Super Bowl Boulevard

With the Super Bowl happening at Met Life Stadium yesterday. The NFL had festivities similar to the All-Star Fan Fest that MLB held this past summer when the All-Star game was held at Citi Field. The big difference was that it was held outside and was free to enter. Broadway from 34th St. north to 47th St. was closed off with the exception of the intersection for traffic to cross. It would have been more ideal to close the whole stretch off. But, for those who have been to NYC knows that would have created chaos as far as traffic goes.
In past weeks the public was earged to sign up and register to attend the Super Bowl Boulevard. It was not necessary to attend. I think it was more to keep track of who and how many attended. when you arrived there were people who handed out the badges. They came in handy later.
Super Bowl Blvd started on Wednesday and went thru this past Saturday. I attended on Friday.
All along Broadway there were different activities for the public. In some cases current NFL players would take part in. I saw Redskins WR Pierre Garcon helping out with the kids. The only thing that cost $$ was a giant toboggan run which was $5 per ride. I heard the lines were very long and the experience lasted about 10 sec.

The biggest and I'm sure the most popular attraction was the Autograph Stage. Each day 5 current or former players signed autographs for 1 hr. Some would sign anything while others only signed the cards that were supplied by car manufacturer GMAC.
I attended on friday. The lineup on friday was to be Pierre Garcon (Redskins), Luke Kuechly (Panthers), Reggie Wayne (Colts), Nick Foles (Eagles) and Marshall Faulk Hofers (Colts and Rams).

The signings did not start till Noon time. But, since ESPN, CNN, NFL Network and FOX all had stages set up along Broadway I figured I had a good chance to grab some auto's from players coming and going. I got to the ESPN booth around 9:15 am and had heard that Adrian Peterson signed around 7am. When I got there Jim Kelly was on stage. I walked around abit and found the best location to grab auto's. But, it was already a mob scene. Jim Kelly came out and signed but I missed out. Cam Newton was next up and this time i had a better chance to get an autograph. But, Cam didn't sign. He handed out Gatorades. Rex Ryan, Mark Cuban and Ray Lewis also came thru. But, I didn't see any of them sign.
At this point I decided to start walking around. None of the attraction were open yet. As I walked north I saw Chris Rock doing TV interviews on a stage. I hung around the stage awhile and tried to get Chris Rock But, he didnt sign either.
I made my way back to the autograph stage area and noticed the line had started to form already. So, around 10am I got online and was probably the 30th person online. First up at noon was Pierre Garcon. For anyone who knows me. The Redskins are my team. I was not going to miss this one. Pierre was signing anything and signed like a machine. I got an 8x10 signed
Next up to sign was Panther Luke Kuechly, while online for Garcon there was a large video board that showed who was signing, the times and whether they would sign anything or not. Kuechly was only signing the cards or badges. I got right back online, the line moved pretty quickly since he was not signing anything. 
While I waited online I talked to a few people who said the day before Eddie Lacy and DeMarcus Ware had cancelled. Word also started to spread the Reggie Wayne (Colts) who was supposed to sign after Kuechly had cancelled. Of course I had an 8x10 of him. 
The card signed in silver doesn't look to bad. But, I'd rather had the cards I brought signed. 
After the Kuechly line I decided to walk back to Modells to see if what I could find for Marshall Faulk. I couldn't find any mini helmets. So, I bought an autograph football. 
I made my way back to the autograph stage to find out that current Bill Jaruis Byrd had replaced Reggie Wayne. I had nothing but some generic customs If i had gotten to Byrd. The line even longer than it was earlier in the day. Next up was Eagles QB Nick Foles. Foles was 25 mins late. Foles was to sign for 1 hr. But, left at the top of the hour when the Marshall Faulk was to sign. Well, Faulk was 35 mins late. The crowd was getting crazy. They had an MC trying to keep everyone calm. But, she started getting yelled at and insulted. I felt bad for her. She was a cute blond. 
Faulk finally arrives. But, the line was moving slow. Some of us knew we were never go to make it up to the stage in 20 mins. But, to our surprise it was announced that Faulk would stay as long as he was allowed to. Thinking that there was no other appearances after Faulk we figured we would get him. But, 5 mins after 5 it was announced that the stage needed to be turned over for a concert at 7:30. What a load of crap that was. They didn't need 2.5 hours to setup for the concert. It was just an excuse. 
I started to head back to the ESPN booth and found out that SportsCenter was to be aired live. SportsCenter is just news and does not have any guests. I did miss out on former NFL QB Trent Dilfer. 

There were other autograph appearance going on. Macy's had Emmit Smith. You had to buy $50 worth of NFL merchandise of which he would not sign. Emmit would only sign headshots that Macy's gave out. 
JC Penney's, Modells, Bed Bath and Beyond and some restaurant also had lesser known players signing. 
So, there were many chances to get autographs. But, you can't be everywhere at once. It was hit and miss and I missed for than I had hoped I would. 
The next day was headlined by HOFer Jim Brown and Cam Newton and I assumed they would not sign everything. So, I decided not to back the next day. While reading the Sunday newspaper I learned that the crowds were even larger on Saturday and both Brown and Newton only signed those badges. 

In my opinion they should have held this event in the Javits Center like the All-Star Fanfest. They probably would have had to charge though. 

Next up for IP graphing for me should be this coming Saturday. The Colorado Avalanche are in town to play the Islanders. Goalie Great Patrick Roy is the Avs Head Coach. 

Baseball Season is right around the corner. Pitchers and Catchers officially report in the next week

Thanks for Reading and Check Back Soon!!


Paul said…
I went Friday with a couple of my friends, one of whom is an Eagles fan, so I helped him get an extra DeSean Jackson autograph at JC Penney's. We showed up about an hour before the signing and were first on line.

My other friend really wanted to take a picture with the Lombardi trophy, so we did that. (It was a three-hour line.)

And by that point, it was 5:30 & time to get over to the Garden to watch the Rangers & Islanders.

It was an experience. Should the game come back to Met Life Stadium, I'd suggest doing multiple smaller free events at different spots in New York & New Jersey rather than trying to do another Super Bowl Boulevard or something at the Javits Center that would definitely require an admission charge.