Kyle Melnick’s Super Bowl Experience

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Kyle Melnick’s Super Bowl Experience
Feb 13, 2018

Eagles wide receiver Marcus Johnson was the first player I talked with at Philadelphia’s media availability Thursday at the Mall of America in Minnesota. I was reporting a story on his teammate, Mack Hollins, a Rockville, Maryland, native.

Johnson told me how Hollins is one of the most quirky players on the team, and how he encourages his teammates to watch his favorite TV shows, such as Dragon Ball Z, and video games, including Mario Kart.

A few minutes later I spoke with Hollins, and before asking about his journey to the NFL after walking on at North Carolina, we discussed some of our favorite childhood shows and games for about three minutes while a group of older reporters standing near us looked on in confusion.

Hollins was one of the players I developed a relationship with during the week I spent in Minnesota, reporting feature stories on Eagles and Patriots team members who hail from the D.C.-area, and covering news throughout the week.

Having the opportunity to develop those bonds is just one of the factors that made my week at the Super Bowl one of the most valuable experiences of my life.

I began the week with Super Bowl Opening Night at the Xcel Energy Center on Monday. While there were thousands of people roaming the room and talking to players, it was one of the coolest experiences to have unmatched access to both teams’ players and coaches with fans in attendance watching.

My schedules Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were pretty similar, but those were also some of the most enjoyable days. I was able engage in one-on-one conversations with players and coaches and get to know them during team availabilities.

Some of my favorite conversations were with Eagles safety Rodney McLeod, Philadelphia wide receiver Torrey Smith and Hollins. I also covered NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s press conference Wednesday, which was exciting to be a part of and hear some of the country’s best NFL reporters ask Goodell questions.

When I had downtime, I spent a good amount of it with Maryland alums Aaron Kasinitz and Daniel Gallen, who cover the Eagles for PennLive and introduced me to other Philadelphia reporters.

The game itself was somehow even more exciting than the week. I listened to Eagles fans sing “Fly Eagles Fly” throughout U.S. Bank Stadium as I tried to recreate the game’s big plays and emotions in my game story.

These experiences wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the Povich Center, CNS and Merrill College. I’ve learned how to take the topics I’ve learned in class and apply them to real world experiences while attending Merrill. Being able to use those skills at one of the country’s biggest sports events made for one of the best weeks of my life.

Eagles Win First Super Bowl

Mack Hollins took a complex route to the NFL

Patriots’ Belichick has Maintained His Lacrosse Roots

Before the Eagles, Speedy Darby Dominated in Maryland

Torrey Smith Transitions to Leadership Role

Experience at DeMatha Propelled McLeod to Super Bowl

 

 

 

 

 

 

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