Football is a game. Children play the game in their backyards, teenagers play under the lights of their high school stadiums.
Some make it to college to play amidst the sounds of fight songs and the supportive screams of their classmates.
The best of the best make it to the NFL and have dreams of competing on the game’s grandest stage, the Super Bowl.
Sunday the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers will steal the attention of television viewers, Facebook fanatics, “twitter-verse.”
This week however, the game belongs to the fans. The Annual NFL Experience reminds fans of their days in the backyard, or their seats in the bleachers where they cheered on their favorite athletes.
The NFL experience is a celebration of football and a spectacle that brings families from across the country to New Orleans to take it all in before Sunday’s showdown.
“There is a lot of kids here, you get to take pictures of everything and there’s a bunch free stuff, and there’s a lot to see with the history of the NFL overall” Laura Wells from Columbia, MD said.
Fans walking around the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center had wide eyes as tables full of memorabilia stretched before them.
Each new turn brought about a new level of excitement, and something new for these families to do together.
Four friends from Maryland , including 45 year old Ted Grimsley from Owings Mills, tightened their shoe laces, stretched their hamstrings, and ran a 40-yard dash.
Men, women, and children put their kicking and throwing skills to the test in the various skills challenges.
Toddlers were even spotted jumping bumpers and barreling through tackling dummies no more than three feet tall.
In this maze of football memories, physical challenges, and memorabilia, everyone appeared to reminisce of the times spent playing catch with their fathers in the backyard, or sipping hot coffee in the bleachers of high school games.
“We’re going to try to see everything we’re just taking pictures and signed up for some of the freebies, giveaways, hope to win” Jen Patro, Columbia, MD.
See more from the NFL Experience by following the ABC2 team in New Orleans on Twitter.
@DustinfromABC2 | @BrianTatABC2 | @chrisinbmore | @ABC2News
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