In 2019, I was a second semester college freshman near Atlanta, and that same year, the Super Bowl happened to be coming to the ATL as well. While I thought this was a super neat coincidence and knew I would enjoy the experience, I had no intentions of spending that much money on a ticket. Like I said, I was a college freshman. If I had thousands of dollars laying around that I could use on a Super Bowl ticket, I would not have had to take out a loan for school.
However, I did end up getting to go for free, and this is the story of how:
One night when I came to visit Hailee in her dorm room, she told me that she had some pretty big news to share.
When she proceeded to tell me that her Winter Guard team got asked to be a part of the Super Bowl Halftime performance, I can honestly say that was one of the last things I expected to come out of her mouth. That was something I did not know that local performers were asked to be a part of rather than it being something you had to audition for.
Already, I was so happy for her, but somehow she still had even more exciting news to share. Hailee then told me that the crew was lacking in people to assist with the props and that she knew how I could apply to help.
It then clicked that she was basically telling me how I could not only get into the Super Bowl halftime show for free, but be able to watch it from the field as well.
I quickly applied to assist with the props and asked Hailee if we could share this with one of our other friends, Marissa, as well. To which, she said yes. Before we knew it, Marissa and I were officially part of the Super Bowl Halftime crew, and we could not wait.
By the time we joined the team, there was only one practice left. This meant we had only one practice to learn what we were supposed to do and when we were supposed to do it.
While on the way there, Marissa and I both got emails from one of the crew members basically saying that they no longer needed our assistance. This was absolutely heartbreaking news.
However, we were already on the way there with Hailee in the car which meant we could not turn around, so we decided to test our luck.
Once arriving, we showed the entry people our email stating that we were a part of the crew (and just happened to leave out the part where we were no longer needed), and they let us in without question.
Afterwards, Marissa and I were shown to a field of grass outside of Mercedes Benz Stadium and told to wait for further instruction.
We were also informed that we would not be allowed to use our phones inside because they did not want any information about the performance being leaked.
Once we were led inside the stadium we were shown to some seats as if we were attendees to the Super Bowl rather than part of the crew. We were then once again told to wait for further instruction.
After a whole lot of waiting, we were finally told what our job was. We were gonna handle the giant glowing balls that would be flying in the air which we would have to catch and put in a massive bag towards the end of the performance. This sounds simple enough, but the balls were literally bigger than we were.
After getting into position, we waited for the actual practice to start. The practice consisted of the artists running through the whole show back-to-back 3 times. This means I watched Maroon 5 perform over and over and over for free, and I could not believe that this was something I was experiencing.
After 3 rounds of catching massive floating balls, stuffing them in large bags, and running on and off the field, it was needless to say that we had it down and were ready for the actual performance.
Once we arrived at the stadium on the night of the Super Bowl, we were beyond thrilled. We stood around the outside of the stadium with our crew and our props waiting for the start of the show.
When halftime finally came around, we ran onto the field in such a hectic manner in order to get to our spot. The field was much more crowded then than when we had practiced, so we had not yet experienced running through a crowd with a giant bag of balls (lol).
However, once in place we had a moment to really take it all in. The stadium was packed, everything was loud, and the environment was intense in the best way. Soon enough, the performance began and everything ran smoothly and as planned.
Before we knew it, our time at the Super Bowl was over, and it was only a memory. This was one of the best experiences of my life and I am so thankful that Hailee included me in her big moment. I will definitely never forget the night I had.
Now if you ever watch the Atlanta Super Bowl Halftime show and see the giant glowing colorful balls flying around in the air, you will think of me.
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