Christopher Miehl, President of Big Fogg reflects on working Super Bowl Game in Miami, Meeting “Billy Joel” on the sideline and watching “Prince” perform at Half Time
March 10, 2023: I attended the Billy Joel and Stevie Nicks concert at SoFi stadium in Los Angeles along with around (80) eighty thousand other fans. It was my first-time seeing Billy Joel in concert and it was an extremely amazing concert.
I had seen Fleetwood Mac before in concert, four (4) times to be exact. Seeing Stevie Nicks by herself in concert was a privilege and an honor. Watching and hearing the two icons singing together, Billy Joel and Stevie Nicks was a lifetime event.
I had the privilege of meeting Billy Joel years ago on the sideline of a rainy NFL Super Bowl game in Miami. The Super Bowl was between the Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears and Big Fogg was hired by the NFL to set up (6) Misting Fans behind the sideline benches for both teams. I was assigned to work behind the Bears bench who won the coin toss and elected to receive. For the first time in Super Bowl history, the game was played in the rain, which was continuous and heavy throughout the game.
The rain did not hinder Bears’ return man Devin Hester, who ran back the opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown to give Chicago the then earliest lead in Super Bowl history, after only 14 seconds. When Hester was sitting on the bench in front of me Deion Sanders walked up to him and jokingly said “that looked like me running the kickoff back”. After first quarter Bears were ahead 14-6 but ended up losing 29-17.
It wasn’t just raining it was a monsoon where I could barely see the field from the bench area. I still remember one of the Bears players turning back to me during the rain requesting I turn the misters off on the Big Fogg fans. I responded, “it’s Mother Nature not the Misting Fans.”
It was raining like crazy that day in Miami, and I remember thinking to myself this is the worst possible miserable weather, I would rather be in hotel room eating a pizza and drinking a beer than at this drenched Super Bowl. But then……..
Billy Joel walked down the sideline during the 1st quarter and stopped behind the Chicago Bears bench and stood right next to me. Billy Joel had two large intimidating looking Black bodyguards accompanying him. Since Billy Joel is only 5 feet 5 they might of just looked large in comparison.
The Bears were playing the Indy Colts that day. I started our brief conversation between Joel and myself by mentioning how hard it was “raining” and it was difficult to even see the field.
Billy responded, “the heavy rain made it quite uncomfortable for him on the sideline and he was going to go back up to dry protected suite”. I then asked him who he thought was going to win the game and he responded the “Bears”.
I continued the brief conversation with my statement: “you must be a big New York Giant fan” and Billy responded that he was a Chicago Bears fan. Go figure right?
At end of our conversation, I told him I really loved his music, and he was an amazing musician. He said, “thank you so much”, he was very nice and appreciative. Then Billy and his entourage left the sideline but not before I took two photos of him.
The half time show that Super Bowl Day, in the pouring rain was “Prince”, which has been ranked the best Super Bowl show in history.
At the beginning of half-time concert, a group of young dancers entered field and walked right past me on the way to the stage area. On a whim, I decided to blend in with them and walked to the front of the stage to see Prince and his amazing band of musicians make history in pouring rain.
I must have been only around fifteen feet from Prince’s amazing SB performance, and I was loving every second of it. During the show as I was dancing, a young girl standing next to me said to me “you’re not supposed to be here” and I put my finger over my mouth and said “shish”. Prince’s ending rendition of “Purple Rain” still stands in history as one of the greatest musical performances and quite appropriate that day. Prince’s concert ended way too quickly, but they were the best seats I ever had in my hundreds of concerts over my life.
The miserable rainy continued throughout half time and during the remainder of game and even after the game was finished. I was happy for my friend the Equipment Manager, Hunter Smith, of the Indianapolis Colts for pulling out a solid victory, and who requested Big Fogg worked the game.
I was soaked inside and out after game and very hungry (having not eaten since 8 am) and it took forever to leave the game. I had to wait and take a bus from stadium to where I parked my car. After the game after we were driving for if seemed hours searching for food, all the restaurants were closed in Miami, even Denny’s. Finally, I pulled into a gas station, I filled up with gas & purchased a couple wrapped crackers with peanut butter inside them along with a six-pack of beer. In Florida they sell beer till four in the morning at gas stations. No food available but always booze available in the Sunshine state.
That entire Super Bowl Day was full of great memories and physical discomfort but looking back well worth the price.
My day also included the memory of walking through security to enter the stadium for the Big Game behind short Mark Anthony and his 6-foot tall-plus stunning and svelte blond girl friend. She was beautiful.
I will cherish these memories for the rest of my life of that monsoon day and as a bonus Peyton Manning was MVP of the Super Bowl game!!! Nicest guy.
I took two photos of Billy Joel, the piano man, during our brief encounter.