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By Elwyn Henderson

    Media representatives from all over the world have descended on Las Vegas this week in preparation for Super Bowl LVIII this coming Sunday, February 11th at 5:30 PM Central Time at Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders.  The AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs will be taking on the NFC Champion San Francisco Forty-Niners in the big game.

     We arrived on Saturday, February 3rd and checked into the Luxor Hotel, the media hotel for Super Bowl LVII.  There was not much going on Saturday other than a lot of folks coming in, but Sunday things began to change.

     Media went to the Media Center at Mandalay Bay to pick up our Week of Game Credentials which gave us access to various and sundry events going on during the week prior to the game. We went in after securing our credential and watched some of the broadcasters on Radio Row begin setting up and even visited with a few of the guys.

     Monday morning things began to heat up.  We were shuttled over to Allegiant Stadium late in the morning and given information about the food that will be served in the stadium on Sunday.  After a short press conference we had an opportunity to enjoy the delectable food and beverages that will be part of the game Sunday.  

     Following the conclusion of the event we were allowed to wait in a work area until time for the Opening Night festivities.  Many years ago this was known as Media Day, but the NFL wanted to expand things and allow fans who might not be able to afford to attend the game to be able to see the start players and coaches.  They can purchase tickets for $30 and get to enjoy the interviews and see their favorite players.

     The Chiefs came out first for their media session with the around 4,000 media on the stadium floor.  When their hour was up the Coach Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes were joined on the podium by Coach Kyle Shanahan and Brock Purdy of the Forty-Niners for a few minutes of pleasantries before the Niners began their hour with the media.

     Coach Andy Reid was asked early on in his session his thoughts about playing for another Lombardi Trophy.

     “Well, we’ve been here and we kind of understand what this is all about, but they do too.  They’ve been here before so they know all of this too.”

     Quarterback Patrick Mahomes was asked when he was at his podium how he has changed now that he has been in the NFL for 6 years and will be playing in his fourth Super Bowl on Sunday.

     “The biggest way I’ve changed is just kind of knowing what to expect of the week.  I’ve obviously grown as a quarterback and as a leader and as a person, but being able to have a game plan about what the Super Bowl week entails, and prepare myself and not play the Super Bowl before the Super Bowl game is something I hope I can use to my advantage.”

     When Coach Kyle Shanahan was at the podium he was asked about his team’s comeback against the Detroit Lions in the NFC Championship Game.

     “Detroit got it going against us and we slowed them down in the second half.  The whole goal is you end up with more points than the other team!  However it happens, we have to make sure when we have a chance to stop them we do.”

     Quarterback Brock Purdy was asked when he came to the podium what his thoughts were on being drafted last in his NFL Draft class and earning the title of ‘Mr. Irrelevant’.

     “Honestly, people can overlook you, but at the end of the day it comes down to just believing in yourself and I think surrounding yourself with some god people.  At the end of the day anything can happen out of something that may, you know, not look great.  Anything can come of it.  Obviously, being drafted last and getting to where we are now and playing in the Super Bowl, something that didn’t look great initially, has turned into something pretty beautiful!”

     On Tuesday, our day began by heading out to Nellis Air Force Base for a ‘Salute to Service’ event.  We were able to see one of the jets flown by the Thunderbirds who are based at Nellis and will do a fly over the stadium at the conclusion of the NationalAnthem on Sunday.  We had a chance to talk with the pilots as well as some of the soldiers who attended the event.  It was a very interesting and informative time.

     After getting back to the Media Center we were shuttled over to the Vegas Grand Prix Formula One building that was built to serve as headquarters for Formula One in Vegas for the next 9 years after the first year was successfully concluded in November.

     There were Asian themed restaurants out on the property serving up all sorts of food and inside on the first floor there were NASCAR and Formula One cars that included several Carroll Shelby vehicles that participated in the races.

     On the second floor there were many other varieties of food and drink and deserts, along with a stage that provided musical entertainment to the media at the party.  It was styled in old Vegas form.

     The third floor featured new Vegas and also had a stage that provided a current music modality that the younger media representatives enjoyed.

     The event lasted from 6 PM local time until 11 PM and was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone in attendance at the most looked forward to party for the media every year.

     Wednesday was a bit slower, but the NFL Experience opened up to the media in the morning and we were allowed to go in while things were a bit slower.  The doors opened to the fans at 2 PM local time and 30,000 fans were expected to come through each day.  Wednesday was discount day and tickets were $25.  Thursday through Saturday tickets doubled to $50.

     Once we went through the Experience, our group traveled downtown.  Our first stop was the World Famous Gold and Silver Pawn Shop on North Las Vegas Boulevard.  The shop is featured on the History 

Channel on the Pawn Stars show on the network.

     Then we moved on to the Neon Museum for what was a very informative tour.  We learned about the history of some of the old neon signs there and got to take photos and videos of the signage of decades gone by.  If you come to Vegas, make sure to get by there.  It is just a couple of blocks off Freemont Street downtown near the Mob Museum.

     Today, Thursday is a bit of a slower day and we are getting caught up and ready for the final day on Radio Row for a lot of folks. Then Saturday is pretty much a free day to rest and relax and get ready for the main event on Sunday.

     If you would like to see some of what we have described here, go to my Facebook Page, Elwyn Henderson.  I have done quite a few Facebook Live posts that you might enjoy.

     Stay with us.  We’ll have a complete game story posted early Monday morning, February12th.

     In the meantime, have a great week and enjoy the game and GO CHIEFS!!!     

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