Super Bowl XLV

A taste of “Radio Row”

February 2nd, 2011 at 10:45 am by under Super Bowl XLV

If you’re listening to sports talk radio this week or watching the NFL Network, chances are it’s originating right here on “Radio Row”.

Packers great Dave Robinson does an interview with "Rookie" from 107.5 The Fan.

Radio Row is in the convention center portion of the downtown Dallas Sheraton Hotel where most of the media are being housed. We were live here during Good Day Wisconsin.

This is the center of the sports talk radio world this week. The Jim Rome show is here, FOX Sports Radio is here, and there are a lot of local Green Bay- and Milwaukee-based radio shows here. And the guests don’t get much bigger than during Super Bowl week. Already this morning, we saw former Dallas Cowboys coach and current NFL on FOX analyst Jimmy Johnson (watch Good Day Wisconsin for a little shout-out to Wisconsin he recorded for us this morning) and Lombardi-era Packers great Dave Robinson. I see on the TV that Phil Simms, the ex-Giants quarterback and current CBS Sports TV analyst was here talking to the NFL Network.

The NFL Network's set on Radio Row

Of course, since this is an NFL event, the NFL Network gets center stage here at Radio Row. The network’s set is pretty impressive, and there were a lot of crew members here this morning stringing cables and getting everything ready for the day’s broadcasts.

I’m hoping to stop back here again this week with our high-quality still camera, so I can shoot some good photos and give you a real sense of what goes on here. It’s pretty impressive…and you’re left wondering who will show up next.

NFL on FOX analyst Jimmy Johnson records a greeting for Good Day Wisconsin.

FOX 11's Rachel Manek stops by the WIXX radio table for a quick interview with John Maino.

Punxsutawney Phil, you’re my friend!

February 2nd, 2011 at 7:30 am by under Super Bowl XLV, Weather

Given the location of Punxsutawney, Pa., I’m guessing its most famous resident is a Steelers fan, but after walking outside today, I’m a fan of his. I’m sure glad he didn’t see his shadow. I don’t think anyone wants six more weeks of this winter.

FOX 4 in Dallas said last night that this is the coldest the city has seen since 1996. Temperatures overnight were expected to be in the single digits – with wind chills below zero! And I can tell you, it sure was windy yesterday. I think, even though this would not be anything remarkable back home, it feels colder here because I’m not expecting the bitter temperatures. And I didn’t pack a true winter coat, so it’s going to be rough for a few days.

Worse than the cold, though, is the ice. Even though we haven’t seen significant snow since about 7 a.m. yesterday, the roads are still covered with a sheet of ice about an inch thick. Traveling back from Arlington yesterday, Johnnie Gray and I saw lots of cars on the side of the road and a lot stuck on off-ramps that went uphill. It was just too slippery for them to make it. Schools are closed today for the second day in a row. And crews have been out spreading sand or gravel on the roads. Obviously, they don’t keep a lot of salt on hand, but I did see some on the sidewalk outside the hotel this morning, so I know they do have at least a little bit.

As I thought about it, I realized there really wasn’t a whole lot of ice. In Wisconsin, it probably would have been cleared up by early in the afternoon yesterday, but it caused major problems here.

Speaking of major problems, I heard Pete this morning talking about Winter Storm Connor. I also got some e-mails from the Wisconsin DOT talking about highways being shut down. And I saw UW-Madison canceled classes; having gone there, I know it takes a MAJOR storm for the university to do that. So I hope everyone is staying safe in the storm. And know that we feel your pain, although in a little different way. I am not looking forward to brushing the accumulated snow off my car when we get back on Monday.

OK, enough about the weather. Today, I’m following a crew to Dealey Plaza for a little history lesson. Of course, Dealey Plaza is the site of President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963. Being a bit of a history buff, I’m looking forward to finally seeing the place I’ve only seen in pictures and on TV. I’m planning on posting a photo gallery later this afternoon.

Also, if you haven’t already, take a look at my story from yesterday about Packers players discussing the pros and cons of Twitter. It’s something a lot of athletes are using to connect directly with fans. Two of the team’s “tweeters”, Desmond Bishop and Tim Masthay, had some interesting things to say about the service. And I could tell from talking to them, they’re well aware of both sides of the issue.

All right, I’m out for now. Stay warm, everyone!

The “FOX 11 Dallas Bureau”

February 1st, 2011 at 4:46 pm by under Super Bowl XLV

One of our photojournalists, Tim Flanigan, shared this photo of us working in the hotel lobby this afternoon:

Having spent three years in FOX 11′s Valley Bureau, I know what it’s like to be working in a “remote” location. But this is completely different. We’re on the other end of the country, and there’s no one except the 13 of us to get done what we need to get done.

