We’ve received nearly 50 e-mails over the past 12 hours regarding a contention that the Color Guard won’t be permitted to stay and watch the Super Bowl after doing their duty during the National Anthem.
The specific allegation is that Super Bowl XLIII will mark a change from past procedures utilized by the NFL.
And plenty of fans are upset about it.
While the members of the Color Guard (and all of the other extras who are involved in the various on-field events) won’t retreat to their seats in the stands like the members of the home team’s band at a college football game, this is standard practice, and it doesn’t represent a change of any kind.
“The members of the Color Guard have always been our guests at a Super Bowl party in a compound on the stadium grounds where they watch the game on big-screen TVs and enjoy food and beverage,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told us via e-mail.  “That is how we have done it every year.”
That’s an important point, in our view.  Because the outrage is being stoked by the contention that something has changed, presumably due to the economy.  Well, nothing has changed.  Per the league, this is the way it has always been done. 
“The military provides an intra-service Color Guard as part of our pre-game tribute to the military that also includes the military fly-over of the stadium,” Aiello said.  “Then we arrange a place for the Color Guard to watch the game along with other pre-game and halftime show participants (more than 2,000 people).” 
Aiello added that the league has heard no complaints or concerns from the military, and that the league will contact the military liaison for the Color Guard to discuss the situation, if there are any concerns about it.
For now, however, the league office seems to be surprised by the contention that it isn’t adequately supporting the military.
“Our longstanding support of the military is a proud NFL tradition,” Aiello said, “including numerous NFL players and coaches traveling overseas with the USO to visit troops.  Last summer, Commissioner Goodell, Drew Brees, and Osi Umenyiora went on a USO trip to Iraq and Afghanistan with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen.”
Ideally, everyone who has some involvement in the Super Bowl production would be able to enjoy the game from the stands.  But with, as Aiello pointed out, 2,000 extras and tickets having face values of $800 and $1,000, the lost revenue would fall somewhere between $1.6 million and $2 million.
There probably are exceptions.  The person who sings the National Anthem undoubtedly gets to sit in a private box for the game.  And Bruce Springsteen likely won’t be leaving after he puts on a mini-version of his legendary three-plus-hour live show.   
But the line has to be drawn somewhere.  It’s the biggest football game of the year, and plenty of people are paying plenty of good money to attend it. 
And if the folks who have received the rare opportunity to present the Colors during the National Anthem prior to a Super Bowl don’t want to do it if they can’t then assume a seat in the front row at the 50, we’ve got a feeling that there are more than a few members of our armed forces who realize that this specific assignment is far more valuable than a chance to attend the game itself as one of 66,000 spectators.


  1. Worst. Commissioner. Ever.
    Let’s invite you to the Super Bowl and escort you out before the game. Do they have an ounce of common sense anymore?

  2. Someone high up in the NFL needs to explaine the common man is football. With out regular Joe Schmo’s like us, there is no league. I hope my most difficult times are now behind me (This past summer/fall was a disaster for me and my company.) But for many the worst is yet to come. The league could strike gold (for the future) if they can connect with the common man now while things are bad. Football for me and many others is an escape from reality. Lets not turn our backs on the Joe Schmo’s when they need their/our escapes more than ever.

  3. They shouldn’t have to pay for their ticket because the NFL invited them. And also they probably on make 15K to 25K a year being in the service. They also can probably get sent to face bombs and bullets for the country that is the home of the NFL millionaires.

  4. Make them pay for a tickets, why is it that just because they are in the military they feel they should be exempt from pay like everyone else. BS if you ask me.
    ooo yea rumor has it that willis will have a super bowl commercial, he is going to be promoting Clark Bars Candy.

  5. I remember with the game in Miami a couple of years ago, all of the girls at UM (and other local schools I presume) had the opportunity to do the halftime show. To be on the field. Free. And invitation to a huge NFL Super Bowl party. Free.
    I agree with Mike and Aiello on this one. Nothing needs to change. They already get a great party out of it (including all kinds of local college girls that are there for the halftime show). I’m sure those guys aren’t complaining.

