‘Experiences’ bring fans close to the big game

Sports By David Snelling, Reporter Thursday, February 6, 2020

‘Experiences’ bring fans close to the big game
Wearing the replica jersey of San Francisco 49ers
quarterback Jimmy
Garoppolo, Charlie Bach threw a football, trying to emulate his sports hero.
The 52-year-old Floridian missed his target while playing the quarterback scramble at the Super Bowl Experience at the Miami Beach convention Center.
“I almost did it!” Bach shouted.
The Experience, where kids and the young at heart could “Live the Glory of the NFL,” drew multitudes of fans the week before Super Bowl LIV in Miami Gardens on Feb. 2.
Chris Woods, 13, marveled at a case of 53 glittering, diamond-coated Super Bowl rings.
Woods liked the six rings won by his favorite team, the New England Patriots.
“Tom Brady is the best quarterback in the NFL,” said Woods, from Tampa, Fla. who aspires to call plays in the NFL someday.
Fans got to feel what that might be like, if only for an afternoon. They competed in the 40-yard dash, made vertical jumps to see if they could match heights reached by NFL players whose videos appeared on LED screens; competed in flag football games and ran two-minute drills.
If it was tough to measure up to tests the players ace, there was lots of team merchandise for sale to take comfort in.
Super Bowl fever was also felt along Ocean Drive. Runners wearing team jerseys competed in an early morning race; others played flag football in the sand or rode a carnival wheel.
FOX Sports brought its talk shows and a touch of TV glamour to the beach.
“First Things First,” with hosts Jenna Wolfe and Nick Wright was followed by
“Undisputed” with Skip
Bayless and NFL Hall of Fame tight end Skip Shannon.
Then there was “The Herd,” with Colin Cowherd and co-host Joy Taylor, sister of Miami Dolphins Hall of Fame defensive end Jason Taylor.
Miriam Rodriguez of
Miami watched “Undisputed.”
“The Super Bowl brings a lot of people together because of the culture and excitement,” said Rodriguez, 49, an accountant. “I wish we could host it every year.”
At Bayfront Park in downtown Miami, fans took selfies at free displays and competed in more drills and contests.
Ex-Houston Texans wide receiver and University of Miami player Andre
Johnson was among athletes who posed for photos.
Billy Marry, 72, from
Philadelphia said of his visit to the Super Bowl Experience, “I’m having a wonderful time. I love football, love the Super Bowl.”

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