Thursday, October 31, 2013
94 Days: A super Sunday in Queens
By Shemar Woods
Each day from now until Feb. 2, ESPNNewYork.com will take you inside the challenge of staging the most unpredictable NFL title game ever. There are 94 days to the Super Bowl.
NEW YORK -- Last Sunday afternoon, as the New York Giants fought to continue pursuing their dreams, Carlos Santos lived out his own.
Looking into the future, the 9-year-old aspiring receiver envisioned playing before a sold-out Super Bowl crowd, hearing fans chant, "Car-los, Car-los," as he reeled in a touchdown pass en route to earning a chance to grip the Lombardi Trophy.
“Oh yeah, I want that,” Santos said of the sterling silver prize, which he'd seen just moments before at the Queens County Farm Museum, one of 48 stops the "Join The Huddle Tour" will make in both New Jersey and New York in advance of Super Bowl XLVIII.
The first-ever mobile tour associated with a Super Bowl features a 14,000-pound, 64-by-8-foot “Huddle Shuttle,” which also showcased New York Jets and New York Giants lockers outfitted with replica uniforms, shoes and helmets, a Vince Lombardi trophy room and a simulated broadcast booth.
After enjoying the shuttle experience, Santos and his fellow dreamers, dressed for Halloween, tackled NFL combine-centric competitions scattered across a field. Stations were set up for agility training, virtual-reality challenges in which participants role-played as referees and running backs, and a five-yard field-goal kick -- his favorite.
“This is for the Super Bowl!” the field-goal kick's referee reminded the kickers.
The ref may have iced some of the rookies.
But despite any misses, the opportunity to practice like pros was a hit.
“I was in dreamland,” Santos said with a smile.
The tour makes its next stop at Wagner College on Saturday from 10:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m., before the Seahawks host the Central Connecticut Blue Devils.
Come back daily for more on the issues, logistics and personalities surrounding Super Bowl XLVIII.