Monday, February 1st - Good Morning Colts Fans!!! So excited to share the most exciting week of football with everyone – we are headed to Super Bowl XLIV! The cheerleaders head out tomorrow, so today I am finishing up some last minute errands and already getting pumped for the game.
Today starts bright and early at 5:00AM: I have an appearance downtown at the canal with Zup and Mayor Ballard as we dye the canal blue and declare Feb 1st thru the 7th as "Blue Week." Afterwards I headed back home to eat breakfast and relax before my next appearance at Circle Centre Mall for the "Blue Week" pep rally. Tons of fans showed up for some great music and to get posters and blue and white beads. It's great to see the city all dressed up in support of our team. Afterwards I met Kate to do a little shopping and get last minute necessities for our trip. Kate and I will be rooming together and have been helping each other create our packing lists. Kate heads back to work and I head to pick up my uniform, and also the gifts that our team got for when we meet the Saints cheerleaders later in the week. Some final shopping and I am home to start packing. I work pretty well last minute and am finally finished at about 2:00AM! Alarm is set for an early morning flight! See you on the plane!
Tuesday, February 2nd - 3:30AM comes very early! But the excitement outweighs the lack of sleep! I haul my bag out and head to the complex. We took a shuttle to the Airport as a team, and luckily they knew we were coming! Our airline was nice enough to 'overlook' the 50lb limit on our luggage; and thankfully because we would have been in trouble. I sat with Kate and Jessica on the flight down, and got in a quick nap.
The AFC is all stationed in Ft. Lauderdale - the whole city is blue! So neat to see all the support for the home team! A few of us went to Coconuts for lunch, then headed to the pool to relax. We had a team dinner this evening and got to meet some fans and tour the city a bit. There is a huge XLIV logo on the Ft. Lauderdale beach that we stopped and got some pics with. We have practice in the morning so we are headed back to the hotel.
Wednesday, February 3rd - Early morning practice at 8:30 AM watching the sunrise in the hotel. Going over some dances; this game is a little different because the Saints also have cheerleaders, so we will be dancing in 2 squads rather then four. We also get to perform after the 3rd quarter, so we worked hard to make sure we had everything memorized. I think all of us are excited to get the opportunity to perform during the game. After practice I had breakfast with Tessa D., and then we headed back to the pool! It is nice to have a little time to relax. All the squads have appearances at different times throughout the day, and Holly, Kristine and I went for a nice 4 mile jog along the beach! It was so refreshing to exercise outside – I hear there is quite a bit of snow falling back home. We had dinner again as a squad tonight at a seafood shack, and Kate and I decided to head in early afterwards and relax. Practice again in the morning! The rest of the team and staff will be headed in town tomorrow.
Thursday, February 4th - Only 3 days until the big game! It is still pretty surreal that we are all here. We had a team practice, and all of our routines are starting to look really great. Fresh Florida fruit again for breakfast a little more pool time, and then it's off to lunch with the Saints cheerleaders! They happen to have the same number on their squad as we do, so we all paired up and got to meet and get to know each other. My partner was Jasmine, and this year was her rookie season. We got to talk about football, how our program is very similar to theirs, and took a giant team photo. We took up most of the patio at the restaurant and drew a lot of attention from fans of both teams. We got them each a key chain with the fleur de lis on it as a good luck gift. Tonight we have the Colt's welcome party, so we headed back to get on some Colts gear and headed over. It was fun to chat with the families and staff and just enjoy the experience. The entire hotel is decorated with Super Bowl decorations and the food was amazing. We got to head out and see some of the town, and day by day more and more fans are coming in. We have practice at the stadium tomorrow afternoon, and everyone is very excited. See everyone in the morning!
