Part One: I am chosen
Day one. The tweet was as unexpected and as unbelievable as a Nigerian email.
"SNF Fan of the Week is a new program for 2013. We're picking the most passionate & social fans to ride our SNF bus for the weekend... ..w/behind the scenes access from SNF during the Week 13 game in DC. Please DM your email address and we'll send more details!"
Yeah, right. At least they aren't asking for bank accounts, date of birth or SS number.
Day two. Wow. They really did send a follow-up email and they did not ask for money. Ashleigh [not using last names to protect the innocent] congratulates me "for being in the running" (Uh-oh, this still has a sweepstakes feel) to become a Fan of the Week 13 Giants at Redskins game.
It seems tweeps like me "unleash the passion of NFL fans throughout the season and specifically each week's Sunday Night Football game."
Hey, I get it. When speaking of the 2013 Giants and Redskins, NBC and the NFL need all the passion fans can muster. There's always a catch.
NBC expects fans of the week to attend preselected activities in the local market and to use football knowledge to post daily, relevant and engaging content about the NFL and the SNF match-up on social networking sites through personal accounts during the week leading up the Sunday Night Football game.
Darn! They want people with football smarts.
There's still an interview process, so I cannot consider myself "in." They give me a time tomorrow.
Never go into an interview naked. Thanks to Google magic, I find a press release by marketing agency CSE coordinating NBC's social media strategy for fan engagement tied to the Sunday Night Football bus.
NBC selects two fans of each SNF team based on their social media presence. Maybe they look at Klout or something too. Nigerian email scammers are not selective at all. This is real. I'm starting to get pumped.
Day three. Here are the magic words to use if NBC (or any interviewer) asks if you are available:
"I would change my schedule to participate in this."
Worked for me.
Kiersten led the recorded interview. Ashleigh and Scott were in the background, but eventually introduced themselves. (You can always tell when the other side is on speaker phone.)
Fans of the Week must agree to a Code of Conduct that's a laundry list of thou shalt not do stuff that involves NBC, or the NFL, in "public disrepute, contempt, scandal, or ridicule, or that shocks, insults or offends the community."
If we were playing the Cowboys, I'd have a problem with this, but it's the Giants, so I'm cool.
(Note to Kiersten, Ashleigh and Scott: just kidding.)
They had me at "whose jersey I wish to have?" I need an Alfred Morris or a Ryan Kerrigan for my collection.
The deal comes with a game ticket ‒ the fans of Week 12 got choice seats for Broncos at Patriots ‒ and with inside access to the SNF bus. May Giants-Redskins deliver like Broncos-Pats. NBC isn't calling us Fans of the Weak.
The NFL did not have good choices for flexing to another game. Saints at Seahawks is on for Monday Night and MNF games do not flex. Broncos - Chiefs appeared on SNF two short weeks ago. Too soon for them to reappear. Giants co-owner John Mara is head of the NFL Management committee. Pure coincidence, I'm sure. The Steelers and Ravens are having a down year.
Giants - Redskins is as compelling as the alternatives, but not for the reason the league expected last summer.
It's is a rivalry game. That counts for something. I want to see my Redskins fight just to keep out of the cellar. "Hates to lose" is more motivating for both teams than "wants to win."
Day four. Just emailed a signed consent form and head shot to use on the NBC Sunday Night Football web site. Here comes another three of my 15 minutes of fame.
NBC asked that I refer to myself as a SNF Fan of the Week on my Twitter profile. Done.
There's also an alumni group at #SNFFOWFamily.
Let the trash talk begin.
Note to self: Must look into the whole hash tag marketing thing. To meet NBC's demand, our tweets must include "#SNF."
Day five. It's Giants Week. Time to live up to my part of the bargain.
Next, Redskins get to spoil Giants' playoff hopes on #SNF— Anthony Brown (@SkinsHogHeaven) November 26, 2013
Redskins' brewing QB controversy now fueled by Eagles decision to start Foles for rest of the season. Bad night by RGIII on #SNF will hurt— Anthony Brown (@SkinsHogHeaven) November 27, 2013
Next week: Part two ‒ The big game.
Photo credit: Sep 22, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; The Sunday Night Football bus sits outside of Heinz Field as fans take photos of it before the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Chicago Bears. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports