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Experiencing the Super Bowl in my Backyard

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Friday night I stood huddled in a crowd of nearly 200,000 people waiting for a free concert on Georgia Street in Indianapolis, IN. I grew up only 20 minutes away. I've seen the Indy 500 crowd and the Formula One crowd but nothing compared to this. The Super Bowl in Indianapolis, my second hometown.

There's no way to describe how different the city felt. It's not like a hometown World Series, because there's really no team loyalty; although most Colts diehards remained Manning loyal. #gogiants trended in Indy for over a day. I guess the atmosphere was like this: if the 2011 World Series, Indy 500, and Stanley Cup Finals had a raging week-long kegger.

The North side of Indianapolis literally turned into Los Angeles for the week. Every conversation began with, "I heard so-and-so's staying down the street," and "I have an invite to such-and-such's party." Everywhere I turned there were people strolling around in sunglasses, like the Super Bowl spotlight was just too bright for their innocent little Hoosier eyes. The weather was warm for Indiana in February. People were dressed to the nines and everywhere, literally everywhere, had a waitlist.

If Indy's northern burbs became L.A., then The Super Bowl Village was mini-Vegas complete with a zip line, autographs, pop-up bars, and beer and beverages galore. During the day the village was family friendly-ish, but by night the village was the hottest club in town. Seriously. Hoosiers flocked to the circle to get a taste of the limelight and have that 'once in a lifetime' Super Bowl experience. Indiana even loosened its open container law for the entire week. Nobodies were getting into A-List parties-The entire social order of things was completely on its head, like the Super Bowl was a damn equalizer letting the super rich party with the average Joe.

I've never stood in a crowd so massive it shut down a city, I've never shopped along side celebrities, or been on ESPN, but I did it all at the Super Bowl. It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience to watch a city transform from an average up-and-coming town to a hip, ultra cool city over night.

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