Friday, February 5th - Today I woke up early to do some souvenir shopping and have lunch, then it's time to board the shuttle for practice! Everyone's cameras are flashing as we pull up to Sun Life stadium. It's defiantly different then Lucas Oil, and for a lot of the squad, this is the first away game they've had the opportunity to cheer at. There are staff everywhere working on getting everything set up and painted, and the Saints are there also. We practiced for pregame and for when the team runs out of the tunnel. It's different then what we do at home games, and the pyro is extremely loud! Walking onto the field gave everyone chills. Truly a neat experience to be apart of this game. Today's practice was just getting to know where we would be standing and finding our placement for Sunday. We got to take a group picture with the Saints in our uniforms before heading back to the hotel.
Tonight a few of us are heading down to South Beach. We were lucky enough to get invited to a few different events that are being held. A good friend of Jessica and I sent a limo to pick us up and had a blast! Even saw some familiar faces and friends while we were out. Did some dancing and got to meet some celebrities, and felt a little like celebs ourselves. Had a great night, and headed back for some rest, as we have practice at the stadium again in the morning.
Saturday, February 6th - One more day! We met for a quick practice and team meeting in the hotel, and then boarded the shuttle for the stadium. The end zone is painted blue, and there is a huge horseshoe on the sidelines! We were able to practice our routines on the field and make sure we are ready for tomorrow. Today is very windy, and we are getting used to dancing completely outdoors. I can't wait to hear what the stadium sounds like when 71,000 fans are in their seats. At our locker room at Lucas Oil, Kate, Jessica, Ashli and I are all side by side – so we claim our lockers for tomorrow, just like we have all season.
We get back to the hotel, and Holly and I decided to go for a jog down the beach…. We didn't think about all the fans that would be out starting to celebrate. Everyone is having a good time, and all we hear is "Who Dat?" from the Saints fans, followed by "We Dat!" from the fans in Blue! Its fun to hear the rivalry, but a little hard to dodge everyone. We had fun and stopped for a special Pink Lemonade!
I went to dinner at the hotel with Kate and we chatted about our last 3 seasons. Tomorrow is Kate's last game! What a way to go out! Tomorrow is a big day so we headed back to the room to get some rest.
Sunday, February 7th - It's Super bowl Sunday!!!! This is the day we wait for from that first pre season game! On a typical game day, we arrive at the stadium about 6 hours before kickoff. Today, we headed over to the Marriot for a staff Brunch, and we will get to the stadium about 3 hours before kickoff. This might be the chilliest day of the trip, and the news is reminding everyone to bring a jacket to the game; back home we have 8 inches of snow!
On a normal game day, we would get to practice for a few hours on the field – but is forbidden on this Sunday. So the music is blaring in our locker room and everyone is getting ready. Before we know it; it's game time!!! We pull on the chaps; the CBS guy is giving us a countdown – 30 minutes, 15 minutes, and finally it's time to walk.
It was so neat to walk out of the tunnel! Ironically I lead out the line, so I got to be first to put my boots on the field! There is a mix of black and blue in the stands, and I am so excited I forgot to stretch. Carrie Underwood sang the National Anthem, and there was a fly over.
The first half was great – great plays, and we went into halftime up 10 – 6. We are changing into our skirts and headed back out to the field!
It's actually a little chilly now that the sun is down, but I am having too much fun taking it all in to notice. After the third quarter it was our turn to dance – and we did awesome. It felt great to perform and we all did really well! So much fun to hear the crowd cheering for us – normally we dance pregame and not everyone has made it to their seats. We are pretty sure that Fergie loved it from her seat to, because we danced to one of her songs!
Needless to say the last quarter of the game didn't go quite as plan. Such an upsetting end to an amazing week, but the Saints played a great game. We have very gracious fans, and I overheard Colts fans congratulating the Saints on the win. It is defiantly not they way anyone wanted this season to end, but getting to play for the additional month was great! Getting to spend the week with all my team, and say that I cheered in the Super Bowl – truly was an amazing experience.
Colts fans- thanks for following my week for Super Bowl XLIV! See you in August!