Nate: Man, Ben, thanks for giving me an all expenses paid trip to the Super Bowl Village and NFL Experience last night!
Ben: I didn’t pay for anything. You live in Indianapolis.
Nate: But I charged the NFL Experience tickets to your account.
Ben: Yeah, you’re going to pay me back.
Nate: I don’t have to pay you back? You’re the best boss ever. Anyway, let’s talk about what I saw last night in the Super Bowl Village.
Downtown Indianapolis was bustling with noises and colors last night. The dominant color was blue. Everyone was wearing Peyton Manning jerseys, obviously in an effort to convince Jim Irsay not to cut him in March. Either that or it’s the only shirts they own. I’m leaning latter.
Anyway, the biggest attractions outside of the NFL Experience are the Xbox 360 Kinect FanDome, the roman numerals, and the zipline. I hate to be a downer, but these three things have one thing in common: they are incredibly lame. All three had really long lines for something that seems pretty anticlimactic. Either you get to play fruit ninja on a tv instead of your phone, you get to take pictures with a bunch of letters, or you get careened across the lifeless Indianapolis skyline while a bunch of people shout at you. To be fair to the zipline, though, it seemed to be a huge hit. People were cheering and shouting as people zoomed by, and I probably would have tried it if not for my phobia.
Ben: Afraid of heights?
Nate: No, afraid of pointless wastes of time.
Besides that, though, the atmosphere was nice. There were plenty of booths for Super Bowl sponsors, and everyone seemed happy and in good spirits. I like to joke about how this is the best thing that will ever happen to Indianapolis, and it’s almost certainly true, but they are handling it very smoothly this year. I don’t expect the NFL to come back any time soon, but it’s definitely going a lot better than the Dallas debacle.
For me, the best part of the night was the NFL Experience. And I say this without any shred of sarcasm, humor, or irony: if you are a football fan who truly appreciates the ins and outs of the sport, you NEED to go to the NFL Experience if it is ever near your home town. It has just the right blend of exhibition, interaction, and merchandising to make it a really enjoyable time for football fans of all ages. There are also celebrities there too! We walked by Plaxico Burress, and it took everything within my and my girlfriend’s power not to make a gun joke. Plus I didn’t really know which joke to make.
Ben: You didn’t even do the Stevie Johnson TD Dance? I’m disappointed.
Nate: I know. I tried to think of something but there was just nothing in the chamber.
The museum was a lot of fun. They had moved panels of the Hall of Fame and had an entire section with the Lombardi Trophy, the AFC/NFC Championship trophies, and a case of the Super Bowl rings.
Ben: I’m assuming you took a picture of the best one.
Nate: You bet I did!
Ben: Missed it by one!
Nate: The interactivity stuff was a lot of fun too. You could take pictures with pads on, kick an extra point or 40 yard field goal, or see how far you can throw a football. And I’m proud to say that my spiral hasn’t lost anything since high school.
Ben: Max distance still ten yards?
Nate: Twelve now!
Ben: Oh, much better.
Nate: There was also an awesome draft podium where you got to grab a jersey of your favorite NFL team and pretend like you were the number one draft pick. I must have been so excited that something happened to my hair:
The food inside of the NFL Experience was predictably overpriced, but as I wasn’t very hungry it wasn’t an issue. Overall, the only thing I wish I could have had more of is time. If only I didn’t work, I’d spend my entire day in there just absorbing all of the football fun I could.
Overall, Super Bowl Village is a marked upgrade from the way Indianapolis usually is. It’s crowded, but if you’re a football fan and the Super Bowl is in your town you’d have to be crazy not to go.
Ben: Thanks for the report Nate! Now, about the money you charged.
Nate: Don’t worry! I’m making a prop bet on Kelly Clarkson’s navel. Nothing can go wrong.