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SMU Journalism Students Heavily Involved in Super Bowl XLV

SMU Journalism students cover the media frenzy known as Super Bowl XLV’s “Media Day”

Lillian Foster (B.A. '14 - Film and Media Arts & Math)
Super Bowl XLV graced Dallas with its presence in early February, providing numerous opportunities to local citizens as well as travelers from all over the country. SMU enjoyed strong connections to this year’s Super Bowl: Emmanuel Sanders, an SMU graduate who helped the Mustangs clinch a victory at the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl in 2009, rose to the top of the AFC this year as a wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers. And SMU alumnus Ted Thompson helped lead the Green Bay Packers to another Super Bowl title as the team’s general manager and vice president.

SMU’s connections to the Super Bowl weren’t only with the participating sports teams, but with the media as well. Kimmie Ryan, Fernando Valdes, Brittany Levine and Marissa Belske represented SMU’s Division of Journalism, along with Professor Jake Batsell, at the Super Bowl Media Day on Feb. 1.

Their plans were almost derailed. February 1 was one of the four days SMU was shut down due to the winter storm that blanketed North Texas. After serious debate and consideration, the group decided they weren’t going to let the opportunity pass them by, so they made their way to Arlington, driving 20 mph and arriving at the stadium an hour and forty-five minutes after leaving campus. When they arrived, they quickly immersed themselves in the day’s activities and put their journalism knowledge to work.

Kimmie Ryan Speaks with Emmanuel SandersKimmie Ryan was able to snag an interview with her friend, Emmanuel Sanders, after they spotted each other in the crowd. When asked about her experience at Media Day, Kimmie said excitedly, “Standing on one of the biggest stages in professional sports is something I never thought I’d have the opportunity to do, but it is just one of the many incredible experiences I’ve been able to have through the SMU Journalism Department.”

Brittany captured a few photos along with some video of quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger. When asked about her experience at Media Day, Brittany said, “It was such a great day seeing the athletes and reporters everywhere. I feel very lucky to be a part of the SMU journalism program and have teachers like Professor Batsell, who allow us and trust us to have such amazing opportunities like this.” Sydney Giesy and Brittany Levine covered the arrival of the Green Bay Packers at DFW International Airport, then proceeded to the Aaron Rodgers press conference at the Omni Hotel in Irving.

Media Day proved itself to be a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity for the students, allowing them to work alongside hundreds of noteworthy local and world-renowned journalists. The group retrieved a few SMU shout-outs from players of both teams, with Fernando serving as cameraman, videographer and video editor. The Super Bowl made a lasting impression, not only on North Texas, but on SMU as well. The opportunities offered to these journalism students equipped them with knowledge for their careers in the future and with memories they will never forget.

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