Gearing up for the Super Bowl
You know you're at a big event when the relative quiet of the afternoon's scripting, rigging and preparation is shattered by half a dozen flighter jets flying over the stadium next door.
But when those fighters are asked to come back and do it again to make sure the timing with the end of the National Anthem is absolutely perfect - it can only be the Super Bowl.
The aerial fun and games caused a commotion in the muddy little compound set aside for International broadcasters yesterday, but everyone was soon back to work. There are a dozen or so pre-fab huts here - we're sharing one with the Italians, next to us are the Germans, then the Japanese, then oddly enough, Disney.
I remember writing last year that the Super Bowl has an Olympic scale to it, except that it's a single day event, and having been to Beijing in between last year's game and this, I haven't changed my mind - all the billboards and banners hanging off streetlights, posters in every shop window, it's quite a spectacle.
Having said all that, it's clear that the Super Bowl isn't immune to the global downturn. It was a major talking point at NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's 'State of the League' press conference yesterday. The NFL has been forced to lay off employees, there's been a struggle to fill those once-precious half-time advertising slots in the US, and for the first time ever the number of media accreditations for the big game has gone down this year.
It's had an effect on our plans too - the massive difference in exchange rates between last year and this means that something like a video feed cable which costs $1,000 is a lot more in pounds this year than it was last year.
That's one of the reasons we've kept things relatively simple with our coverage. We'd love to be broadcasting the game in HD for example, but financially it was never a realistic option.
Despite all the financial issues surrounding the event, it still promises to be a typical Super Bowl extravaganza. The game itself should provide another fascinating encounter, with the underdog Arizona Cardinals hoping to stop the Pittsburgh Steelers from winning the Vince Lombardi trophy a record sixth time.
Once again Jake Humphrey and Mike Carlson will be joined in our studio by Rod Woodson, which is great news for us, not just because he's a Steelers legend, or because he's back at the scene of his own Super Bowl win with the Baltimore Ravens, but also because he's among the candidates for induction for the Pro Football Hall of Fame at the weekend - and he'll be in a great mood if he gets in. Fingers crossed.
The one major change we've made is that we're going to take the NBC network coverage this year rather than the World Feed commentary offered by the NFL that we used last time. Quite simply, we just couldn't pass on John Madden. Being a bit of an old sentimentalist, it's just nice to add his name to the list of commentary legends that have appeared on the BBC down the years.
And for those once-a-year viewers who like their coverage a little more inclusive, we'll also have Radio 5 Live's pairing of Arlo White and Greg Brady on the Red Button.
I'll finish as I started with one of those 'only at the Super Bowl' moments. I've seen plenty of press conferences in my time, the vast majority of them pretty dull, but nothing compared to the pandemonium surrounding the Bruce Springsteen briefing on Thursday.
While there's much anticipation surrounding his half-time show on Sunday night, I understand it was also the first time in around 22 years that Bruce and the E-Street Band had agreed to do a presser. As a result, there were hundreds of journalists jumping over each other to get a decent seat, and when it came to TV crews, I lost count at 50.
Fortunately, Bruce was honest enough to bring his legendary working man's touch to proceedings. When asked why he'd finally agreed to perform at the Super Bowl this year rather than any other year, he simply replied: "Because I got an album out, dummy."
I guess even the Boss ain't recession-proof.