Superbowl Halftime Show

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The Holiday Inn was nice enough to provide a second room for people who wanted to sell one of their kidneys. 

I know what you are wondering. How do people get tickets to the superbowl in the first place? Well, there are a few avenues. First of all, a bunch of the tickets go to the season ticket holders of the two teams that make it into the superbowl, in our case, the Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts. Next, a chunk of tickets go to the team which is hosting the Superbowl, in our case, the Miami Dolphins. Some tickets go to the season ticket holders of other 28 teams in the league, and another block goes to the NFL bigshots and affiliates, the TV networks, and corporate sponsors. Finally, out of about 75,000 tickets, 1,000 are sold to the general public at face value. However, there is such a huge demand, that the NFL conducts a lottery for them, choosing winners among thousands of entries. These winners don't get the tickets for free, they just get the opportunity to buy the tickets at face value. 

This is my main point: You should definitely enter this lottery. You may win the chance to buy two $2500 tickets for $600 each. 

Send request for two tickets via certified or registered mail February 1 - June 1 
NFL - Super Bowl Game 
280 Park Avenue 
New York, NY 10017 

Drawing for ticket requests: October 1 

With his kidneys safely on ice, John strode back towards the van and found us getting into our stadium outfits for the trip into Dolphin Stadium.

It would be best if we could get into the stadium now, because that would give us more time to get the boxes staged where we needed them. 

Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way. We drove in and found the stadium deliveries scanning station was closed, and we were informed by the gate worker that we were too late. All deliveries had to be completed by 9 am on game day.

Damn. We didn't really need to make a delivery, but this made it harder to establish ourselves as people who were supposed to be there. We'd have to park the van and walk in like regular spectators.

We parked about a mile away and walked in, each of us carrying some instrument vital to the mission: video camera, tripod, shrink wrap, etc.

The rain came down, making us all look like wet rats. 

John had a real press pass, and that was his ticket into and throughout the stadium. The rest of us were refused entry there, and we didn't try to bluff our way in with only our staff shirts. This was a void in our plan. There was no good explanation for why this member of the press had four dolphin stadium staff members following him around, waiting for orders.

Luckily, we had tickets, and it was easy to sit back with those in our back pocket. We were getting in, there was no doubt.

So we split up. John went in and the four of us stayed outside. We had three hours before they would be letting anyone inside. We were on hold. 

Outside, the rain slowed and we took it easy, surveying the outside perimeter and laying low. Cell phone communication into the stadium was choppy, so we communicated primarily through text messages.

John quickly realized that GAME DAY stadium security was focused on gate crashers. We would face serious scrutiny if we marched into an entry gate with our crackerjack credentials. What this meant is that John had some time alone in the stadium, with a long checklist of tasks to complete before his team could come to his aid.

Primarily, he had to lug the 95 boxes upstairs, to the primary concessions loop known as "the 100 level". The pallet jack was back in the van, and all of the fork lifts had been expelled from the arena hours earlier. These are challenges, but John's resourcefulness is pretty incredible. He started asking the folks at the concessions stands for help.

After the first 14 people told him "no", he finally got ahold of a solution. He was able to borrow a spry little four-wheeled cart, which could hold 25 boxes at a time. Unfortunately, each trip included a curly climb up the stadium's pedestrian ramp, which was beginning to look like a concrete waterslide.

He got to work. 

Outside, we four had little to do but watch the crowd and stay out of trouble. Right away, I was making trouble. 

Here I am, posing with Biff Henderson, as he waited for the rest of his Late Night crew to catch up. 

Some other observations: 
People were generally in a very, very good mood despite the intermittent rain. This really did feel like the PLACE TO BE.

There was a good-natured rivalry between fans of the Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Bears. It seemed like the Chicago fans were more energetic, on average in support of their team.

A hell of a lot of people were wearing football jerseys. 
There were not enough garbage cans. Every horizontal surface was employed to hold empty cans, bottles and trash. Crowds came in a wide, steady stream.

Four hours before the game, three hours, two hours, and one hour before the game, people were steadily wading into the fat queue. 

There is a thriving marketplace outside the arena. This crowd fit the textbook description of eager customers. 

At least six street preachers had installed themselves on either side of a main entrance, holding confrontational signs and announcing their beliefs with megaphones. I have never witnessed street preaching at this volume and tenacity. These guys were not screwing around. They were angry.

Even when I don't believe what folks like this are saying, I generally appreciate people who kick their beliefs into action.

Besides the people wanting to buy and resell tickets, there were vendors for ticket holders, bottled water, t-shirts, pins, rain ponchos and hats. I didn't see any cameras for sale, and no food or balloons.

An informal survey revealed the crowd was 66% male, and 34% female. 

Some people wanted tickets.

Some people had tickets. Big Mike began asking people what they were willing to pay for a ticket. He was getting prices like $1,000-$1,500. Eventually a dedicated scalper stopped him and asked him to move somewhere else. He and his group "didn't want any $1,500 ticket for sale around them". They had just sold a pair for $4400, and were eager to keep tickets scarce and expensive.

If they had known that the rain was going to fall through the entire game, I'm sure the prices would have nose-dived. 

The most fun I had outside was answering questions. People asked me about disabled access, tickets, what would be allowed inside and where atms, beer and maps were.

Eventually we slipped into a big ticket tent and relaxed. We must have looked like the laziest event staff in the world. At least we weren't drinking. For a while, some of us actually took our shoes off and tried to dry out a bit, but we realized that probably looked funny and got back into character.

After a few anxious hours, John made contact. He had gotten all of the boxes to the 100 level, and was coming out of the stadium to give us an update.

John was sweating. It was time for us to come in. We covered up our dolphin stadium staff shirts, gingerly gripped our absurdly valuable tickets, and one-by-one headed for the entrance.

This was one of the most nervous times for me. We were going to be patted down at the entrance. If anyone spotted that I was hiding a STAFF shirt under my regular shirt, I would definitely be in trouble.

Please continue reading page 6 of the super bowl prank.

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February 15, 2007.
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