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Wilson student wins Super Bowl contest

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Eight-year-old Jack Briody, a third-grader at Wilson Elementary School, loves football. He plays the sport, watches the games on television and collects trading cards. One day last year, he came across a contest notice to become a kid reporter at the Super Bowl, and decided to enter, never thinking he would win. 

In mid-January, Jack’s father, John Briody, received an email notifying him that Jack was one of 10 finalists randomly chosen out of 100,000 participants to move up to the next round of the Panini America Super Bowl LIV Kid Reporter Contest. If Jack wanted a chance to win the top prize — a trip to Miami to participate in a number of pre-game events, as well as a ticket to the game — he had to make a video and submit it within three days. The family hustled to make a two-minute long video of Jack explaining why he should win and giving examples of questions he would ask the players. By the end of the week, John and his wife, Jeanne, got a phone call saying Jack had won first place.

“We were shocked,” Jeanne said. “We never really thought he would win.”

She said the call came on a Friday night, but they had to keep it a secret from Jack until he received a call from former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer the next Monday. At that point, they had a week to make plans to head to Miami.

Upon doing a bit of research, they realized what a big deal it was and were very excited to be a part of it. According to Jeanne, Jack is “very knowledgeable” about football and knows a lot about the players. He watches games with his dad — the family members are New York Giants fans — and he plays quarterback for the Oceanside Stallions, his second year playing the game. 

The Briody family spent a week in Miami, where Jack and John began the week interviewing about a dozen players from the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs at Marlins Park baseball stadium. They also attended the Pro Football Hall of Fame Merlin Olsen Luncheon and the Panini Pop Warner Skills Clinic, as well as the game on Sunday, Feb. 2.

Though the game was fun and exciting, especially since the Chiefs won, Jack said his favorite part of the week was meeting the players and asking his questions. Accompanied by Dilfer, Jack asked each player a different question, then handed each a trading card.

“The ideas for the questions just came to me,” Jack said. 

Jack said he was most excited to meet Patrick Mahomes, quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs, and thought that San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa had the funniest answer: he said his favorite quarterback to sack was Aaron Rodgers [of the Green Bay Packers] because of his “loose jersey.”

The experience was incredible, though Jack said he does not plan on entering it again.

“It was a lot of fun,” he said, “but I want someone else to have the chance to do it.”