  6. I think people, in general, just like to complain. Even if it doesnt affect them. The ones that are sending you emails, Mike, are likely not the military members, but more likely, it is the Joe Plumbers of the world that just want to complain.
    When terrorists attack the country, “we” complain that the government needs to do more to protect us, and when the government does more (wire taps for example), “we” complain about them going too far. It is the same thing over and over and over and over………
    It is time for America to stop crying about EVERYTHING! Save it for the things that really matter

  7. You have to be a real loser if you felt the need to email Florio to complain about something as stupid as this.

  8. No problem, let’s just start charging the NFL for the cost of the colorguards, special security, flyovers and every time they wrap themselves around a returning hero in the stands or on the sidelines during their telecasts.

  9. <>
    First of all since this is a long standing policy how can you blame it on Goodell ?
    Second, the military wants to have their people present and the flyovers to promote the military.
    Third, these are employees and in virtually all entertainment venues employees do not get guests or rarely so, especially for the biggest event of the year.

  10. Sounds wrong, maybe even disgraceful, but I surely am not about to give up my seats for them.
    Let’s not go getting a grass roots movement underway here Mikey.

  11. @bwhancock – Did you actually read the post you were commenting on? It specifically states that nothing is being done any differently than how it has always been done. So in your opinion, Goodell is the worst commissioner ever for doing something the exact same way that his predecessors did it?

  12. As long as they’re treated to some free food and beverage, that sounds plenty good enough. Two-thousand people is too many for free tickets.

  13. I have worked three Super Bowls (2003 – San Diego, 2004 – Houston, 2005 – Jacksonville) and numerous other College Football and NFL games. Typically, during a regular or pre-season game most color guards and pilots are able to stay on the field, have a seat, or go to a box for the game. When you get into the post-season games, there is limited space on the field and tickets and boxes come at a premium. The NFL does a great job of assisting their workers, sub-contractors and volunteers.

  14. “Aiello added that the league has heard no complaints or concerns from the military, and that the league will contact the military liaison for the Colord Guard to discuss the situation, if there are any concerns about it.”
    I lol’d at that typo. You’ll be hearing from Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton about your racist “Colord Guard”.

  15. What the hell is the uproar for???? This is the way the NFL has always done this. I’m sure the room in the stadium they get to watch the game in is not just a room with 2,000 folding chairs and 39 inch TV, I’m sure they are well taken care of. Just because some Mom is upset her kid gets the honor of presenting our colors at the biggest event of the year, but doesn’t get a free $800 seat, is no reason to vilify the NFL, there are many other reasons to be upset with dictator Goodell and his crew. One of the good things about the NFL is the work they do for our armed forces. They are represented at most every game, I know you always see uniformed military in a special section on the field at Vikings games, and the military have a role in just about every game. Instead of being upset that you can’t see the game these guys need respect the honot bestowed upon them as there are probably thousands of others that would jump at the opportunity.

  16. I don’t know… Marine who is a member of the 12 man/woman Color Guard team told his mother that the Color Guard unit was told by NFL staff that it would be escorted from the premisis following the presentation of Colors.

  17. Are you people dense? THERE HAS BEEN NO CHANGE IN PROCEDURE. This is like going to Wal-Mart and bitching that there’s no valet parking.

  18. Typical NFL, not sure why anyone would be surprised by this.
    The only way I see things changing is if the looming lockout actually comes to fruition in a few years, and the economy sinks further into a depression, then MAYBE we’d see a major turnaround when it comes to fan friendliness a la post-strike MLB circa 1995.
    Otherwise, expect more of the same FU attitude.

  19. >>bwhancock says:
    January 23rd, 2009 at 9:58 am
    Worst. Commissioner. Ever.
    Let’s invite you to the Super Bowl and escort you out before the game. Do they have an ounce of common sense anymore?<<
    Dude, did you even RTFA?

  20. Everyone needs to relax. I work with Military color guards a lot, and this is a standard operating procedure. I’m not sure how this actually made news, but it’s just going to stroke fires and passions for no reason and was probably done to draw interest. The NFL does a very good job of supporting our armed services, and will be providing tickets to injured service men & women, and their families at this SuperBowl like they do for many other games. But my main point is everyone relax, I have no doubt the Color Guard will be treated with dignity, respect, and shown a great time.

