Filed under: Beckett Media, NFL, Panini, Topps | Tags: Dallas Super Bowl, NFL Experience Memorabilia Show, Panini, Super Bowl XLV NFL Experience, Topps
By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor
Braving the second evening of a three-day North Texas ice apocalypse, I put on my warmest clothes and ventured to the Dallas Convention Center for the Super Bowl XLV NFL Experience.
Despite the freezing temperatures, I arrived without incident and with childlike glee when I saw the epic Super Bowl XLV letters standing in the iced-over convention center lawn. As visitors – some locals, some tourists, some brandishing terrible towels, some sporting cheese heads – poured inside the building, I couldn’t help but momentarily absorb the spectacle from afar.
However, I have seen the movie “Alive,” and I know what prolonged exposure can do to a man.
After making my way inside the traveling NFL theme park and eating a protein bar (just to make sure), I confirmed the glorious magnitude foreshadowed by that dramatic entrance. I was greeted with the hustle and bustle of show-goers, a light show and an enormous Drew Brees cut-out hanging from the ceiling. At the epicenter of the experience, the Topps and Panini-sponsored Memorabilia Show lured me in immediately. Bringing their best host-city wares and cream-of-the-crop football collectibles, dealers set up shop, hoping to make hobbyists out of every attendee. Offering reasonably-priced merchandise and promotions to a crowd of awestruck football fanatics, most of these merchants didn’t have to do much convincing.
Beyond gridiron collectibles, the event was packed with engaging exhibits and photo ops. I watched as attendees posed with their heads atop life-sized mannequins from various teams, placed their hands in player-casted molds and stood in line for autographs from Will Witherspoon and Chinedum Ndukwe. Surrounded by locker room display cases, visitors could even use computers to search for and watch specific plays from the season.
Marked by interactive displays, free autograph sessions and other activities throughout, the event is more than just a sight to behold. Appropriately labeled, the spectacle is all about the experience.
With that being said, below are some of the visual highlights from my frigid, but rewarding night. Stay tuned for an upcoming NFL Experience video.
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