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Football and frivolity in Las Vegas: Tales from Super Bowl LVIII

Coverage from the most-watched television program ever

It did take until the latter half of the fourth quarter, but when I glanced across the aisle at Allegiant Stadium, I could see former (Super Bowl-winning) Seattle Seahawks receiver-turned-broadcaster Luke Willson nervously biting his fingernail.

It made sense, as the Kansas City Chiefs were driving down the field with less than a minute to go, and the 61,629 fans in attendance for Super Bowl 58 were on their feet screaming - both for and against - the Chiefs to either win or tie the game.

The Super Bowl essentially came alive during the fourth quarter; it was admittedly a defensive battle, but if social media had anything to say about it, the highlight of the game up until that point was Usher’s halftime show.

The Chiefs ended up tying with a field goal, and for only the second time in the history of the championship NFL game, it went into overtime.

The Chiefs of course ended up winning the game (never bet against Patrick Mahomes, no matter how the season begins) and the celebrations rained down in Las Vegas on and off the field.

In late December, following a couple of failed past attempts, I was notified by the NFL that my media application was approved for a position in the press box for the game. As a lifetime football fan, it was up there as one of the best Christmas presents I received. As a journalist, I couldn’t wait to sit with other reporters from around the U.S. and the world to cover the most watched TV broadcast in the United States.

Yes - it is over the top. And yes - $7 million for a 30-second commercial is astronomically ridiculous. And for non-Swifties, sure, there were too many shots of Taylor.

But to be inside the stadium, with overpriced light beer, celebrities everywhere you look, players tearing up at Reba McEntire’s rendition of the American national anthem and showgirls - because, Vegas - it was exactly as it should be.

There’s so much that can be (rightfully) argued about the insanity that is the Super Bowl, but for this football fan, it was perfect.

I understood how fortunate I was to be there, taking it all in as ticket prices in the nosebleed sections easily topped $8,000 US a week before the game.

Following the game, I rushed to the media compound on the concourse of the stadium following the presentation of the Lombardi trophy on the field. Inside, I bounced between areas of a tent to sit in scrums with Mahomes, tight end Travis Kelce and San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey (and if ever you want to see the spectrum of human emotion in 30 seconds, visit the winning and losing side of a post-game Super Bowl interview room).

I left reviewing footage on my phone repeatedly throughout the evening, adrenaline from the day starting to wear off and exhaustion starting to kick in.

Mahomes and the winning Chiefs made their way over to the Wynn Hotel for an after-party on the Strip until 5 a.m., and then apparently another after-after-party. He had to return to the media room Monday morning at 8:30 a.m. for one last press conference, then was whisked off in Super Bowl tradition to Disneyland.

Meanwhile, my hotel room bed was calling me shortly after 11:30 p.m.

But I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Erin Haluschak is a reporter for the Comox Valley Record

Erin Haluschak

About the Author: Erin Haluschak

Erin Haluschak is a journalist with the Comox Valley Record since 2008. She is also the editor of Trio Magazine...
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