Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    My experience at ‘The NFL Experience’

    Tower staffer was among 30–40 Laney students working at Super Bowl 50

    This spring I was recruited by a temporary staffing agency to work at the NFL Experience held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The NFL experience is an interactive amusement event for football fans. I was recruited at Laney College along with a total of 800 others recruited by this particular staffing agency. The event is scheduled for seven days, including Super Bowl Sunday. 
     The recruiter said that the ideal situation was to have two staffers for every one fan. I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in the NFL experience. My job allowed me to meet new people and learn more about football. My job title was “Teammate”, and the job duties were to make sure each fan I came into contact with enjoyed their NFL experience. 
    People, people everywhere. On BART and on the streets, all heading to the NFL Experience, this is what I thought. The first day was crazy, teammates signing and getting the uniform. The number of people working was massive.

    NFL Experience

    Each day before I started my shift, teammates huddled together for our daily instructions. The instructions consist of what professional players might be on site at any given time and the color of the VIP ticket holders wristband, which changed each day.
    Because this event was held in San Francisco, the cardboard teams were the Oakland Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers. The local fans came wearing either red and gold or black and silver. Of course, Bronco and Panthers fans in the mix. 
    Security was intense, armed guards in military gears including guns, strapped down with rolls of bullets and local police officers, security guards hired by the NFL and security check points at every entrance and exist, none of whom smiled much. I observed one fan that wanted to take a picture of one of the armed guards. The guard said, “I can’t stop you,” and the fan replied, “I just want my friends to know how much security we have here.”
    I was working at the registration area’s Kiosk, in the “Suit them up,” “Kick, Punt and Pass, “Call the play” areas, and the “Obstacle Course” and Each fan was required to register before participating in any of the interactive games. Many fans did not do so, so explaining to a fan they had to register before participating caused a bit of confusion. 
     Registering was a must to get interactively involved. Registration required that the fan download the NFL app and complete a form. Also each time a fan checked in at any interactive games, the fan also earned points to win prizes and possibly Super Bowl tickets. The registration also served as a waiver of liability. 
    Many times fans cell phone would go dead or they forgot to bring their phones, well, you could go to the cell phone station and recharge your phone. 
    Although this was a good idea many fans were reluctant. Another option was to re-register at the Kiosk, again reluctant but to participate in the interactive games, the fans had no choice. Regardless of when a fan registered they would receive an email confirmation. 
    The next day I assisted children and adults in putting on official NFL football uniforms, helmet and jersey with pads. The fan was directed after putting on the uniform the fan ran through a tunnel hitting teammates who had pads; as if they were running to make a touchdown and the teammates were the blockers. 
    Children ages five and under appeared not to understand exactly what was going on. Here I am trying to put an adult size official helmet on a three year old. His eyes looking up as if to say, what is this and why are you trying to put it on me. The jersey fitting like an evening gown. Yet the parents wanted to capture each moment on camera. So young children ran away crying or just said “no, no, I don’t want to. Parents were eager to see their toddler in a helmet, even though the uniform was too big. 
    The adults got a kick out of it, and ran into the teammates trying to knock them down. One young man I helped to suit up, seemed a little hesitant, as he was given encouragement by his father to go ahead. He ran through the tunnel, got hit and started wailing. The father who stood about 6 feet 7 inches tall looked down on his son, who stood about 3 feet 4 inches and said,” You are alright, shake it off.” 
    Another area I worked in was the Obstacle Course, this was fun. The fans got to run through a short obstacle avoiding tackling dummies and running over floor ladders then into a tub of colorful balls. This activity was clearly for children ages 6–12. 
    “Make the call”, was another area I worked; the fans participated in by viewing a plays by any NFL team match ups and computer would tell the fan how the referee called the play. The fan was then asked to stand on the decision or reverse the decision. The fan would be rated on how many plays they called correctly. Then the fan was given a rating status based on the level of judgement calls correct. 
    People came from all over the country to participate in the NFL Experience. I met a group of students from Tennessee, who were recruited at their college. 
    Some of the teammates I spoke with were from Mississippi, St. Louis, Texas, and a soccer team from Brazil (where is soccer is futbol) came to participate in the NFL experience. I met people England, North Carolina (of course), Denver (again of course), Ukraine, locally Oakland, San Francisco and Sacramento. I am sure there were fans and team mates from other places not mentioned. 
    The event was a melting pot of people taking part in the NFL experience.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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