“Chicken parm you taste so good…”
So good, in fact, that Peyton’s favorite dish (we have to assume) made the menu for the Denver Broncos‘ flight to San Jose last Sunday. (Sidenote: Denverites can order their own chicken parm sandwiches through the Uber app on Super Bowl Sunday.) While it might come off like a lighthearted joke by someone on staff, a lot of thought went into putting it on the menu. “We make sure we are constantly providing the proper fuel to maximize performance,” says Bryan Snyder, director of team nutrition. That means focusing on lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains (a team favorite: turkey or bison burgers on whole-grain buns with a side of baked sweet potato fries). How those ingredients come together in a dish varies by player and position, which is why Snyder has to provide options—like, say, an in-flight menu that includes a New York steak, chicken fajita wrap, or chef salad as entrée choices (after the pre-departure chicken parm, of course). Beyond the flights, Snyder developed the menus for a full week of hotel meals and snacks, plus pre-game, halftime, and post-game food. It’s all about “performance nutrition,” he says—and, perhaps, a cheeky nod to Peyton’s commercial pedigree.
Another guy who’s making sure the players don’t have to worry about a thing off the field is senior logistics manager Adam Newman. He oversaw Sunday’s flight—creating seating charts, dealing with the equipment and luggage trucks, busing the team to the plane, etc.—and is in charge of making things run smoothly at the three hotels the team will be living in for the week (they take up just a portion of each, with players, coaches, and most staffers getting their own rooms). Like many of us, lots of players want window seats; Newman accommodates those requests the best he can.
It’s all the same as what Newman does throughout the season. But everything’s bigger at the Super Bowl. Beyond it being a longer trip than a typical one-night away game, there are more players on the move (the whole practice squad and all injured reserve players travel too), and Newman has to help faciliate friends and family getting to the Big Game. “[That] includes moving around 1,000 people from Denver to the San Francisco area and back on three charter flights, and five hotels,” he says, adding that he has to create seating charts and room lists for all of them, plus organize buses from the airport to hotel. And we can’t forget the post-game party, which Newman expects around 1,500 people to attend. “It’s worth every second of hard work,” he says.
We’ll keep our fingers crossed those 1,500 arrive elated from a Broncos win.