at CVS. It is the very first water bottle I’ve owned with a straw.
During our layover in Charlotte, my friend told me about water hitting her on the face while we were flying. There were more details but that’s all I remembered while I was listening, shamelessly stretching and eating beet chips at the gate. On the flight I popped the button on my water bottle and, as the straw emerged from the cap, so did a steady stream of water. A few drops on my face led to a giant spot on my shirt and a puddle on my seat. I was slow to put the cap on my water bottle, not because I was enamored by the fountainesque display, but because I was utterly shocked. I didn’t know that water could shoot out of my water bottle at such an impressive force.
I sat in my wet clothes for another hour and 15 minutes thinking about how I should have listened to my friend’s story in more detail. Physics got the best of her on our flight to Charlotte, too.
By: Thea Nagle
I grew up as the daughter of two artists. My household was always filled with an overwhelming amount of art, so there wasn’t much room for sports in our family. When I was young, my friends would all talk about their family football Sundays, while we spent our Sundays engaging with fine art or craftsmanship videos. My family always went to Super Bowl parties, but a fly on the wall would notice we were not as entranced as others by the game.
I understand why my football-obsessed friends who know I’m going to the Super Bowl are extremely frustrated with me. No, I am not a die-hard football fan, but I am a public relations fanatic. No, I am not particularly passionate about football, but as a college athlete, I am passionate about sports. No, I am not an expert on the NFL, but I made it my mission this break to become one. I suspect that after the Super Bowl, I will have a newfound appreciation for football; after a short time, I already consider it a hobby.
Working in the media center is my first real-life work experience. As a PR practitioner, I am obligated to become an expert for my client, finding a passion for who they are and what they represent. I have never been this excited about football before, so I’m surely becoming less frustrating to my football-loving friends. My professional experience all begins with Super Bowl LIV and I get chills every time I think about it.
By: Thea Nagle
When I told my mom I had a shopping list for my trip to the Super Bowl, she was thrilled about our mission. First, we went to TJ Maxx; the game plan was to divide and conquer. We reconvened after 20 minutes of shopping to look over what we found. Despite a cart full of pants, I was quite defeated to hear my mother explain that we didn’t find a single pair of chinos and only one pair of khakis. I then realized that I not only needed to research the ins and outs of football, but I needed to conduct some research on pants.
The next day we ran errands and I was eager to cross a few items off my list. After eight hours of shopping at various stores for items on (and off) my list, I found black and white Cuddle Duds shirts while grocery shopping at Sam’s Club.
I Googled women’s chino pants and the first search result took me to Old Navy.
After purchasing everything, I tied my hair up and put on the whole outfit with one of my polos. One look in the mirror and it finally sank in: I’m going to be working in the media center for Super Bowl LIV.
That night while still in my temporary uniform, I conducted nearly 3 hours of research on football and watched several gameplay videos on YouTube. The research and packing preparations get even more exhilarating the closer I get to media week.