The clock is ticking and Derrick Brooks is hustling, putting the same of determined effort he carried as a Hall of Fame linebacker in the NFL into being a lead organizer for Super Bowl LV in Tampa -- now less than a year away.Brooks, co-investor in the Blue Wahoos, has
The clock is ticking and Derrick Brooks is hustling, putting the same of determined effort he carried as a Hall of Fame linebacker in the NFL into being a lead organizer for Super Bowl LV in Tampa -- now less than a year away.
Brooks, co-investor in the Blue Wahoos, has added another role to his expanding business ventures.
The Pensacola native, Booker T. Washington High and Florida State graduate, is the co-chairman of the Super Bowl Host Committee in Tampa. The next Super Bowl is Feb. 7, 2021 at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium.
The numerology works so well.
It will be the fifth Super Bowl that Tampa has hosted. It's Super Bowl 55, matching the number Brooks wore for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during his 14 decorated seasons, which included 11 Pro Bowl selections and game-sealing interception in the Bucs' lone Super Bowl XXXVII championship on January 26, 2003.
"I've always seen the Super Bowl as a stage to serve the community at a bigger level," said Brooks, 46, speaking to the Tampa Bay Times.
Brooks spent the past Super Bowl in Miami, where he was honored with fellow Pensacola native and NFL all-time rushing leader Emmitt Smith on the field before the game as two of the NFL's all-time greatest 100 players during the 100th year celebration of the league.
"When I got there, I was kind of in the same realm as doing a scouting report as if I were getting ready for an opponent," Brooks said, speaking to the Tampa Bay Times. "I started taking notes on how the airport looked and how it felt. Is it welcoming?
"I looked at the positioning of volunteers, how they were dressed and the directional signs. I took a lot of notes."
Brooks, a Tampa resident, is juggling a variety of projects in his business portfolio. One of those is the first Derrick Brooks Pensacola Classic charity golf tournament on April 20 at Pensacola Country Club. He's also hosting his 20th Derrick Brooks Celebrity Classic in Tampa on May 3-4.
Pensacola's event, which includes a pairings draft party April 19 at Seville Quarter, has sponsorship and playing opportunities in four-person teams with an additional celebrity player and can be accessed through Brooks' website (www.db55.org/northwest-florida).
David Wilson, coordinator of Studer/55 Community Athletics and the NFL Flag Pensacola youth football program that Brooks sponsors, is the directing the efforts for the Pensacola celebrity golf tournament.
Brooks became a co-investor in the Blue Wahoos in May 2018 and has made several visits to Blue Wahoos Stadium during the past two seasons. He and Blue Wahoos majority team owners Quint and Rishy Studer have shared in Pensacola's vision.
In his Super Bowl host role, Brooks is trying to ensure Tampa's efforts are in sync to make the game and all the lead-in events as memorable as possible.
"This pulls at my heartstrings in terms of what I believe in as a core and that's our community," said Brooks during a recent news conference in Tampa to kick off the game's planning. "Where can we give back? Not just to fulfill, but to leave the best legacy possible along with the other prior 54 Super Bowls."