It was the Monday morning after the Colts win over the Seahawks. I published my weekly story on the game. A few hours later, I noticed Sunday Night Football had followed me on Twitter. Wow!
Then, they tweeted me.
“We think you have what it takes to be the Fan of the Week. Send us a message to discuss.”
Huh! I did it. And expected to receive a coffee cup with Sunday Night Football Fan of the Week on it. Which, I would have taken a picture of and proudly tweeted out.
What I received instead, was a weekend packed with exclusive, behind the scenes events and an experience I will never forget.
I was chosen as a Sunday Night Football Fan of the Week for the Colts’ week seven game against the Broncos. It was the matchup of the year. Peyton Manning “coming home” to play the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The most highly anticipated game of the season.
Chosen along with me were fellow Colts blogger Marcus Dugan (@MarcusDugan) and Broncos fans Kyle Hudencial (@tdotflip05) and Bonnie Irving (@scrubbybubbles). None of us had ever met (Marcus and I knew each other on twitter), but we are now bonded for life.
Our adventure began on Friday morning and continued all the way through Sunday night. We met former players at an All Pro Dad event, including Bill Brooks, the first Colts player ever inducted into the Colts Ring of Honor.
Marcus and I were interviewed by WTHR-TV during a live segment on their noon show. We had dinner in the owners box at the Colts Grille. We had a private tour of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and saw places there very few people will ever see.
Tony Dungy recorded a personalized video message for us. We had a private tailgate party prior to the big game on Sunday Night and viewed it from some of the best seats in the house.
The only thing that was asked of us in return, was to tweet and post about the experience on social media. And we did…everywhere.
NBC told us it was a reward for being the living embodiment of our teams. But, it was more than that. It was verification that what we do is important. That there is value in bringing together fans, writing about our teams, and utilizing social media to do it.
Thank you to NBC Sports, Sunday Night Football, the CSE team, our hosts Lindsay McCormick, Kay Scott, and tour managers Donte and Trey. Great people we were honored to work with and get to know.
We were always fans of Sunday Night Football. But now, we’re more. We’re family. And being a part of the Sunday Night Football family will always be one of my most treasured memories as a football fan.
Thanks to everyone at NBC…
Waiting all day for Sunday Night now means a little more to me.
And all of us.
Now, about that coffee cup…