I recently had the amazing opportunity to spend 2 full weeks in Miami working with the production team for Super Bowl 54!
If you’re a regular here, you know that I’m a diehard 49ers fan. I’m also a huge Patrick Mahomes fan and used to work with Andy Reid during my time with the Philadelphia Eagles so this match up, in this city, was a dream come true!
In hindsight, I probably should have packed my laptop so I could have posted several times from there, because after sorting through over 600 photos and videos, I have way too much content to share all of it here!
So instead of retelling the full background story of last year’s Super Bowl experience in Atlanta that paved the way for this year’s trip to Miami, I’m suggesting that you first check out my Super Bowl 53 post by clicking here!
With that said, here are a few of the highlights from my epic 2 week stay in “The 305!” Dale…
If you read last year’s post linked above, you’ll see that I was a member of the Field Team for the Maroon 5 halftime show. This year however, I received a promotion to the “Super Team” that also assisted with the pregame and post-game ceremonies in addition to the halftime show featuring J.lo and Shakira!
Being named to the Super Team is only fitting though since I am Batman and all. Hmm, remind me to pack a cape for Tampa next year…
Before our first rehearsal, I was talked into a side trip to the historic Everglades to search for alligators and other exotic wildlife!
After a brief presentation, we boarded an air boat and explored the terrain.
Despite my initial reservations, I’m glad that I went. It was a great time!
Here’s a slideshow with a few photos from that trip, including me holding “Gucci the alligator” (his sister was named Prada) and one of the snakes!
And here’s some video taken during the boat ride!
Reptiles aren’t really my thing, but I did it for the (insta)gram!
Gucci wasn’t so bad but that snake? Ughhh….if anyone ever needs proof of my acting and modelling skills, just show them that snake photo. Despite that big cheesy smile, I was dying inside! Never again lol…
Anyway, if you read last year’s Super Bowl post, you already know that our primary mission is to get the halftime show stage built during the small window of time between the players leaving the field and the planned performance time.
In order to do so, we had to practice moving the various set carts, cables and talent multiple times before the big game.
Although we’re not allowed to take photos during these closed rehearsals, I can tell you that day 1 was surprisingly cold for Miami!
And Day 2’s rehearsal took place during torrential downpour!
Thankfully, a few of the supervisors took photos of that one so I can give you a glimpse backstage! You never think about how much work goes into these events when you watch on TV but I can assure you, it’s not all glamorous!
Although we had scattered showers here and there, the weather was true to Miami for the majority of the trip, so I was able to explore all this amazing city had to offer!
Miami is probably most famous for South Beach and it definitely did not disappoint!
…oh, and yes, I am wearing Timberland boots on the beach in the photo gallery below. Hey, what do you expect? I’m from Jersey…
The Versace mansion was amazing to see in person. I’ll have to make sure to check out the inside next time too!
I’ll also have to check out the exhibits inside of the Holocaust museum that I discovered near the convention hall downtown. This powerful sculpture literally stopped me in my tracks but they were closing by the time I’d arrived.
Here I am being a goofball in the Wynwood Arts District where they feature works by talented graffiti artists and sculptors from around the world! My friend Andrea, who is a self-professed “taco snob” also says she had the best she’s ever had at a restaurant near there, so I’ll definitely have to try it next time!
But here’s some of the food I did manage to try while I was in town!
I also had these unique Peruvian sushi fusion rolls at SuViche but forgot to take the photos before I devoured them.
Hmm, that also happened with this delicious ropa vieja I ordered on the strip, these amazing street tacos and several other meals I had while I was in town. Whoops.
Another highlight was the Hard Rock Guitar Hotel and Casino. The building is literally shaped like a guitar that lights up the sky with fun color palettes each night!
Although I ended up there several times, there’s still much more I’d like to explore next time from the pool to the Anna Nicole Smith suite to the $25 buffet with endless king crab claws!
I did check out the amazing shops, restaurants, clubs and bars there though!
I’m not much of a gambler so I was more interested in the various displays of clothing and instruments from famous music artists! I won’t bore you with them all, but here are a few…including J.lo and Shakira!
Speaking of displays, if you’re into “people watching,” this place is a gold mine! I absolutely love the energy at the casino and on South Beach. The party never stops!
Slot machines and clear blue water are great and all, but the real focus of this trip of course, was football!
In hindsight, I wish I had gone to more of the Super Bowl events in Atlanta last year because I had a blast in Miami! There seemed to be a Super Bowl themed event in every corner of the city and none of them disappointed!
Here are some of the sights and sounds from the Super Bowl Kickoff event literally held on the Miami Marlins baseball field!
This batch is from the NFL Live Experience at the Miami Convention Center!
And here’s the collection of oversized NFL helmets! I included them all so you can find your favorite team!
And here are photos from downtown Miami Beach at 1111 Lincoln Road!
Finally, the main event was upon us. GAME DAY!
They literally shut down the highway with a full police escort team to get us to the stadium on time!
As mentioned, being on The Super Team this year, allowed me to be on the field for the pregame ceremonies! My specific role was to help roll the NFC Champions led video wall onto the field to form the tunnel that players entered onto. You knew I’d find a way to get the 49ers side, right?
Here are some of the pregame footage and a few photos! I apologize in advance for screaming like a giddy 4-year-old in the video! I was a little excited lol…
Next up was the most watched halftime show in the history of Youtube! If you haven’t seen it yet, you can check it out by clicking here!
I literally had J.lo and Shakira magazines and posters on my wall back in the day so having them wave at me during rehearsals left me lightheaded a few times!
As you’ll see in the photos, I also managed to catch a few of the sequins that flew off their dresses during the ‘twerk-off” at the end of the performance! Ay Dios Mio!
Here are a few “behind the scenes” photos from that amazing experience!
Ah yes, I was living the dream up to that point but things got a little dicey after halftime and my beloved 49ers ended up losing the game after being up 20-10 at the end of the third quarter.
It was bittersweet having the other team’s confetti rain down on me during the post game ceremony, but I was very happy for Patrick Mahomes, Andy Reid and the entire Chiefs organization. They played a great game and I probably would have been rooting for them had they not been playing my favorite team!
Anyway, here’s some footage from the post game ceremony…
And here’s the sad walk to the locker room for the 49ers. Don’t worry fellas, you’ll be back next year!
Although I regretfully don’t have photos with everybody, thanks to all who made it an incredible 2 weeks!
I also owe that aforementioned “taco snob” a Kansas City Championship t-shirt since we bet against each other!
Okay, I know this post was ridiculously long so if you made it this far, I hope you enjoyed my look back at Super Bowl 54!
As always, please drop a comment before you go and you can follow me on social media by clicking the logos on the side panel.
Until next time my friends, May the Fork be With You!
Miami – Will Smith
Hips Don’t Lie – Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean
On The Floor – J.lo ft. Pitbull
Bad Bunny – Vete