NORFOLK (NNS) -- Cheerleaders from the New England Patriots and football players from the Green Bay Packers celebrated Super Bowl Sunday with Sailors aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75).
Team Truman created an atmosphere that simulated being at the Super Bowl. Stadium-sized bleachers, three giant-screen TV's and concession stands were set up in the hangar bay.
"It felt like we weren't on a ship. It was like we were in some kind of stadium," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate Airman Darin J. Stenglein. "There was food everywhere, and there were sodas everywhere. It was like you were at a game."
"Having the cheerleaders on board and everything was great for the morale of the crew," said Personnel Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Robbie Smith.
Some of the pre-game festivities included a 5k run on the flight deck, free souvenirs such as T-shirts and footballs provided by Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR). Sailors were also able to have their pictures taken with the cheerleaders and football players, and received autographed pictures.
"There are a lot of different reasons why we, the Green Bay Packers, are here today," said Fullback William Henderson. "Most of all, we are thankful for the services you guys [the Navy] support. We understand that you [Sailors] do not have to be in the military. I, myself was going to go into the Navy if I did not get a college scholarship playing football. I knew I wanted to go to med school. I knew the G.I. Bill was going to be a possibility to help me do it."
Other pre-game festivities included a dance show with the cheerleaders from the New England Patriots. The cheerleaders practiced special dance routines, besides doing their regular practices, twice a week, exclusively for Sailors on board Truman.
"I enjoyed the tours, but I have to say, what I enjoyed most was the attitudes of the men and women especially during the show. It was definitely obvious that we boosted the morale of the crew," said Meghan White, New England Patriots cheerleader. "I couldn't believe how many complements from genuine people that came up to us and thanked us for being here. It is really us that should be thanking them, because of all that they do for us. They are the real patriots."
For related news, visit the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.