I’ve been trying to keep an open mind about Minneapolis inviting the world to our fair city for Super Bowl LII, because I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’m not very sportsy, so I decided to see what all the fuss was about by volunteering at the United Way booth for Super Bowl Experience at the Minneapolis Convention Center, and I absolutely loved it!
The children were so adorable in their little jerseys, and I was impressed with how much they knew about the players and the game stats, despite their young ages. I truly felt immersed in a world that I don’t often traverse, and it was nothing short of spectacular. At first, I felt overstimulated by all of the flashing lights, bustling people and ball-related activities in the humongous space, but soon I felt right at home with the sports fans, and gained a new sense of appreciation for football, and sports in general.
What I loved best about the Super Bowl Experience was the harmony. Sports like football bring together people of varying races, cultures, geographical regions and teams in a way that most activities just can’t. It was beautiful to see everyone playing and having fun together without any concern for their differences and instead bonding over the love of the game. I felt welcomed and embraced by everyone I encountered, including the armed security and their dogs, who were keeping the space safe for our enjoyment.
By the time my shift ended and I was leaving the Convention Center, I was caught up in the Super Bowl frenzy, and looking forward to watching the big game on Sunday. As I floated through the skyways and was greeted by the friendly faces of other volunteers, my heart was bursting with joy and pride at the fact that my city is the place this wonderful experience is taking place.
The temperatures might be frigid, but Minneapolis is extending a warm welcome to join us for the party of the year, Super Bowl LII. The game hasn’t even started yet, but I already feel like I won.
Lynette Commodore is an advancement program specialist at Greater Twin Cities United Way, and helps manage relationships with our donors and volunteers.