If you’re already sick of the Seattle Seahawks and the Super Bowl, just skip to the end of the column. I’ve heard that sentiment from only one reader so far. Then she admitted she’s trying to get into the hoopla because her kids are so excited about next Sunday’s game.
We’re grateful to the National Football League for the two-week break between the conference championship and the Super Bowl. We needed all of last week to plan all of this week’s coverage.
At the moment last Sunday when Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman batted the ball away from 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree, effectively winning the game for Seattle, we started buying plane tickets to New York City. On Monday, we secured press credentials from the NFL and booked rooms at the media hotel in Manhattan. Because we’re participating-team press, the NFL reserved us space for a remote newsroom.
We’ve made sure everyone has the necessary laptops, cellphones, cameras, cords and chargers. We’ve brainstormed eight days of story ideas and special sections and even some just-for-fun doodads.
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Covering a Super Bowl is an enormous job. It’s also a career story for those of us in the business, and you can feel the excitement in the newsroom.
Following is your TNT starting lineup for this week of Super Bowl coverage:
• Todd Dybas: Our Seahawks beat writer left Saturday so he could be on the ground when the Seahawks arrive Sunday. Dybas is staying at the team hotel in New Jersey. His job is to cover daily happenings in Hawks camp along with a number of feature stories. He’ll write the game-day setup and the main Super Bowl gamer.
• Don Ruiz: Throughout the playoffs, Ruiz wrote about each of the Hawks’ opponents. He’ll stay on that theme and spend this week covering the Denver Broncos.
• Dave Boling and John McGrath: Our sports columnists have a few planned set pieces but mainly are there to call the action as they see it each day. McGrath also will look back at his five favorite Super Bowls.
• Craig Hill: Our Adventure writer is a former sports reporter. When we traveled to cover the 2006 Super Bowl, we learned it’s important to have a reporter available to cover offbeat topics that crop up. That’ll be Hill’s job. He’s down for a pregame weather story, plus other duties as assigned. Lots of them.
• Kari Plog: This lifelong Seahawks fan is admittedly wide-eyed about going to the game, just like the 12th Men and Women she’ll be covering. She’s already found one group driving cross-country to the Super Bowl. Plog will spot celebrities, preview the halftime show and be Hill’s counterpart on a daily notebook about the coolest thing they see each day.
• Tony Overman and Joe Barrentine: This photographer and photo editor, respectively, will shoot the photos and videos that help tell the stories. The Super Bowl caps Overman’s season covering the Hawks for us.
• Ian Swenson and Darrin Beene: Our online editor and sports editor will be on the ground to lead the coverage. Expect them to post stories live every day to the website and mobile apps, then produce print coverage for each day’s paper.
We’re adding four full pages a day to the Sports section and building a special Super Bowl section for next Sunday. In addition to all the football stats and matchup information, it will include a bingo card for your Super Bowl party made up of words you’ll hear during the game.
Also for party planners, we’re devoting Wednesday’s Food section to Super Bowl party prep.
Food writer Sue Kidd gives you “12 Courses for Your 12th Man Feast,” with recipes from readers and local chefs. Think Golden Tate-R Tots and Marshawn Lynch Beast Mode Skittles Cookies. Plus, features writer Craig Sailor has a back and forth — call it a friendly smackdown — with the restaurant critic from The Denver Post.
If football isn’t your thing, we’re planning a story dubbed “Look Smart” to teach you all the right things to say at the office or at a Super Bowl party.
We even have a story planned for those who are sick of the whole thing or will be by Sunday. Friday’s GO section will give you ideas for where to go to avoid the Super Bowl (plus a list of places to watch it).
And just think, a week from now it will all be over. Unless, of course, we have a victory parade to cover. If that’s the case, we already have plans for some commemorative souvenirs. But I won’t share them now. I wouldn’t want to jinx it.
Karen Peterson: 253-597-8434 firstname.lastname@example.org