Triad Magazine

A Hillsborough Community College Student Publication since 1978.

Crashing A Celebrity Super Bowl Party isn’t as hard as You Think

My name is Labrawn Saffold, but some people know me as the “Party Crasher.”

For the last few years I’ve mastered the art of sneaking into high-profile

parties. Believe it or not, I’ve excelled in this hobby without even being able to walk.

Nearly seven years ago, I was a victim of a hit-and-run car accident

that left me paralyzed and killed my 11-year-old cousin. At the time,

I was 16 years old and on my way to the University of Florida to

play football; however, my hopes of playing in the National

Football League shattered in the blink of an eye.

Nevertheless, I was determined to experience

the life of a celebrity. So for the last few years I have

gone to whatever city is hosting the Super Bowl

and crashed the most upscale parties–being in

a wheelchair has not slowed me down one bit.

This year the Super Bowl was in

Miami. I drove down there from Tampa a

few days before the game. The first day I

was there, I heard on the radio that the NFL

commissioner along with several former players

would be presenting a $ 1,000,000 check to a local

park in South Florida. My sister and I drove to the

event as though we were invited. The entire facility was

surrounded by top security, but that wasn’t going to stop me.

I located a side door entrance, and my sister raced me through

the door as someone was coming out. Within an hour, I was shaking

hands with Archie Manning, Steve Young, and the NFL Commissioner while taking

professional photos with the $ 1,000,000 check. The next morning, I realized that

one of my pictures was published in the local paper. I noticed a person standing

behind me in the photo, looking like, “Who is this nice guy in the wheelchair?”

As night approached, someone mentioned to me that Hall of Fame Coach Mike

Ditka was throwing a party. My sister and I showered, got dressed, and headed

out on a mission to crash yet another event. When we arrived at the

fancy hotel, I quickly started to smile and befriend anyone who

seemed important. A nice guy directed us to the party. Once

we reached the party’s entrance many people were

leaving and we were informed the Jamie Foxx had

just finished a live performance. It wasn’t difficult

to enter the party as most people were leaving.

Within seconds of our entrance, I spotted Hall

of Fame Coach Mike Ditka, who was partying

like a rock star. I asked him for a picture, and he

gladly agreed, taking the time to stop dancing

and smile for the camera. I must say, I didn’t

know Coach Ditka could still dance like that.

After driving four and a half hours, and

attending two major events, I was exhausted. We

spent Saturday sleeping in, preparing for a night

of fun. Our goal for Saturday was to somehow get into

The Players Party and then head to The ESPN Party. By

Saturday evening, my sister and I were well rested and ready to

enjoy the night. I drove to The Players Party as though I was an injured

player looking to have fun with my colleagues. Luckily, the guards also assumed

I was an injured player because they didn’t ask us any questions as they gave

us wrist bands and let my sister and me

in the door. I posed with many All-Star

players and felt like a true celebrity. Our

next mission was going to be a challenge.

Every year, ESPN hosts the biggest and

most talked about party in the city. For

the last two years, I had been turned

away, but I was hoping this year would be

different. Unfortunately it wasn’t. I tried

every trick in my book, but the party was

strictly by invitation only. Even though

I didn’t get into the party, I met a lot of

players near the entrance. My sister was

really sad, but being the loyal brother

that I am, I promised her I would get us

into the Saints after-party if they won

the Super Bowl so she could meet her

so-called “future husband” Reggie Bush.

On Super Bowl Sunday, we decided to

enjoy the nice beaches of Fort Lauderdale

and watch the game somewhere near

a beach. We ended up at Bubba Gump

Shrimp right near the water. The game

was really close, and I was actually pulling

for the Colts knowing it would be hard

if not impossible to keep my promise to

my sister. To the contrary, the city of New

Orleans got a break as the Saints pulled

off a spectacular victory against the Colts.

Immediately after the game ended,

my sister and I jumped in my car and

headed back to Miami. I knew that if I

was going to crash the party I would

have to act quickly, before the players

arrived at the hotel and before traffic

was out of control. At this point, my

sister was so excited, assuming I had a

plan of action, but I had no idea what I

was going to do. We arrived at the Inter-

Continental Hotel with perfect timing.

We parked across the street just as the

hotel guest buses were pulling up. Once

we made it across the street, it seemed

as though we had just arrived from the

stadium with everyone else. My sister’s

excitement grew as I thought to myself,

“This is easier than I expected.”

As we got closer to the hotel

entrance, I realized the guards

were checking for everyone’s

wristbands. My sister started to

panic but I told her to calm down

and not to worry. I had a look of

confidence, but I had absolutely

no idea what I was going to do. My

thoughts were racing; we were

next in line. What was I going

to do? (Labrawn, think quickly,

think quickly.) Then I heard it:

“Sir, let me see your wristband!”

My sister looked at me anxiously.

Without hesitation, I grabbed my

stomach and said, “Where is the

bathroom?” The officer looked

at my wheelchair with concern

and said, “Hurry, follow me.” I

took my sister by the hand as the

officer took us inside the hotel

and directed us to the bathrooms

without even realizing we had never

showed him our wristbands. I looked

around the hotel and realized we had

done the impossible. Later that night the

Saints players arrived and we partied

until well after four in the morning.

Another year and another mission

accomplished…. Next year I have

my eyes set for Arlington, Texas, as I

plan to sneak into Cowboys Stadium!

 

Triad tpb 1

Saints player Jeremy Shockey,

Labrawn Saffold,

and Labrawn’s sister.

 

 

Triad tpb 2

Hall of Fame coach

Mike Ditka and

Labrawn Saffold.

 

Triad tbp 3

Pro Football Hall of Fame

member Steve Young,

former Pro Football player

and Super Bowl winner

Tyrone Keys,

and Labrawn Saffold.

 

 

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