Growing up in Manchester England, home of world-renowned soccer club Manchester United, Phoebe Cribb ‘20 was surrounded by big-time football. However, it wasn’t until she came to Bryn Mawr as a student and met up with L.A. native Stephanie Catalan ’20 that she started to follow America’s version of the sport.
Now, thanks in part to a Tom Brady jersey (no, not the one that was stolen) Phoebe and Stephanie are going to be at what’s become one of the biggest pro-football events of the year, the NFL draft.
Phoebe and Stephanie’s story begins in a restaurant near campus on Lancaster Avenue. Drawn by the irresistible allure of 25 cent wings, the pair ventured out to watch their adopted team, the New England Patriots, take on the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl.
“L.A. didn’t have a team when I was growing up but when I came to Bryn Mawr I met a lot of people from New England and so I adopted the Patriots,” says Stephanie.
“I’m from England so I figured why not root for the New England Patriots,” adds Phoebe. “It’s the closest thing I’m going to get to a home team.”
Unfortunately, the game wasn’t going their team’s way. So, with the Patriots losing big and having had their fill of cheap eats, the pair left to go back to campus, figuring they could check in on the score at the Campus Center.
“We got to the Campus Center and somehow the Patriots had come back and we were just going crazy,” recalls Stephanie.
To celebrate the victory, Stephanie went online and ordered a pair of Tom Brady jerseys, also signing up to get notifications from the NFL.
In April she got an email saying the league was looking for volunteers to help out with this year’s “Draft Experience,” which is being held April 27–29 in Philadelphia. In addition to the actual selection of college football players by NFL teams, the league puts on a “football festival” with “interactive exhibits, immersive games, and virtual reality experiences, free player autograph sessions, and more.”
Both Stephanie and Phoebe had previously volunteered for Campus Philly and at around the same time that group also sent out a call for volunteers.
“We like football and we like volunteering so I was like, ‘let’s do it,’” recalls Stephanie.
A few weeks after applying online, Phoebe and Stephanie got the word that they’d been chosen to serve as NFL Ambassadors, helping to run the games and other activities planned for the three-day long event.
“We’re looking forward to having a great time,” says Phoebe, who in the fall will serve as LILAC’s volunteer outreach and service coordinator. “Whether you’re looking to give back to the community or even just have fun there are so many opportunities available.”