This will be a Red Zone Writing business trip for me. I plan to attend the pre-game media events, meet some players and coaches I don't normally have access to, take some pictures, and lay my eyes on the Jim Foster ArenaBowl trophy. Yeah, the business trips in my line of work are rough, aren't they? I'll use my experiences, conversations, and photographs for several articles that will be published on Yahoo! Sports.
This will be the first professional sports championship game of any kind that I'll have attended in person. Normally, I can't afford to attend championship games. Even though Super Bowl XLVI is right in my back yard on Feb. 5, I'm not willing to sacrifice the necessary body parts to secure a ticket to the game. Instead, for about $100, I'm sitting near midfield, just eight rows up from the action. I'm not sure that $100 would even get me inside Lucas Oil Stadium for the Super Bowl.
I can afford this trip because I can plan for it well in advance. A few ArenaBowls in the past have been in neutral locations, but most often--including last season--they've been held in the arena of the highest-seeded conference champion. While that's nice for that particular team's home fans, it's incredibly expensive to make travel arrangements on about a week's notice after finally learning which team will host the championship game.
Even better is that my first championship game will involve a sport that I love dearly: arena football. I could go on for hours about why arena football is so outstanding, but for now, I'll just leave it that my love of arena football rivals, if not surpasses, my love of NFL football and NCAA football.
I'm also excited to see New Orleans for the first time. I'm staying in the French Quarter, just a block off of Bourbon Street, so that will be a fun atmosphere. I'll get to see the Superdome for the first time, as well as the New Orleans Arena, where the ArenaBowl will be played. There's a casino nearby, lots of history in the area, and who knows what else I'll find when I get there. I enjoy visiting new places and seeing new things.
So this is going to be a pretty cool trip, and I can't wait.