Brummett part of Wilmington group volunteering at NFL’s biggest game –
By Mark Carpenter –
For most of us, Super Bowl Sunday is a day to gather with friends or just stay around the house to watch the NFL’s biggest game with family. For one recent graduate of Manchester High School, Super Bowl LI last month in Houston was a much-more hands-on experience. From almost being run over by James Harden’s Rolls-Royce to working the Patriots’ $10,000 a ticket after-party, Super Bowl Week in Houston gave Tyler Brummett a lifetime of memories.
Brummett was part of a group of 15 students from Wilmington College, mostly Sports Management majors, who, accompanied by their professor Alan Ledford, who set the group up with a committee that was looking for volunteers for various assignments during Super Bowl Week.
“We were in Houston for about a week before the game,” said the 2014 MHS graduate. “First we helped work an event called the ‘NFL Experience’ which is open to the public. We helped with all the games that guests could compete in, things like Punt, Pass, and Kick and Vertical Jump Testing. That event also included autograph sessions with NFL players, celebrities, and coaches. You could even have your picture taken with the real Lombardi Trophy. We worked there the days leading up to gameday and during the game we were in the stadium assisting with different things.”
“At the NFL Experience, I saw a lot of NFL Players, like Travis Kelce of the Chiefs who walked away from me when I told him I was a Steelers fan. I talked to Randall Cobb, Mike Evans, DeShaun Watson, and some others.”
Most people’s first question might be “Did you get to see any of the game at all?” Brummett’s answer would be “yes.”
“I was stationed right behind the Falcons end zone about 10 rows up from the field working security,” he said. “I was fortunate enough to be able to watch the whole game and the halftime show from where I was. It was one of the best places to watch it. I saw everything in the post game too- the celebration and Tom Brady getting the Lombardi Trophy.”
When the game and celebration ended, the night was just beginning for Brummett and his group as they were off to work at the New England after-party, which turned out to be one of the most memorable experiences of the week.
“We went into a massive room at the stadium for the after-party,” said Brummett. “People only got in with a game ticket plus another $10,000 ticket. There were players and celebrities-it was amazing. I got to talk to Brady and many other players and celebs. The party was all you could eat and all you could drink and they had concerts by John Legend, Pitbull, Snoop Dogg, and Lil Wayne. It went from the end of the game until like 3 a.m. And I took so many pictures that my phone died before Snoop or Lil Wayne even performed, but it was an amazing experience.”
It wasn’t all work for the Wilmington group as they got to “play” a bit during their time in Houston.
“We went to Galveston Beach and swam in the Gulf, and went to a Houston Rockets game, toured the Toyota Center (home of the Rockets), MinuteMaid Park (home of the Astros), and the soccer stadium of the Houston Dynamos,” continued Brummett. “Maybe the most memorable story didn’t even involve the Super Bowl. When we were leaving the Toyota Center, we were pulling out of the parking garage and an all-white Rolls Royce Phantom nearly hit us. We looked in and saw a huge beard and it was James Harden. He was on his phone and laughed and waved at us.”
“I love football, it’s my passion, so being able to work at the Super Bowl was truly remarkable,” said the former tight end for the Manchester Greyhounds. “Everybody knows how big the Super Bowl is, but being there in person is a whole different story. I have never seen so many people in one setting, it is truly unimaginable, something you have to experience yourself before I could even begin to explain.”
“It was the best week of my life and I can’t think of anything I would change about it. I will remember it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I was blessed to be a part of.”
Brummett, who is now a junior at Wilmington, is looking forward to graduating next spring, but also has another trip on his mind.
“Alan (Ledford) has already secured us a spot for next year’s Super Bowl in Minneapolis, so hopefully I am able to experience all of this again.”