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!
This last week at work has been very crazy. I went to practice early on Wednesday morning and after I was at practice for around two hours before I was asked by the head athletic trainer to go pick up a player at the apartments and take him to the doctors for his exit physical. Players only get exit physicals when they are getting cut so it was a little awkward driving him around while I was still working for the Predators. That uncomfortable feeling is probably why the staff has interns drive players around when they are getting released.
So I drove him to the doctors and we were there for about an hour waiting for him to get his physical. After I dropped him back off at his apartments I got a call from Dad and he sounded very nervous and uneasy. I asked him what happened and he said that his whole department had just been laid off and he needed me to come and pick him up! After I picked him up he answered a couple phone calls from former employees and fellow employees. I was very upset that Dad lost his job but I knew that it wasn’t his fault. The only reason he got let go was because Rasmussen moved the department to Minnesota.
I was very disappointed though in the fact that Rasmussen did not offer him another position in the college. He spent almost five years there and they couldn’t find another position for him anywhere in the college at any campus. It was just disappointing because he had improved every department and every job he worked at there. As Dad and I drove home we talked about what his plans where, what his severance package was and how the whole thing went down.
After a little while I realized how ironic my day had been. I had spent most of my day driving around a player that was a dead man walking (meaning he was getting cut that day) and took him for an exit physical, then I had to go pick up Dad and drive him because he had just been “cut.” Ironic.
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!
Today was a very interesting and exciting day! Over this last week, everybody at the Predators has been preparing to go on the road and face our rivals, the Jacksonville Sharks and get our fourth win in a row! (We won last week at home!) At practice this past week my new job in the player personal department was to keep tabs on players in the Professional Indoor Football League (PIFL) and create a list of my top 3 players at every position and contact the teams they are on so that I can establish a relationship with those teams. It’s very exciting because I’m learning more about how the scouting side of football works! It’s an important step in my journey to be an NFL General Manager.
While I have been working on the personal stuff, I do continue to go into the office and today was one of the days that I went into the office. Today was a pretty quiet day at the office because we have a away game this week and not many people are calling in to buy tickets, get info about the game etc. The day started off pretty slow and quiet with nothing too exciting happening but it all started getting a lot more interesting when Scott left around noon for the day.
When Scott left, it was Marshall (another intern) and I up front watching the phones and doors if customers came in, Al, Dan and Amanda in the ticket office and Adrian. Soon after Scott left Coach Plank came in to talk with Adrian and check a couple things up on the computer. Because Coach Plank was here, and no one really had anything to do, we all came up and talked to Coach Plank about his time as a player with the Bears and his other coaching jobs in the AFL. It was very interesting.
One story about the AFL was that when he was the head coach of the Georgia Force a play had to be reviewed and the refs went to review it and after a couple of minutes they came on the field and said the call stood. Soon after an coach came to Plank and said that the replay TV hadn’t even been turned on! There was no cable plugged into it! It’s shocking on how inept AFL officials are sometimes!
Today I went to practice again and I was almost very close to not arriving there on time because I woke up a bit late. Dad and I were able to hustle out of the house and get him to work and me to practice on time.
Before practice I talked with Minh, Omar and Eric (another intern) about what kind of work they do with the team. Along with Dakota, they are part of the Predator’s Player Personal Department. One of the coaches, Sean Coen, is the head of the department and he has the interns calling up players, teams in other professional football leagues and agents asking about players statuses and if they would be interested in either having a tryout or signing with the team. It’s very interesting and cool! These things are what GMs in the NFL do, so I really wanted to get involved with this. I talked to Sean before practice and he said that if I was interested in being a part of the player personal team to talk to him after practice. I was definitely very interested to talk to him.
