Imagining Myself Playing in Super Bowl XLVIII...
Watching from the press box as the Seahawks dominated the Broncos, Colts tight end Coby Fleener couldn’t help but see the Super Bowl unfold through the players’ eyes. He retraces the turning points from that unique perspective
Riding to the stadium on a bus full of like-minded people is something I do for every away game in the NFL. Super Bowl Sunday was the same, with reporters packed into every seat on the bus, all hoping the police escort would minimize the commute. As a guest correspondent for The MMQB and Sports Illustrated during Super Bowl week, I was watching an event that I hope to be a part of soon.
Taking my seat in the auxiliary press box, I set up my computer and prepared for the game. When the teams finally were out on the field, I not only felt like an excited fan, but also as if I was only moments away from running out onto the field in my uniform. At the same time, I was trying to be a good reporter, looking for anything newsworthy under the bright lights on the field.
When I’m watching a game from the stands, I can’t help but put myself in the shoes of the players from both teams. I’m asking myself questions about why this player did that, and how I would react and feel in a given scenario. Here are 10 thoughts that would have gone through my mind if I was on the field for Super Bowl Sunday:
1. I'm on the Broncos ... and we just gave up a safety on the first play of the game. I would be far from discouraged. It’s two points, and our defense played very well last game. I anticipate getting the ball back.
2. I'm on the Seahawks ... and I’m overjoyed after the safety. Peyton Manning is off the field, and we're already winning the turnover battle. We need to capitalize on this possession.
3. I'm on the Broncos ... and even though we're down 8-0, I'm still very confident. The Seahawks have scored three times already, and all we need is one drive to make everything even again.
4. I'm on the Seahawks ... and I’m expecting Manning to engineer a drive at any moment. We can’t win the game without scoring touchdowns.
I'm on the Broncos, and the Seahawks just ran back the opening kickoff of the second half. I’m wondering if anything is going to go our way tonight.
5. I'm on the Broncos ... and it's halftime. I feel like we played like crap in the first half. But with some changes at halftime, and some settling down, we can get right back in this game.
6. I'm on the Seahawks ... and we're up 22-0. I know we are on the verge of creating a lead so big that it would be almost impossible for the Broncos to catch up. Unfortunately, it's a long halftime, which means plenty of time for them to make any adjustments.
7. I'm on the Broncos ... and the Seahawks just ran back the opening kickoff of the second half. I’m wondering if anything is going to go our way tonight.
8. I'm on the Seahawks ... and I'm doing a lot of fist-pumping and high-fiving on the sideline; we know we are in the driver’s seat. If we don’t make any mistakes, it is our game to win.
9. I'm on the Seahawks ... and we need to run the ball effectively and efficiently to run the clock down. With each first down, our excitement builds.
10. I'm on the Broncos ... and I'm frustrated. The accumulation of our errors has let the game get out of control. It’s difficult not to let my frustration show, as I know it is very difficult to get back to the Super Bowl.
Attending my first Super Bowl as a journalist was a great experience, and I actually believe it will help me as a football player. It was motivating to see what happens when all your hard work pays off. Every NFL team starts a new season saying they want to win the Lombardi Trophy. To see the atmosphere in person makes me want that even more.
But for now, it’s time to hang up my keyboard and put my cleats back on, so I can tell you how it really feels next year.
Coby Fleener is a tight end for the Indianapolis Colts. He just completed his second NFL season.