Alumnus Plays Quarterback for Super Bowl Halftime Show
Date: Jan. 27, 2001
By: Marianne Kunnen-Jones
Phone: (513) 556-1826
Archive: General News
Most of us get to watch the Super Bowl in the relative peace and serenity of our homes or at someone else's party. Scott Caudill, a 1983 graduate of UC's McMicken College of Arts and Sciences (communication), won't get that chance this year.
At Super Bowl XXXV, he's responsible for getting 3,000 screaming teen-agers to appear on the field for the MTV-produced half-time show, which will feature 'N Sync and Aerosmith. Caudill serves as an administrative manager for MTV Networks in New York City, handling logistics for various network channel projects.
"It's really just another project," the 1977 graduate of Mason High School stated calmly in telephone interview about 10 days before Super Bowl Sunday. "My job is to get the teens on the field, get them there by bus and back home again.
"It will be a challenge," he acknowledged. "It will all change, even with all planning we've done. That's the challenge and excitement of it - dealing with all the changes."
A team headed to Tampa in advance to work with area high schools to round up enough teen-agers. Caudill planned to head down from Jan. 21 to 30.
One of the biggest unknowns he faces is traffic. How will he get busloads of teens to the stadium at virtually the same time tens of thousands of fans will be arriving? Caudill hopes procrastination will work in his favor. He's counting on traffic jams to diminish after the kickoff. Then, he'll make his move.
A helicopter "lookout" will communicate with him and other members of the logistics team to tell them when the police-escorted buses should make their approach and the best route to take to the stadium's four tunnels and two main entrances.
Caudill has lots of experience planning for major events. His first job in the broadcast industry was with NBC Sports' Olympics units, where he worked in the promotions department for the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea. His current job came about when the boss who supervised him during an internship with NBC quit and the network offered him the job.
After the '88 Olympics, he switched gears at NBC Sports and joined the broadcast management team, which oversaw the logistics for the Barcelona games in 1992 and Atlanta in 1996. That entailed the migration of about 4,000 people for Barcelona and 5,000 people for Atlanta, all of them involved in broadcasting the games.
Back at his alma mater, Caudill still keeps in touch with communication professor Michael Porte, who took his 33rd annual New York Arts Tour to visit with Caudill at MTV Networks in December 2000.
Ironically, Caudill was waiting to meet with Porte after graduating from UC when he read an article in a magazine that led him to his internship at NBC. The story featured a writer who worked for David Letterman's show, then on NBC. Caudill contacted the writer about a job. Although the writer didn't know of any openings, he referred Caudill to the NBC internship program, which arranged an interview with the Olympics unit.
He has worked for MTVN since 1993, first as a free-lancer and then joining the staff in 1996. He's working on the Super Bowl because CBS merged with Viacom, MTVN's parent company. He coordinates dozens of special events each year, mostly targeted to advertising clients and cable company representatives from across the nation. MTVN encompasses not just Music Television, but also Nickelodeon, VH1, Nick-at-Night, TVLand, Country Music Television (CMT) and The National Network (TNN). The events he plans range from a client weekend of fun at the Bull Riding Championships for TNN in Las Vegas for 50 people to the Nick-at-Night Golf classic for 100 people in Palm Beach, Fla.
Some of his other challenging projects include MTV's 25-city Campus Invasion Tour, MTV's Music Awards and Nickelodeon's Kid Choice Awards.