  21. Watch the game with free food or go fight in Iraq? I think some of their comrade wished they could trade places (and see 25 year old Jamie Lee Curtis topless)

  22. “But with, as Aiello pointed out, 2,000 extras and tickets having face values of $800 and $1,000, the lost revenue would fall somewhere between $1.6 million and $2 million.”
    Wow. The audacity.
    If the National Football League has the shear audacity to complain about losing $2 million in revenue due to the Color Guard watching the game, this after allowing “first down” to be sponsored by Budweiser, the “red zone, sponsored by…” some company named red, they are WHORES, plain and simple.
    And Greg Aiello is the biggest pimp of all.
    Did he actually say this? SHAME ON YOU!

  23. I C light pounder says:
    January 23rd, 2009 at 10:16 am
    Make them pay for a tickets, why is it that just because they are in the military they feel they should be exempt from pay like everyone else. BS if you ask me.
    Typical douchebag democrat response.

  24. This rumor is something someone from one of the other major sports would start.
    Like the smear tactics that the sugar lobbyists use against the artificial sweeteners.

  25. Un-American!
    I served for 10 years and this frys my a$$!
    Why not boot some of the celebs that have millions and let a soldgier be at the game! Did Goodell serve one day? Beyond disappointed, embarressed and angry!

  26. Wow, what a bunch of low-life selfish leftists douchebags that post here who would begrudge a half dozen service men the opportunity to watch the game after serving the NFL’s purpose of warping themselves in their reflected glory. After the military spends millions of dollars in flyovers, live remotes, advertising and security. The NFL can’t allow 6 guys to hang on the sidelines or stand in the stands as a thank you to all servicemen? Frig them and most of you pukes. If you symbolize the direction this country is heading, God help us all.

  27. shuxion says:
    January 23rd, 2009 at 11:00 am
    I C light pounder says:
    January 23rd, 2009 at 10:16 am
    Make them pay for a tickets, why is it that just because they are in the military they feel they should be exempt from pay like everyone else. BS if you ask me.
    Typical douchebag democrat response.
    I don’t remember IC light pounder being a democrat.
    The election was months ago and it wasn’t even close. Get over it.

  28. >>bwhancock says:
    January 23rd, 2009 at 10:12 am
    They shouldn’t have to pay for their ticket because the NFL invited them. And also they probably on make 15K to 25K a year being in the service. They also can probably get sent to face bombs and bullets for the country that is the home of the NFL millionaires.
    Right, let’s just overlook the fact that they volunteered their service to our country. They weren’t forced to join the military, they joined of their own free will. The NFL
    Having friends and family that are currently enlisted, I’m just as grateful for their contributions and sacrifices as the next guy, but lets put things in perspective. Out of the thousands of enlisted members of our military, these guys were the ones chosen to represent the armed forces on the single biggest stage in the world, which is an honor in itself. And they aren’t exactly being kicked out- They’re being treated to a catered party at the stadium at the expense of the league. So they aren’t being shunned or treated like crap. They’re being treated quite well, and I’m willing to bet that anyone else in the world would love to trade places with those guys for the day.

  29. One more thing! The Services should start charging the NFL for fly-overs. 1 mil per. should about cover it.
    I’ve seen post criticizing posters inferring that we probably never really served? Shut the F…Up! You need me on that wall!
    Why should the military pay for tickets when they’re on duty? The audacity that any military member makes enough money to afford a Super Bowl ticket is ludacris and displays the ignorence of some posters! My final year in 84 I made a whooping 14K that year. So, you want a GI to pay a tenth or more of thier own salary to stay at a game they’re working?
    So proud of the NFL! Why don’t Aeillo just go to France and pi$$ on the thousand of GI’s that gave thier life for this country. Hey, don’t like Europe. No problem, there’s American blood spilled all over the world. Viet Nam, Korea, Middle East, Africa.

