Today was a very exciting day! Today was ArenaBowl XVI and I had the fantastic opportunity to work at it! During the week leading up to the ArenaBowl, Adrian had sent out a couple emails to all of us interns asking who would be able to work the ArenaBowl. When I saw that email I was ecstatic! I have never attended any championship game for any sports so I was thrilled to get this experience!
When I got to the Amway Center, everyone was running around and there seemed like there were thousands of things to do! It was very hectic and what made it even crazier for us interns was that there were only about seven of us: Alec, Dakota, David, Jorge, Julian and Corey and me. Julian and Corey helped us out before the game but during the game they were going to be up in the press boxes doing media work while the rest of use were on the field. So the game day field crew was short about four people!
Before the game when everyone was working Adrian gave all of us interns official AFL shirts to wear because he wanted us to all look professional and we were going to be on national TV. It was pretty cool!
While we were waiting for the game to start I got the opportunity to talk with Coach Plank about his playing days in college at Ohio State, playing with the Bears, the rivalry against the Packers as well as his coaching experience. It was fun to be able to talk to him about those things and learning what he though about them, especially the Bears-Packers rivalry as I’m a die-hard Packer fan.
Coach Plank said that it was a hard fight every time they played the Packers. “Every time we played them we knew we would be in for a rough fight. Both teams hated each other and it was very physical. It was like a civil war.”
The two teams playing in the ArenaBowl were the Arizona Rattlers and the Philadelphia Soul and both teams played their hearts out. It was a very fun and exciting game to watch. One of the fun things that I got to do was be the pizza delivery guy again! I got to go up into the top section and give a pizza to someone and that was fun because normally those people never get anything promotion-wise so it was nice to be able to give them something in the biggest game of the year.
In the end, Arizona won and they were presented with the championship trophy and it was very interesting to see the presenting ceremony and to be on the field for it! I had a great experience and I can’t wait to be involved in something like this again!
My experience with the Orlando Predators this season has been fantastic! I’ve learned so much about coaching, scouting and the daily operations of a sports team in general from working at the Predators. So many people from coaches to office workers, to fellow interns have taught me so much about the game and working in sports. I would gladly work with the Orlando Predators again given the opportunity!
On gameday, I was definitely hoping the team would be able to beat the Iowa Barnstormers so that we could get closer to locking up a playoff spot and beating on Tampa and New Orleans for the three and/or four spot. As Alec, Adrian and I were unloading the carts full of promotional items and sodas and I told them what happened to Dad and his job. They both said that that was bummer and they understood what how difficult that might be for Dad because their dads had lost their jobs at some point too. So it was nice to be able to talk to them about that.
While all of us interns- Frank, Alec, Marshall, Jorge, Danielle, David and I- unloaded the storage room in the away team locker room of the promotional items and table and chairs, Adrian was talking to the Iowa equipment manager about them getting out of the locker room after the game quickly. The Iowa guy said that they should be out of there in no time because when the team loses, the coaches basically go in and say, “ok, we suck get on the bus.” The Iowa manager also said that this last week had been literally the worst practice he has ever seen in his days involved with football. He said the game would probably be a a suckfest for Iowa and that we would win!
After setting up the chairs and tables in the Coors Light Lounge, a couple of us threw the ball on the field for a little bit after we set up the big banners and smaller banners which was fun. While we were waiting for dinner in the Green Room, after we ate dinner, Adrian came by and touched base with all of us to make sure that we all had things to do before and during the game.
Danielle and I handed out tickets again this week and there were not as many people who were coming to get free tickets as last week. After we handed out tickets through the first quarter, Danielle and I went to the field and helped there. The game was a lot of fun to watch and work. What made it especially great was that the Predators won! We are working are way to the playoffs!
We ended up losing that game to Jacksonville, which hurt our playoff chances, but we figured that if we won at least two of our last four games we would be able to make it into the playoffs! This week we had a home game and it was a nationally televised game against the Arizona Rattlers, the best team in the country. Our odds weren’t very good but we thought that we had a shot.
Because that game was nationally televised, it was particularly hectic for all of the interns involved with the gameday operations side of things. Before the game, Adrian told Danielle, another intern, and I to sit at a ticket table by the admin desk and handout and distribute tickets to people who had ticket vouchers. We were there from about 5 to 7:30 distributing tickets and it was very crazy because we would have people waiting in line for tickets and we would run out of tickets and have to run and get tickets from the box office! We probably gave out around 300 tickets or so.
The game itself was fun to watch because of all the action going on and I got to be part of several on field promotions which is always fun because you get to be on the big jumbotron and sometimes television! One promotion that I always do is the Hungry Howies Pizza challenge where I go into the stands and deliver a pizza to a random fan. It’s fun to do because fans are always screaming for the pizza and are excited! During the promotion I was about to hand the pizza to this one lady who was jumping up and down to get the pizza and I was about to give it to her, when a little kid came up and took the pizza out of my hand. I was a little shocked but I just went along with it because I didn’t want to take the pizza back from the little kid.
The game was fun to watch but we ended up losing which was very disappointing but I figured that we would lose this game so it was kind of alright. Hopefully though, we will get into the playoffs!