Super Bowl Boulevard

super_bowl

As you probably already know, this year’s Super Bowl was held in New York (technically New Jersey), and with a local Super Bowl, meant local festivities.

A section of Broadway in Manhattan was closed down in order to bring Super Bowl Boulevard to the streets of Manhattan. The festivities involved 12 blocks of Super Bowl themed fun for the family. From autograph signings, to a toboggan, to the Vince Lombardi trophy, the street festival had a lot of fun things to offer.

I went to Super Bowl Boulevard on its opening day, and its closing day. On Wednesday, opening day, it was absolutely beautiful. Not too many New Yorkers knew about the event yet, so although it was crowded, it was nothing compared to closing day, Saturday.

As soon as I came up from the N train, I saw a huge stage. Curious as to what was going on, I checked my Super Bowl Blvd. map. I figured out that this was the stage where different football players around the NFL were signing autographs, for free, for the fans. I got on line to see Desean Jackson, wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles, but he left just before I approached the stage. Next up was Maurice Jones Drew, running back for the Jacksonville Jaguars. I got to meet the man they call “MJD,” and he signed his autograph on a Super Bowl Blvd. autograph card.

From left to right, Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte, Jacksonville Jaguard running back Maurice Jones Drew and Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Desean Jackson, sign autographs at Super Bowl Boulevard.

From left to right, Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte, Jacksonville Jaguard running back Maurice Jones Drew and Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Desean Jackson, sign autographs at Super Bowl Boulevard.

I then decided to walk to the beginning of Super Bowl Blvd. I walked to the Macy’s on 34th and Broadway, where the 4th floor was turned into the NFL store. Outside the Macy’s was the ESPN set, where different shows broadcasted with Super Bowl Blvd. in its backdrop. If you had been watching NFL Insiders that Wednesday, you probably would have seen me in the background!

ESPN reporter Adam Schefter reporting live on NFL Insiders

ESPN reporter Adam Schefter reporting live on NFL Insiders

The NFL store was split in half. On one side was the AFC and the other the NFC. The front of the store on the AFC side had everything Denver Broncos related that you could imagine. From shirts, to banners, to clocks, to hats, they had it all. The same could be said on the NFC side for the Seattle Seahawks. The middle of the store had memorabilia related to Super Bowl XLVIII and New York. The back of the store had a small section for jerseys and jackets from the other teams in the NFL. This was a cool thing to see, because I always felt like there should be an NFL store in Manhattan. We have an NBA store, and I remember being so excited to go there all the time when I was younger, but I felt like it would be even better to see an NFL store.

The NFL Shop at Macy's

The NFL Shop at Macy’s

As I walked back up Super Bowl Blvd., the streets were set up with different booths from different companies. There was a Papa John’s booth giving away free pizza, an Xbox booth with Xbox Ones set up for people to play, the NFL Play 60 program had a football themed obstacle course, and there were many more different booths. After passing the autograph stage again, this is where the main events were. There was a huge toboggan run, a tent containing the Vince Lombardi trophy, the ceremonial XLVIII lit up roman numerals, and a regulation sized field goal post for people to kick field goals through. In between all of this, ESPN, Fox, NFL Network, and CNN had their sets set up to broadcast live from the boulevard.

The Vince Lombardi trophy on display at Super Bowl Boulevard

The Vince Lombardi trophy on display at Super Bowl Boulevard

The streets were crowded with fans from all teams wearing their team apparel. There were reporters from different news organizations all around the country reporting live. I would have to say that I saw mostly Seattle Seahawk fans. It seemed like the famous 12th man crowd from Seattle really did make the trip to New York to support their favorite team. People were chanting “SEAHAWKS” up and down the boulevard. I saw a Seattle news organization interviewing many different fans wearing their Seahawk apparel.

Super Bowl Boulevard was a fun, once in a lifetime experience. I came to the boulevard thinking that the Super Bowl would probably never come to New York again in my lifetime, so I wanted to experience it as much as I could. From buying apparel at the NFL store, to watching ESPN report live, to meeting Maurice Jones Drew, I would say that I made the most of my time at the boulevard.

It is sad to see all the excitement from this year’s Super Bowl leave the city, but I am glad to say that I experienced it somewhat. Did anyone else go? Did anyone meet anyone famous? Let me know!

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About Nick Cocchiaro