DeMarcus Ware discusses NFL fans, bowling, and community connections, interview

While Sunday night might be four quarters of intense football, the lead up to the big game celebrates fans and the NFL community. DeMarcus Ware hosted the Super Bowl Bowling Classic sponsored by Pepsi and the event celebrated how football brings everyone together.
DeMarcus Ware at Super Bowl Bowling Classic sponsored by Pepsi
DeMarcus Ware at Super Bowl Bowling Classic sponsored by Pepsi / Pepsi

Some people have been born into football fandom and others might have just discovered that excitement from watching a tight end catch a game winning pass. Regardless of the background, the NFL community creates connections on, off, and around the field. DeMarcus Ware, NFL Hall of Fame linebacker, continues to experience that NFL fan connection. As host of the Super Bowl Bowling Classic sponsored by Pepsi, the NFL great knew that the special event was more than strikes and perfect frames. It was a moment to celebrate what makes football fandom great.  

Although some football fans might have dreamt of being able to dash past DeMarcus Ware or evade that crushing tackle, this Super Bowl week event offered fans, as well as current and former players, an opportunity to compete on a more neutral playing field, the bowling alley. Even though the NFL players might have an edge on the gridiron, fans that joined the Pepsi and Go Bowling event were ready to bowl their way to victory.  

In addition to Dallas Cowboys’ Ware as event host, the special event included Terrell Owens, San Francisco 49ers (Wide Receiver), Chubba Hubbard, Carolina Panthers (Running Back), Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears (Tight End), Joey Porter Jr, Pittsburgh Steelers (Corner Back), Allen Lazard, New York Jets (Wide Receiver), Aidan O'Connell, Las Vegas Raiders (Quarterback), Tyler Allgeier, Atlanta Falcons (Running Back), Derwin James, Los Angeles Chargers (Safety), Brian Burns, Carolina Panthers (Edge Rusher), Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs (Running Back), Michael Wilson, Arizona Cardinals (Wide Receiver), Kenny Moore, Indianapolis Colts (Corner Back), Daxton Hill, Cincinnati Bengals (Safety), and Cordarrelle Patterson, Atlanta Falcons (Running Back).  

Ahead of the special event, DeMarcus Ware graciously spoke to FoodSided. He shared his thoughts about the NFL community, his competitive streak, and who he is picking as a potential SBLVIII winner.

Many NFL fans have come to appreciate that their favorite players and teams are more than just stellar athletes. How they interact with fans and give back to the community is as important as the player stats.  

When asked for his thoughts on community driven events, like this Super Bowl Bowling Classic, Ware shared, “throughout my whole professional career, I’ve always thought about the community and supported brands that wanted to make an impact on the community. With these two amazing companies, Pepsi and Go Bowling, coming together to benefit the NFL Foundation, it is a win. It reaches so many people, and it brings in the fans. We all get the opportunity to compete, get involved, and make an impact.”  

Even though Ware might not be wearing the pads and making plays on the field, he has not lost his competitive edge. Whether he is playing against the 50 year old or the 5 year old, he was ready to throw some strikes.  

Ware said, “the competitive edge is always on. It does not matter what I’m competing in, Monopoly, Uno, or this bowling event. I want to win. I’m going to get in there and bowl every strike that I can, whoever I’m going against.” 

Although Ware may not have bowled a perfect game, he is a strong bowler. He mentioned that he averages around 200. But, he was not going to let anyone roll over him. Sometimes that fighting spirit can make the difference between a strike and a gutter ball.  

While the competition aspect was part of the event, the bigger focus was the fan interaction and the NFL community. Even though these larger than life athletes have competed on the biggest stage, this event is about bringing the fans closer to their favorite players.  

As Ware said, “It humanizes the athlete that the fans see as the gladiator in the Coliseum. Putting the bowling ball in their hands is saying that I can compete with you, we can have fun together, and we can commune in a way beyond just cheering that on that player from the stands.” 

“We are bringing the community into the competition field. It is a moment where we say, we know that you are a fan of us, the NFL players, and now, let’s come together, compete, and help a great cause.” 

While a victory was crowned in the Super Bowl Bowling Classic sponsored by Pepsi, another winner has yet to hoist the trophy. Who is Ware picking in SBLVIII?  

Ware commented, “I would lean a little bit more toward a defensive minded team, which is San Francisco.” And, what food and beverages will he enjoy while watching all the big tackles for a loss on Sunday. Ware said, “I’m going to have a Pepsi in my hand, maybe some popcorn, M&M’S, and possibly a hot dog.” 

No matter which team raises the Lombardi Trophy in SBVIII, the fans have been the real winners leading up to the big game. Events like Super Bowl Bowling Classic sponsored by Pepsi that celebrate the NFL community are what makes football great.