ATLANTA — Super Bowl Live is a place for fans to roam around, go to rallies and show off their team spirit. But it’s not all fun and games. For John Jones, today is a work day.
“I’ll be on my walkie-talkie, and I’ll say, 'Yep everything is good here!'”
Jones is a Mainer and is the stage manager for the NFL network. He pumps up the crowd during broadcasts and makes sure everything runs smoothly on set.
“I’m responsible for having the talent in the seats and make sure the crew is here,” says Jones.
Football has become Jones' life, but it’s not the sport he started on.
“Growing up in Eastport, my biggest thing was basketball, says Jones. "I love tournament time. Go Shead Tigers!”
Now, it’s all about the NFL. This is Jones' sixth Super Bowl. Keeping a large-scale production on track takes planning and focus. Jones says he learns something new everyday in his fast paced and constantly evolving job.
“There’s just so much more to Sunday football than meets the eye,” says Jones.
That’s true for the hundreds of people running cameras and capturing all the action. On a stage nearby, ESPN is getting ready for a live broadcast. They have a Mainer, too, as part of their Super Bowl crew.
Palmyra native Andrea Pelky is working with ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio this week. Her job as bureau producer takes her to big stages like this one in Atlanta and overseas to world-wide sporting events.
“In March I am going to Abu Dhabi for the special Olympics world games which I am very excited about,” says Andrea.
There are lots of perks to the job if you’re a sports fan, but when the lights go up and the cameras are on, it’s all business.
“I have to disconnect from the Fandom when I’m reporting,” Pelky says.
These Mainers are setting loyalties aside and working hard behind the scenes to make sure fans in Maine, and across the globe, don’t miss a second of the action.