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Stuck in line, strolling towards the metal detectors, the people around me pointed out Johnny Knoxville (Jackass) and Jay Chandrasekhar (Supertroopers) taking in the scene.
During the game, Ashton Kutcher (Punk'd) would make an appearance on the Stadium Jumbotron from his dry skybox. This event was shaping up to be a real who's who of pop pranking.
Were Johnny Knoxville and Ashton Kutcher executing a prank at the superbowl that afternoon? No. No they were not.
(This photo shows Mike Berlin and Moses encountering a very fedex delivery guy, who was unable to enter the stadium.)
Without incident, I was through security and onto the event grounds.
The security gates were flanked by large garbage cans, full of hastily discarded items which were not allowed in the stadium. Abandoned umbrellas and vinyl camera cases were cascading over the edge.
Outside the stadium proper, there were a number of huge tents and magnificent inflatable displays set up, celebrating the history of the big game. I'll call it "stadium city".
I think stadium city was just an excuse to sell $10 bottles of beer to people making their way to the seats.
I think they would have sold beer to drivers pulling into the parking lot if they could have gotten away with it.
The team rendezvous was in the 100 level, outside section 157. We went into the bathroom to change into our STAFF polos and to don our radio headsets.
The bathroom was not a good choice for privacy. It was pretty much the most crowded spot in the whole stadium. I could have waited for one of the three private stalls, but if I had done that, I would have been under direct scrutiny of other guys waiting in line. In the middle of a crowd, I pulled off my jacket and overshirt, put on my lanyard, badge and headset, and was transformed into a member of the Street Team.
Even before I exited the bathroom, I was treated like an authority figure.
"Can you get some more paper towels in
here? All of these are empty".
was the last of our group to section 101, where I finally caught sight of
our magnificent stack of Prince Party pack boxes. 95 white boxes, each
marked with section and row numbers along with the sodapop street team
name. There were a lot of them.
Seeing the boxes there, it really made me realize that we weren't going to have any problems. The endless, circular stadium concessions tunnel was fun, open and full of people, almost like a party. There were police from many different agencies, but I knew they would be watching for crimes, not jokesters.
On the Lookout for:
I always had my eyes open for supervisor-level stadium personnel, someone who had the authority and the knowledge to call our bluff. I never saw anyone.
ordered the four of us to begin re-ordering and repairing the boxes. Some
had been damaged by UPS, and their distribution order had been
scrambled when John carted them from downstairs. This actually served us
well, because the busier we were the less likely someone was to
start asking questions.
We were at the superbowl, but we were not going to watch the game. At least not the first half. We had a job to do.
The game started with an explosion of cheering. I wasn't really disappointed to miss the opening kickoff returned by the Bears. I would have liked to have seen the jet fighter flyover though. That sounded incredible.
We slowly fixed 10 crushed and mangled boxes and got them stacked in the correct order. We were poised in a little gap between a souvenir jersey booth and the Bacardi wet tight sexy cocktail bar.
John directed Mike Berlin to make his way to the press box to shoot photos and video.
At the start of the second quarter, we dove in to our next task. Would anyone question our actions?
We began carting and stacking boxes along the mouths of each of seven tunnels.
People were everywhere.
The rain had been falling strong and steady since the beginning of the game. Fans had endured a 45-minute first quarter, but now they were eager for a break from the weather. The concessions stands were jammed with wet people.
As we stacked boxes by the mouth of the first tunnel (Section 101), one of the boxes toppled over and fell to the ground.
"Look at this! This is a fuck-up!" John suddenly shouted at us. "These have to be in the box, in order, ready for halftime! Now get going and be careful!"
Moe and I looked at each other. What was John doing? The boxes really did need to be in the correct order, but this was a tactical move. Lots of people overheard him, and John was betting that looking like a jerky boss would make him even more unapproachable.
My heart smiled.
made seven runs to the tunnels, unloading boxes and putting them in the
correct order. It was time to head into the aisles. John gave
us a little pep talk, and warned us that we only had about 8 minutes
before halftime. The second quarter had screamed by.
I almost ran to the mouth of the tunnel to section 102, grabbed the boxes for the first two rows and headed down the stairs. It was pretty easy, after all, I was giving something away for free.
I pulled the lid off of the first box. "Your souvenir Prince Party pack! Enjoy the show!" I said, handing the first box to the guy in the first chair. The guy in the second chair took notice and actually lifted the box off of the first guy's lap, taking his "party pack" and passing the box along to the next guy. It worked. Sweet.
It was wet. The cardboard boxes looked bad as soon as they had been in the rain for 30 seconds. However, that was long enough.
My first two boxes were easy, and I headed back to the pile to get two more. Each section had thirteen rows, which meant I had to make six trips.
Simultaneously, Mike and Mo were doing the same thing in row 101 and 103. We were lighting the stadium.
People jammed the narrow aisle, and I was really hustling to get all the lights out before halftime. Sometimes the first seat would be vacant, so I would drop the first party pack on the chair and start the box with the guy in seat two.
Sometimes a guy would have his hands full of $12 nachos, so I would tuck it next to his arm and pass the box to the next guy.
This was pretty intense. The noise, rain and people were a blur. I really had tunnel vision during this part of the stunt.
By my fourth trip up the stairs, I was starting to see blue prince party lights around people's necks. It was working, but we were running very short on time.
Please continue reading page 7 of the Super bowl halftime prank.
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