Concordia St. Paul News

February 20, 2018

The Sword Takes on the Big Game

By Tanner Peterson (Sports Psychology, ’18) – Sports Editor of CSP’s student publication The Sword

With the NFL Championship game in the Twin Cities, many Minnesotans took part in some of the festivities being held before the big game. The Live events, including musical performances and more in Nicollet Mall and the NFL Experience at the Minneapolis Convention Center, were some of the most popular spots to be during the week. I, along with and two other Concordia University, St. Paul students, Cole Schuessler and Zack Moeller, were blessed to have a unique opportunity that we’ll never forget. 

CSP Sword students at Media event

The Sword group: Cole Schuessler, Zack Moeller, and Tanner Peterson

With a major event like this comes the masses of media from all over the world. As the Sports Editor for The Sword, I had joked with Zack and Cole that maybe we should try and apply for media credentials. Then we all had a good laugh about that. A few days went by, and I dug into how to at least try and apply for the credentials. I found out that we had to apply for an NFL Communications account and that had to be approved, so I thought, “What the heck, what could it hurt to try?” I filled out the application and sent it off and was convinced I’d never hear about it again. Well, it didn’t take long before I found out that our account had been approved and we were all set to apply for media credentials. Astonished, I flung my laptop open and began applying for media credentials for Zack, Cole, and myself. I submitted the application and just laughed again, not thinking for a beat that maybe, just maybe, they’d let three unqualified and inexperienced college students take part in one of the biggest weeks that in sports that 2018 will have to offer.

After what seemed like forever, I received an email over Christmas Break that we had been granted three credentials. I was in absolute shock. I read the email over about three separate times to check if I misread the email, but lone behold, we were in.

CSP Student Tanner Peterson sits front row at a press conference

Front row for one of many press conferences during the week

The first event we attended was Media Night at the Xcel Energy Center. Here we met and worked side by side with some of the most prominent media stars in sports like Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, BBC Sport’s and former New York Giant, Osi Umenyiora. We also interacted with some of the NFL’s top players such as Philadelphia Eagles, Alshon Jeffrey, and Mychal Kendricks, as well as New England Patriots Brandin Cooks. My favorite moment of the  night was asking Bill Belichick “How is this year’s game different from past years?” and getting one of his classic, snarky remarks of “It’s in Minnesota.” That question ended up getting some attention across local media outlets such as the Star Tribune and Fox 9 News, as well as National outlets. ESPN’s SportsCenter even posted on Twitter and Instagram about it.  

We continued to attend media events throughout the week such as press conferences for the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots, as well as press conferences for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and halftime show performer, Justin Timberlake.

The entire experience of being a media member for the week was something I never thought could’ve ever – and I mean ever – happen to Zack, Cole, and me. It was a week that was full of memories that we will cherish forever. The opportunity to not only be around the big game’s festivities but to take part in them was something incredible.

Tanner Peterson is a sports psychology major and will graduate in December 2018. He is also sports editor for Concordia University, St. Paul’s student publication, The Sword. Cole Schuessler is a sports management major and contributing writer for The Sword; he will graduate with his Masters in 2019. Zack Moeller is a biology major and contributing writer for The Sword. He will graduate in December 2018.