The Super Bowl was once just a game but today it is a two-week extravaganza loaded with events, parties, concerts and interactive contests featuring a who’s who of sports and entertainment celebrities.
The game’s participants have traveled the long and sometimes tortuous journey of an NFL Season and the last two teams standing are physically beaten – mentally drained. Yet driven by their individual and collective quest to fulfill a dream they persevere, fight through and prepare their bodies for one last challenge.
The mental challenges may be even more taxing. The players will try to fight through the aches and pains by staying mentally sharp while concentrating on the game plan and their individual assignments. But those things may be the easiest of all to focus upon during the two weeks leading up to the big game.
Media throughout the country, even throughout the world will drill down on the final participants. Questions that the players never fielded before, perhaps never even dreamed they would be asked, come up time and time again.
The families of all of the players can also place additional burdens on these athletes. They’ll want their privileges, their tickets to the game and they will reach out to the players to make sure they get what they believe is theirs.
No harm is intended but when you consider the traveling to the game; almost a week on the road; the media barrage and the catering to family “needs”, the players really are never removed from the distractions until they actually take the field.
Baltimore Ravens WR Torrey Smith shares some of his Super Bowl XLVII memories in this post sponsored by Amtrak.