Five Quinnipiac students headed to cover Super Bowl LVII activities

Five students from the university’s Quinnipiac Bobcats Sports Network (QBSN) and Ability Media program will join professional-in-residence Dave Stevens Feb. 3 to 12 in covering a week’s worth of events leading up to Super Bowl LVII, which will take place at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on Sunday, Feb. 12.

The students are Aiden Barrett of West Islip, New York; Carly MacManus of Warren, New Jersey; Santino Maione of Lynbrook, New York; Aaron Roberts of Andover, Massachusetts; and Emily Sweeney of Manorville, New York. They will conduct interviews with athletes, coaches and celebrity entertainers on radio row and cover events including a celebrity flag football game and a Super Bowl party hosted by Leigh Steinberg, a noted sports agent, author and philanthropist, at Sony Pictures.

Stevens brought a group to the Super Bowl for the first time last year. Maione, a senior journalism major, is looking forward to a return trip.

“For somebody who is into sports like me and who has known that they’ve wanted to work in sports journalism since probably eighth grade or middle school,  it doesn’t really get much better,” Maione said. “It really is the pinnacle of anything you can do in sports being at the Super Bowl. To get to go again is incredible.”

The students will broadcast their stories on QBSN as well as via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, Stevens said. They plan to interview Quinnipiac alumnus Tim Beach ’90, who is senior director of game entertainment and special events for the Arizona Cardinals. Beach is handling the Super Bowl’s postgame trophy presentation, according to Stevens.

“Sending students to the Super Bowl is kind of the ultimate experiential education opportunity,” said Chris Roush, dean of the School of Communications. “They are going to learn how to do a lot of things on the fly at the Super Bowl that you just can’t teach in the classroom.”

Ability Media, launched in March 2021 by Quinnipiac's School of Communications and Stevens, educates the public with stories about the unique skills people with disabilities offer, starting with the media industry, where less than 2 percent of the film and TV workforce have disabilities. 

Stevens, who grew up in Arizona, will host his first Prostantz Ability Football Camp for disabled children on Feb 11. Ability Media will cover the event.

Born without hips and legs, Stevens has had a distinguished media career. He worked at ESPN for more than 20 years as the assignment desk manager and then as coverage editor. He covered 14 Super Bowls and three World Series, and he has won seven national sports Emmys. Prior to ESPN, he worked at KSTP-TV in Minneapolis.

Stevens will be covering his 25th Super Bowl, but “the best part about taking these kids is seeing it through their eyes and having them be right next to a Tom Brady or a Patrick Mahomes,” he said. 

“Our students will realize it takes a great work ethic to cover the Super Bowl,” Stevens continued. “I want them all to be a success in the industry.” 

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