Practice was pretty simple, it wasn’t as difficult as yesterday’s was because I had learned about the in and outs of practice and today they practiced without pads. Yesterday they practiced with pads. Practice is typically a lot harder and rougher when the players practice with pads because they can hit each other and get physical. Without pads, they really can’t be all that physical. I did the same thing as yesterday in practice, caught balls as they went out of bounds dried them off and then toss them back to Pat, the equipment manager.
After practice while we were waiting for lunch to arrive the players broke off into groups and watched film of practice and game film of the other team to prepare them for this week’s game. I sat and ran the film footage for the quarterback and wide receiver film group while Sean talked with the players about the film. It was very cool being in there!
After lunch arrived and everyone had eaten, I talked with Sean about being on the personal team and he told me that it was very serious work and I have to put a lot of effort into it. I told him that I was definitely prepared to do so. He then told me that I would be probably working with Omar on player personal and that I could start after this week’s game!
Later that day I went to the office and worked with everyone to prepare for gameday. People were calling wanting to buy tickets, bring in vouchers and try to get better seats for the game. It was pretty hectic. My day there was pretty much the same as it always is, I answer phones, talk to and help out customers and go run errands. All in all, my day was pretty low key.
I was so excited to attend practice today! I’m looking to become an NFL general manager and the majority of NFL GMs start as a scout so I thought that going to practice would help start me on my path to become a general manager.
When I was at practice, another intern, Dakota, and I started setting up the field with the Equipment Manager and after we did that the players came out and started to practice. I was very nervous and excited but I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do so Dakota explained to me that I needed to spot the balls for the players when he would call the plays. I was very confused with how the Predators were practicing because it is different from the NFL so I was having some trouble knowing where to spot the ball and I was slowing practice down. Practice needs to be fast-paced so that players can get a feel for how fast the actual game will be paced and be prepared for it, so it wasn’t good that I was slowing things down.
Shortly after the coaches had a more experienced intern, Minh, and the equipment manager, Patrick, spot the ball and call the plays because they were faster and they understood the pace. The rest of practice Dakota and I would get the balls that went out of bounds, rub them off and toss them back to the team for the next play. After practice I understood better how things were ran and Dakota explained to me a little more in-depth about practices and told me to always be listening and do everything fast. So, the lesson of the day was stay on your toes all the time and be aware of everything.
Welcome everyone to my new blog! I’ll be chronicling all of my adventures through my life until I reach my goal of becoming an NFL General Manager! Just to introduce myself to everyone, my name is Erik and I am 17 years old, I have already graduated from college with my degree in Business Management and also at 17 I took my first stab at law school. I’m going to take the next few years — get some more football and work experience and give law another shot. So someday, in my early 20’s I hope to graduate from law school with my degree either in Sports Law or Contract Law as I continue to pursue my dream of becoming an NFL General Manager!
Over the year, I finished up my undergraduate degree and started law school and worked as an intern at the Orlando Predators, an Arena Football League team. It has definitely been a very fun and interesting journey so far me. Law school was an exciting experience and you can read lots about that in these posts. The law is an amazing area to study, for sure and I am excited for my next work in that area.
My first big experience out of undergrad was as a sports intern. I have been able to interact with several Predator players, coaches and front office members. Some players I’ve talked with are Devin Clark, Mark Lewis, Dominic Jones, Julius Wilson and many more. I’ve also talked with Coach Doug Plank and several members of the front office as well as the coaching staff.
Usually when I go work at the Predators I go to the office and help out everybody who works there such as the ticket office, the marketing department and pretty much anywhere else. I answer phones, help out customers, run errands to places like the bank, Amway Center, etc. and I do pretty much anything anyone asks me to do. During game-weeks, the office is fairly busy with people calling to buy tickets, schedule events, cutting up coupons and flyers and running errands. I thought that I might change things up and go attend team practices and help out with the team. That was fun! I love everything that I have been doing so far with the Predators and I expect to work game-day operations next year as my only involvement. I hope to be working in a law firm as my ‘day job’ this coming year along with my blogging/writing and my bike rental business EL Bike Rental.