A true hero among sporting giants

SUN LIFE STADIUM, Fla. — You know this is a tough assignment when you bump into a uniformed war reporter at Media Day.

And I’m deadly serious. Staff Sergeant Josh Hauser is a bona fide Combat Correspondent for the U.S. Army, fresh from a tour in Iraq, and now running the gauntlet of trying to interview players during this increasingly rambunctious event.

The Army must know what it’s doing, too. Staff Sgt. Hauser told me: “I’m just back from Iraq, and the Army thought this might be a bit of an easier assignment for me, but I’m not so sure!”

Somehow, I got the feeling that Staff Sgt. Hauser might prefer the more straightforward task of reporting from a genuine war zone, as opposed to this unarmed “combat” of the journalistic kind.

But the man from the Second Marine Logistics Group was really all smiles as he perused the swarming concourse and weighed up his next “victim.”

And I made a mental note to give thanks to the troops in foreign places as we bade farewell to another jostling carnival of media mayhem. For, truly, despite all the sporting giants on display, our true heroes are those men and women who remain in harm’s way for our freedom.

– Simon Veness

(U.S.-based British writer Simon Veness has infiltrated the ranks of NFL.com for Super Bowl week with his transatlantic take on events.)

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