TAMPA, Fla. — As a sports reporter “down under,” Neroli Meadows covers a lot of cricket and Australian-rules football.
“Two sports that you know nothing about,” she said jokingly.
But last year in Miami, she lived out a dream, covering her first Super Bowl for ESPN Australia and New Zealand.
“When people ask me about it here in Australia, I say it was even better than I thought it could possibly be.”
Meadows planned to be back in the United States reporting on the NBA, tennis, and Super Bowl LV in Tampa.
“That was all derailed, unfortunately, because of the pandemic. Bit of a bummer because I had sort of a dream sports year planned for a sports broadcaster,” said Meadows.
Meanwhile, brothers Alex and Matthew Hall, who live near Birmingham, England, became Buccaneers fans ten years ago after vacationing in Tampa.
They’ve seen the team play several times and even started a UK Buccaneers podcast.
They had their hopes set on coming back to Tampa for the Super Bowl too.
“Even if the Bucs weren’t there, we were going to try and get involved and potentially get tickets and also soak in the build-up to the game and the week beforehand,” said Alex Hall.
“It would be just such an amazing thing to go and see the whole spectacle of it,” said Matthew Hall.
Even if many international sports media members won’t be in Tampa, the game will still broadcast worldwide as usual.
The game will be shown in about 180 countries, in dozens of languages.
“You have to hold on to the fact that you get joy wherever you can, whether it’s from your couch or there in person. Obviously, the ideal situation is to be there right now, but there are bigger things than sport. Believe it not,” said Meadows.
Officials haven’t said how many international media members are planning to come to Tampa.
But some are holding hope there might be an improvement in the next couple of weeks that would make traveling here an option.