  30. I C light pounder – you actually have the balls to think that we, members of the military, feel that we are above everyone else? First off, we are doing the NFL a favor when we do these events, and lets not forget about the members of the military (including the Coast Guard, yes we are part of the military) who will be standing duty to ensure that nothing happens and there are no threats to the Super Bowl.
    I provided Color Guard support for a pre-season game in Jacksonville, and yes, we were given tickets to the game, nose bleed seats, but to make things worse was by the time we got there it was almost half time after we were made to remove all our equipment from the staging area and secure it in our vehicle, which was parked in the back 40. But we didn’t complain.
    We really don’t think its that big of a deal not being able to stay for the game and wether they give us seats or not, we are just here to represent our country, our branch of the service, and to honor our flag.
    You do realize that if it wasn’t for the members of the US military, we most likely won’t have the privileges of watching such a great sporting event. Wether you support the war or not, lets not forget about the thousands of soldiers, marines, sailors, airman, and coasties who are not at home to enjoy the game. Take a moment when you see that Color Guard out on the field and just say thank God there is no longer a draft and that it is an all volunteer service, and that YOUR not the one stuck in Iraq, or any other country, or on a Coast Guard cutter or Navy ship protecting our coasts and boarders. Remember, our military does a lot more than what gets shown on your nightly news.

  31. The posters who are claiming that the military is doing the NFL a “favor” by supplying the Color Guard and flyovers don’t get it. The Color Guard and flyovers are FREE ADVERTISEMENTS for the military. It is the NFL that is doing the military a favor by allowing them a free advertisement during the Superbowl. Maybe you should be outraged that military isn’t buying these soldiers tickets to the game.
    And anyone who is still really, really upset….go buy your favorite soldier a ticket to the game and then start crying about who owes who what.

  32. “This is like going to Wal-Mart and bitching that there’s no valet parking.”
    This is the funniest analogy I have ever seen.
    Anyway, the original article said “Escorted from the building”. If they meant escorted from the field to a catered party with the other volunteers, that’s not a problem.
    I C Lightpounder is an idiot, though.

  33. Florio,
    This has to be a banner week @ PFT. Seriously, I’ve never seen the quantity of articles with this much comments. Some have stirred the pot (Ryan Clark) and some have just given us some more insight into how things go (i.e. more than just one-liners, or who signed who).
    Keep up the good work!

  34. Fllor-boy is half assing the story yet again. The military color guard has been allowed to stay at games. I don’t even half to read procedures because I’ve actually seen them there during games. Hell one time I remember watching a Giants game (last year maybe) where the crew of the helo’s that flew over the stadium were allowed in to see the game and I believe they were on the sidelines (Shockey gave them a ball). So don’t give me the “non NFL people are not allowed on the sidelines” if the NFL controls such access. The supposed standard procedure is something the Tampa host committee is completely unaware of (notice how the blogger floor-boy linked to actually called them?) saying simply such game day decisions rest with the NFL. Why that last bit is in the linked story and not put in the post makes one wonder.

  35. Assuming that you are already going to be on the field for either pre-game or halftime festivities and you are then given a choice between watching the rest of the game from cramped seats in the upper deck or at a catered party, wouldn’t most of us take the party? If you are a huge Cards or Steelers fan, the answer might be different. But for all the other NFL fans, the magic of the Super Bowl is in being able to say you were there and not in the actual pleasure derived from the viewing experience. So I would choose to step out on the field, look up at the stands full of people, take in the moment, do my thing and then go somewhere comfortable to enjoy watching the game.

  36. “One more thing! The Services should start charging the NFL for fly-overs. 1 mil per. should about cover it.”
    If the military did charge a million bucks for a flyover, I’d bet future flyovers would be handled by Southwest Airlines.

  37. What is everyone’s problem? Do any of you “football fans” ever watch the 3 days worth of pre-superbowl shows? This has been going on for EVER. The footage of the parties they have for these people is amazing. There is more food, drink & chicks then you can shake a stick at. Stop whining.

  38. As long as it’s standard operating procedure, then fine. The original blog entry that started this all made it sound like something had changed. That sounded right to me originally because you always see members of the Color Guard on the sidelines during the game… but once I read the digging Florio did, I realized that I actually couldn’t remember seeing any during playoffs and Super Bowl games. So if this is normal, fine… sounds like they’re going to a hell of a party anyway.