Each afternoon becomes hectic as reporters edit the video of their stories for FOX 11 News at Five. We have four video editing computers, so that means we all have to share. The video has to all be finished about a half hour before the show for a few reasons:

  • We have to feed the video back by satellite. Satellite time is expensive – and scarce – so we can’t just power up the truck whenever we want. We have a certain “window” of time in which to feed.
  • The people at the station have to input the video into our system. Normally everyone who edits just inputs their video when it’s finished, but on the road, we don’t have access to the station’s video server. So that all has to be done for us back at the station.

So during crunch time, that table you see in the lobby of the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Dallas becomes FOX 11′s “Dallas Bureau”. It’s a convenient place to gather where we all have space to work, Internet connections and power supplies.

So far, we’ve been lucky the space has been open. This is the NFL’s “official” hotel for media, so we’ll see if the “Dallas Bureau” stays in the same place as more people arrive here.

Media Day

February 1st, 2011 at 12:53 pm by under Super Bowl XLV

Today is Media Day at Cowboys Stadium. It’s a hectic day with thousands of reporters and photographers.

The first part is going through security – which is almost as tight as at an airport. We had to have our cameras and bags inspected, then move on through metal detectors. After that, we had to have our wireless microphones checked so they didn’t interfere with each other.

Finally, we moved into the stadium. On the field, the players are available. Some of the bigger stars like Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews were seated at podium. The rest of the players were just standing on the field and reporters could just walk up to them and ask questions.

I’m doing a story about players using social media, so I talked to two of the Packers’ Twitter users: linebacker Desmond Bishop and punter Tim Masthay. Both said they like the ability to interact directly with fans, but understand the potential for controversy to erupt with messages that are sent in the heat of the moment.

The players were available to us for an hour. After that, the NFL whisked us off the field and we left the stadium to put together our stories.

Watch FOX 11 News for my full report and to hear more from the players.


Cold and snow in Texas

February 1st, 2011 at 8:07 am by under Super Bowl XLV, Weather

Aren’t Super Bowls supposed to be held in warm-weather cities?

While you’re dealing with Winter Storm Connor back home, the Dallas area was also hit with a big storm. It shut down schools, even the airport.

It was treacherous driving this morning on the way to Cowboys Stadium for our Media Day previews on Good Day Wisconsin. What’s normally about a 30-minute drive from our hotel in downtown Dallas took Justin Felder and me more than an hour.

And then, around 7:30, the snow stopped and the wind picked up. It is bone-chilling cold right now. It’s supposed to be like this for the next couple of days, but warming back into the 50s by game day.

Packers’ arrival – photo gallery

February 1st, 2011 at 5:55 am by under Super Bowl XLV

Well, I promised a photo gallery, and here it is. It was my first time using our station’s still camera, so some of the shots didn’t turn out. But I did manage a few good ones. Here’s my favorite:


Packers record first touchdown in Dallas

January 31st, 2011 at 4:20 pm by under Super Bowl XLV

It wasn’t a football touchdown, but the Packers have landed at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.

The team was scheduled to land around 3:30, but was delayed about a half hour because of de-icing in Green Bay.

The Pittsburgh Steelers arrived earlier today, so both teams are now here and ready to go. Let the hype begin!

I’m hoping to publish a photo gallery of the team’s arrival later tonight, so be sure to check for that at


The Cow Town Diner

January 31st, 2011 at 9:14 am by under Super Bowl XLV

When I heard we were going live at a place called the Cow Town Diner, I pictured a greasy spoon restaurant on a dusty road. It was anything but.

The diner is in the middle of downtown Fort Worth, which seems to be a pretty vibrant place.

The owner, Scott Jones, was very gracious and even showed us how to make his Packers Punch. Unfortunately, we were on the clock, so we couldn’t partake.

Here are a few behind-the-scenes photos from our live shots and downtown Fort Worth.


Behind the Scenes: Super Bowl Report

January 30th, 2011 at 10:23 pm by under Super Bowl XLV

Here are a few pics from tonight’s Super Bowl Report. We’re live at Vernon’s Grille, a Packers bar right here in Dallas.

I sure hope you’re following me on Twitter (@WLUK_SH). I’m sharing lots more photos there!


Planes, Trains and Automobiles

January 30th, 2011 at 4:38 pm by under Super Bowl XLV

Well, not trains so much. But we’ve spent a lot of time on the other two.

Our departure from the station didn’t quite go as planned. Seemed the car we rented wasn’t nearly big enough for four people packed for a week, along with our camera equipment. So we ended up taking a station vehicle and leaving it in Milwaukee. Best-laid plans, right? Oh well, if it’s the worst thing to happen on this trip, we’ll be lucky.

Our flight was on time and pretty uneventful. Lots of Packer fans, and some of the crew from FOX 6 in Milwaukee. Oh, and we got cookies.

So now we’re waiting for our bags and then grabbing our rental cars (2 this time) and heading for the hotel. Looking forward to meeting up with the rest of our crew and starting our work.