Super Bowl 2012: The Taste of the NFL Party Was a Party with a Purpose

Dexter RogersCorrespondent IFebruary 5, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 04:  NFL player Peyton Manning, Spike Lee and Jackson Lee attend DIRECTV's Sixth Annual Celebrity Beach Bowl After Party at Victory Field on February 4, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for DirecTV)
Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Typically, the idea of having parties at the Super Bowl is to have fun and that’s what I’ve done.  Both personally and professionally, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my Super Bowl experience.  I’ve engaged with a number of athletes, entertainers and fellow media.

I attended my share of Super Bowl events this week.  While all were festive, I really enjoyed the Taste of the NFL.  The chief aim of this event is to combat the ugliness of hunger in this country. 

While the NFL is a multi-billion dollar industry filled with millionaire players, many events fail to contribute to causes such as this one.  It was great to see an event that had a distinct purpose yet was still fun.

There was a collection of past and present NFL players signing autographs at stations.  Every team was represented.  Each of the 32 teams had a signature dish from some of the best chefs in the country for all those who attended to sample.  I departed with a full stomach, and it was well worth it. 

While the overall atmosphere was great, I was more impressed with how the event was run and the purpose of the event.  The proceeds from the festive evening go towards fighting an ill not enough people talk about.

I have witnessed athletes, entertainers, actors and media personalities everywhere.  The lavish hotels were filled with people paying premium dollars to enjoy the worlds most watched sporting event.  But while that transpires, there are children and adults who are hungry.

On a personal level, it is very difficult to embrace the notion of living in a society that supports an institution that pays athletes millions of dollars for playing a game; yet that same society allows human beings to go hungry.

Matter of fact, I attended a Super Bowl function last night.  I was around some wealthy athletes and entertainers of note.  When I departed the event I encountered a homeless gentleman sitting on the street outside the venue seeking money for food amongst thousands of energetic fans waiting to watch the big game. 

The irony was striking and evident.

Attending the Taste of the NFL last night demonstrates there are those who care about more than the Super Bowl glitz and glamor the event commands.  It was wonderful to be a part of an event that truly has a purpose beyond the scope of simply having fun.

I spoke with a number of volunteers at the Taste of the NFL.  I was struck with their commitment to change by their efforts in making it a wonderful evening.  I think it is vital to recognize the volunteers and the staff at Gleaners Food Bank who pulled this event together and allowed people to attend and enjoy their experience.

Sport is a beautiful institution that serves as a bridge in bringing people to together.  Sport has a way of uniting those of different backgrounds and pay grades to rally around a common cause with the expectation of providing a better tomorrow for those in need.

There were many parties around the Indianapolis area over the past week, but I'd venture few will be raising money to fight for a cause that is often overlooked, such as hunger.

Taste of the NFL, thanks for a job well done.


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