  39. ClevelandSucks – Actually if you knew anything you would know that Color Guard is when they present the national colors and the service colors and they are flanked on either side by “riflemen” who guard the “colors”. This is actually a very honorable thing to do. Look it up genious – O yeah, the military is a “real” job, it is a job performed with people who have enough courage to stand up and protect the Constitution of the United States, and other American citizens so they can have “real” jobs.
    I C light pounder – Yes, the Revolutionary War did happen a long time before I was born, glad to know you at least know when the war happened. If you actually looked it up in the history books you would know that the Revolutionary War happened on American soil, and it were we declaired America’s Independence. That was just the start of many other attempts to take freedom away from Americans.
    Remember December 7, 1941 when Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japan? Again, they were trying to take the American freedom away from us, BUT we took the fight abroad and no other US civilan lives were harmed and the US citizens could sleep peacefully at night (you brought it up).
    Remember February 26, 1993 when the World Trade Center was bombed for the first time by members of the Al-Qaeda?
    Remember September 11, 2001? I believe it was when a couple planes that were hijacked by members of the Al-Qaeda and crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and God only knows where the 4th target was truely supposed to be. Again, due to these attacks and potential future attacks were attempts to take the American freedom away again. In response to these attacks Operation Enduring Freedom was launched in Afghanistan. With this war going on, again, you can rest peacefully at night (you brought it up) knowing that the Al-Qaeda will not be able to have an attack on American soil again.
    Yes, maybe the Iraq war doesn’t have an exact tie to the 9/11 attacks, but we are still at war with the people who did cause the attacks, and President Obama did say yesterday (maybe Wednesday) that he was going to try to end the Iraq war and focus more on Afghanistan.
    Now that you got your history lesson, lets get back to the football talk. 8 tickets for the military members is not going to break the NFL, but if the NFL doesn’t want to provide those tickets, by all means, we’ll still continue to live our lives.

  40. To I C light pounder
    My freedom of speech gives me the right to say…
    You have no respect for anyone or anything. You are selfish, and your parents did a horrible job raising you. I’ve never liked you and like you even less now.
    How can you not respect the lives lost and ruined so we can be free?
    There have been many wars and many drafts sence the revolutionary war. And 18 year olds don’t always realise what they are singing up for.

  41. @kzack82
    then y doesn’t your lovely military buy the tickets for yinz??
    ooo yea thats right the military already broke the bank with this war, i love how we are in a recession and yet we are spending 100 million a week over there.
    and for your so called history lesson, when they attacked they did not try and take away our freedom, when the bombed the world trade centers they did not try and take away our freedom, when the plane struck the tower it did not take away my freedom. After all those events i can still vote, i can still have the freedom of speech ect. so you go a head and keep on believing all that bullshit the military put in your head obviously i am way smarter than you to realize that its all bull shit propaganda to try to get sorry ass looser like your self to join the military for some stupid pointless cause. And when they open the history books 50 years from now they are going to havea chapter titled “America’s Mistakes” and there will be 2 sections in that chapter. 1. the Vietnam war 2. Iraq war. so how about instead of guarding colors why don’t you go protect my freedoms some more.

  42. I C light pounder – you know what, I just realized that your right. I’m not going to respond to any other of your supid @$$ comments after this. The part where you wrote “obviously i am way smarter than you” just put me at awe and I can no longer compete with the “brains” of America. O yeah, since your so F’ing smart, how about you learn to spell my name right, its kzak82. I’ve spelt yours right every time! I think I made my point about how smart you really must be…..maybe possible rocket scientist or something. O yeah, “yinz”, you must not be able to spell out the whole word you ones?

  43. The NFL has to draw the line somewhere. They cannot have people on the field all game. This has everything to do with facility management and game operations and nothing to to with picking on a particular group. Yes, Springsteen will probably have a place to watch the game. However, what about the 200 person crew that sets the stage and prepares the halftime show? The crowd that will surround Springsteen’s stage? The guy taking tickets at the door? If every person that had a some role in the stadium got to watch the game, the NFL would lose thousands of seats and have a mess on the field. The fact that the NFL sets up catered viewing areas is more than adequate.
    I see where many of you are coming from for the color guard, but you have to understand that the field operations staff have to control the crowd. Numbers add up quickly on the sidelines of the biggest event of the year.

  44. I guess it’s a moot point now (refresh your rumor mill page).
    Florio, what did you have to do with this?

  45. >>gb_spottedcow says:
    January 23rd, 2009 at 2:00 pm<<
    I know it’s OT, but Spotted Cow is a great beer!

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