Clarissa Kraayenbrink-Staff Writer
For the second consecutive season, I am working as the “anything social” intern with the Sioux City Bandits, a professional indoor football team.
In this position, I track and manage the Bandits’ social media accounts during games and also complete other randomly-assigned tasks.
So far, my internship routine is as follows: On Saturdays, I leave my house in Sioux City around 3:15 p.m. and make the 10-minute drive to the Tyson Events Center, the home of the Bandits. When I arrive, I get to work on writing and editing the gameday script for the announcers in the booth and on the field. I then deliver those scripts to everyone who needs one.
As the 7 p.m. kickoff draws nearer, I start Snapchatting on the Bandits account I created. At the beginning of the day Saturday, I was the account’s sole follower, but at least I am ahead of the curve when other people start following (the account name is ‘scbandits’ in case you were wondering). Right before the game, I create posts on Facebook and Twitter announcing the Bandits now have Snapchat and encouraging fans to follow the account, trying to get the follower count to rise.
Once the player introductions start on the field, I stay busy posting on social media. Occasionally, I will conduct merchandise or ticket giveaways on Facebook or ask fans trivia questions. My goal for this year is to engage and interact more with fans. This feat was harder to accomplish during this past game because it was a preseason game and the stands were hardly full.
This past weekend, the Bandits played a preseason game against the First City Cavalry, who hail from Leavenworth, Kan. Preseason games are essential as they allow coaches to see players in game action and evaluate each athlete before making final cuts.
The Bandits returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. Anyone who understands indoor football knows the rules are a bit different than what you see in college football or the NFL. In indoor football, the field is 50 yards long, as opposed to the NFL-regulation size of 100 yards. The end zone is only eight yards deep and the goal posts are only 10-feet wide. Goal posts are suspended from the ceiling and dangle 10 feet above the ground. There is no punting in indoor football; offenses must go for it on fourth down or attempt a field goal. Touchbacks are taken on the five-yard line and if there is an interception, the ball is placed on the five-yard line – no matter how far the defender ran it back. As a spectator, you can imagine this takes some getting used to.
The Bandits scored 11 more touchdowns Saturday night and beat the First City Cavalry 80-0. After the game, I packed up all my stuff and headed a few blocks down from the Tyson Events Center to McCarthy and Bailey’s, where there was a post-game party for the team, staff and fans. I am thankful I live in Sioux City, too, as I didn’t get home until midnight.
Game days makes for long days, but it’s definitely worth the time and effort to work at an internship in a career field you enjoy and are passionate about. The Bandits will play the Omaha Beef at home this Saturday and I am looking forward to running the media show all over again. Former Sioux City Bandits, Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks running back Fred Jackson will be at the game on Saturday and maybe I will have the chance to meet him.
My goal is to work in professional sports someday and I view this internship as bringing me one step closer to getting there.