Some of you may have gotten wind through my social media that I applied to be a volunteer for Super Bowl LI happening in Houston this February. I remember when the Super Bowl was in Houston back in 2004 and the whole town of Houston was electric. I was in college at the time and my roommates and I just wanted to be in the center of it all. So we road tripped it down and just walked around the streets of downtown Houston. It was like one big party and we were on high alert celebrity watch (we ended up seeing Anthony Anderson who is now the star of “Black-ish”). With those warm and fussy feelings, when I heard that the Super Bowl would be in Houston again in 2017, I was quick to do the detective work in finding out how I could be a part of it directly.
The application process was pretty straight forward. I had to fill out an online form, answer a few questions about myself, and list preferences of places around the city where I would want to be stationed. My top choices of being one of the people that hold the huge American flag while shaking it so that it has the ripple effect during the National Anthem, or being on the field for half-time holding an orb rocking from side to side while the performer sings were not choices on the application. None the less I still had high hopes that I would be at least in the stadium during the Super Bowl and one day be able to tell my grandkids I was there. My application was accepted around the end of July, but still no word on where I would be stationed.
The second leg of the application process was to do a face to face interview. There was a whole facility downtown dedicated to the interviews. Over 12,000 Houstonians walked through those doors to interview to be a volunteer for Super Bowl LI! For the interview I had a designated day and time that I had to show up. In my time-block group there were about 50 others. We walked through what was almost like a museum of Houston relics and landmarks. Going through the facility made me really proud to be a Houstonian.
After being shown a short video introducing the key players of the volunteer committee and what it means to be a Super Bowl volunteer, we then were escorted to a big pool of smiling faces who were our interviewers. The interviewers had tablets and rated us on how we answered certain questions. I don’t remember many of the questions but I do remember being asked what I remember most about Super Bowl 2004 to which I answered Justin Timberlake pulling at Janet Jackson’s bra and exposing her nipple cover on live television. Of all the things…that’s what I said!
They asked all the potential volunteers to sign these huge boards that will eventually be placed all around the city for people to see leading up to the Super Bowl. I thought that was pretty cool!
Of the 12k people who interviewed 9k were chosen to continue on…that’s me! In October I was invited to attend Super Bowl volunteer orientation at the Toyota Center. Me and 9 thousand Houstonians gathered in the stadium for what was pretty much a huge pep rally.
The invitation to orientation asked us all to wear red.
The Orientation took about an hour to get inside followed by 2 hours of pumping all the volunteers up with different speakers and videos.
Even people encouraging us in outer space!
Then they showed us our volunteer uniforms which are pretty cool I think! They fitted us for the uniforms as we were leaving our interviews but never revealed what they looked like.
Jackets in case it’s actually cold in Houston.
All of this was fine, however the burning question that was on my mind was “what is my freaking post?!” Will I be rocking out to Lady Gaga during the half time show or will I be stuck somewhere slinging hot dogs?!
This morning I got the email I have been waiting for since first applying. I was so excited to see the email with the subject “Please Confirm Your Role For Super Bowl LI”. When I opened it I found the role of: Downtown Hospitality Houses. What the heck does that even mean?! And that doesn’t sound like it’s anywhere near the sidelines, where I belong! No further details have been given so, to be continued I suppose. At least I get a cool jacket?