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Bradley Hilltopics

Fall 2009 • Volume 15, Issue 4  

Web Extras
Last Lecture series | “Re-firing” your life | Hartmann turns 100 slideshow | Forbes.com contest | Holocaust survivor addresses students | Camping with the Bears | New library cafe | Accounting society honored | BU: Who Knew? | Soccer sees best start since 2002 | Tennis coach keeps winning | Chiefs P.A. announcer | Athletics promoters honored | Slideshows and Video: Hartmann turns 100; GEN. SHALIKASHVILI ’58 HON ’94 video; Campaign galas: St. Louis, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles

 

Camping with the Bears

By SAM MANGIERI ’11

Sam Mangieri '11As most students said in their journal entries, I didn’t have a clue what to expect when I arrived at my internship at the Bears’ training camp in Bourbonnais, Ill. I like my comfort, and was quite content with coasting into my junior year at BU with the routine I was used to at home. But I find my biggest adventures, and best experiences, come precisely when I have jumped out of that comfort zone. So when July 30 rolled around, I knew it was time to jump yet again.

I knew the Bears didn’t mess around when I underwent CPR training as soon as I arrived. My internship, unlike most summer gigs, is only 20 days long, and what a short 20 days this will be! I am having an awesome time and am working alongside some great co-workers. Our advertising and events staff consists of about 30 people. One is our boss, MATT BLACK ’06. He and three other superiors have the hefty task of corralling us and the thousands of fans who pile into Olivet Nazarene University. This is projected to be an awesome year for the Bears, and their fans have shown their belief in the team. About 6,000 fans file through the gates each day, and once we had over 12,000 fans make the pilgrimage to the small town to see their team practice.

Each four-hour day of camp is divided into two-hour shifts. General staff members are assigned two different jobs each day. I could be running one of the inflatable playpens you see at county fairs the first shift, and next, I could be doing something as sweet as working at an autograph session. Other tasks include assisting with the family/sponsor tents, handing out giveaways, assisting the Bears’ mascot, Staley, around camp, and working crowd control while players enter/leave practice. Overall, it has been a great time, and I am going to leave with some solid experience.

I must mention the kind of off-the-job environment the Bears treat their staff to. We are housed on the third floor of the building nearest the cafeteria (even closer than the players themselves). We have room service every day, our sheets are changed sometimes while we are at work, and three meals a day are provided in the same cafeteria where the players eat. We don't sit in the same area, but on any given day, I could be standing behind Jay Cutler or Brian Urlacher at some point in the salad line.

If only I had a buck for every time one of my friends has asked, “So, do you get to talk to the players?” The answer is, “Only if they talk to you first.” Unfortunately, the only time a player has said anything to me was when the third-string tight end said, “Wow” to me after I splattered salsa on his shirt in the nacho bar.  Other than that, head nods and points are enough for me; I’ll let the super-fan co-workers fight for a little time with their favorite superstar.

I get my kicks when I leave from breakfast. Sometimes a buddy and I pretend that the media outside the cafeteria doors is there for us. So, if you ever see me throw a cheerful wave to a cameraman on SportsCenter, know it was to you, my friends at Bradley University.

 

Last Lecture series | “Re-firing” your life | Hartmann turns 100 slideshow | Forbes.com contest | Holocaust survivor addresses students | Camping with the Bears | New library cafe | Accounting society honored | BU: Who Knew? | Soccer sees best start since 2002 | Tennis coach keeps winning | Chiefs P.A. announcer | Athletics promoters honored | Slideshows and Video: Hartmann turns 100; GEN. SHALIKASHVILI ’58 HON ’94 video; Campaign galas: St. Louis, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles