Sunday was as early and as long a day as we could’ve imagined embarking on our second trip to Radio Row covering the Super Bowl for WSBU – The Buzz.
As if waking up at 2:30 a.m. wasn’t enough, our station manager, Steve Wilt, drove my co-sports director, Isaiah Blakely, and myself to Buffalo Niagara International Airport in a near-blinding blizzard. It was a journey that took over two hours.
After a couple flights, we landed in Atlanta a little after noon. By 3, we were at Radio Row to set up our equipment. The layout was nothing like last year's.
Super Bowl LII featured a Radio Row unlike any other. It was set up in the middle of the fifth floor of the Mall of America outside of Minneapolis, which is the largest mall in the country. It was cramped, crowded and full of regular civilians, who, unlike in most years, weren’t required to purchase tickets to watch stations broadcast. The one positive to this madness in the mall: We were set up right next to a Shake Shack.
This time around, in the Georgia World Congress Center for Super Bowl LIII, Radio Row has returned to its traditional form: two gated-off sections of about 60 tables each, separated by a larger space in the middle of the room dedicated to CBS Sports, Sirius XM, Twitter and other media monsters.
After we became acquainted with our surroundings, we took advantage of our one free night to check out the fan festivities held in the basement of the convention center.
This included myself attempting (and drilling) a PAT attempt, Blakely edging me out in the 40-yard dash and both of us maxing out at the vertical leap attempt of the “NFL Combine” section with verticals of at least 36 inches each.
To say we had fun would be an understatement. We looked like kids in a candy shop. However, tomorrow begins five long days of hard work. Interviews, press conferences and live shows. Hard work that we wouldn’t trade for the world.
It’ll all be worth it tomorrow night when the pyrotechnics erupt inside State Farm Arena and Tom Brady, Aaron Donald and others head to their respective podiums to take the questions of three college students from Western New York.
(Follow WSBU.FM on Facebook for video updates throughout the week.)
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