Tara Takes on the Super Bowl

By: Tara Wheeler
By: Tara Wheeler

I was so excited to be invited to emcee and do some red-carpet reporting at one of the biggest Super Bowl parties in the country!

I was so excited to be invited to Dallas to do red carpet interviews and also emcee and introduce the night's entertainment at one of the biggest super bowl parties in the country, "Everything's Bigger in Texas"!

It was a marathon to get me to the Lone Star State. I anchored the WAHU FOX 27 News at Ten in Charlottesville, got right in my car and drove to Baltimore, slept for an hour in the back seat of my little Saturn Ion in the BWI Airport parking garage and hopped on my flight to Dallas. I landed that morning and hit the ground running!

Saturday night, up and coming artists like rapper Jay Fresh and R&B singer Charisse took the stage along with seasoned pros like Kia Shine with his hit "Crispy" and Justin Timberlake's band FreeSol (who you might recognize as the artists behind the Entourage theme song).

My job was to interview and introduce them all. After meeting me, Kia shine gave me one of my favorite quotes from the night saying "News lady, I'll be your Ron Burgundy". Everybody loves an "Anchor Man" joke.

Super Bowl Champion Simeon Rice gave me an inside look at what goes through the mind of a player as they walk onto the field for the big game...

"It's been a few years now since i played in this game. But I remember thinking you want to take over and dominate", said Rice. "This is what it all comes down to your whole career will come down to it... This is what your legend will be based on, the Super Bowl. To have a victory will solidify you in the halls of this game forever."

I asked Rice what was going through his head the night before the biggest game of his life and what it was like to step on the field.

"I just told myself to relax and remember it's still the same game as I've always played. It's still a field that's 100 yards long and 50 yards wide... But when you step out on the field it's exhilarating. It's the best feeling ever, there's nothing like it. It's something you work for your whole life."

I also chatted with NBA great Spudd Webb who proves that you don't have to be tall for people to look up to you. He told me that he's amazed by the talent in basketball right now but said "It's true you can't teach height and we're always looking for tall players. But height will never surpass talent."

I had to take off before the big game so I was in the air for the Half-Time show. But, when I landed in Charlotte, NC the lone air port bar near Gate C12 was overflowing with football fans watching the Super Bowl. We all became best friends as we lingered until the last possible minute before rushing to board our flights with less than 2:00 remaining in the game. Luckily the pilots and stewardess kept us all updated with the final score. It truly felt like an American holiday.

When I landed, all the buzz was about the in-game entertainment starting with Christina Aguilera's botching of the National Anthem. I felt so, so bad for her. I've sang the Anthem at several pro sporting events and every time, I have a mini panic attack because my worst nightmare is mixing up the words in the excitement of the moment. It could really happen to anyone. No matter how well you know the song, when the pressure's on, brain-blips can happen.

As far as the half-time show, I've heard mixed reviews, but after watching it on You Tube, I think it was awesome! But, then again, one of my all-time favorite songs is "I Gotta Feelin" ... also, Fergie's bedazzled shoulder pads were a big WIN!

The Super Bowl is one of those unique events that appeals to nearly everyone. Whether you're a football fan or not, everyone loves a great gathering of friends, food, and an edge-of-your-seat experience of a close game!



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