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Hometown Hustle: Journalism Major Seizes Super Bowl Opportunity

Hanna Hill ’22 enjoyed reporting on a historical first – a home team playing at home in the Super Bowl – in her hometown.

“It’s honestly pretty crazy. I was born and raised in Tampa. I’m a Lightning fan and a Buccaneers fan. I’m a Tampa girl all the way,” said Hill.

Hanna Hill ’22

Studying remotely from Tampa Bay worked out well for Hill. Seizing the opportunity, Hill produced two video stand-ups on the Tampa Riverwalk: one talking with Bucs fans, and the other with Chiefs fans.

Hill interviewed fans from a distance while her older sister, Haley, held the camera. After the footage was edited, it aired on the WEBN Sports YouTube channel.

Hill said some people seemed nervous about being approached and interviewed by a stranger during the pandemic.

“Everyone was cool about wearing a mask. They asked me if they should wear one. I said they should. It honestly didn’t affect coverage too much,” she said.

Hill asked fans the kinds of questions she’d want to hear during sports reporting. She highlighted that for the first time ever, the game was being hosted in the city of a team playing in the Super Bowl.

“That’s a such a huge angle,” said Hill. “I also asked about [Chiefs quarterback Pat] Mahomes and [Buccaneers quarterback Tom] Brady — the stuff that I knew fans would want to watch. I talked to different fans, old and young fans from both sides, I think I gave good coverage of both fan bases.”

Hill said she was surprised that Chief and Buccaneer fans got along, unlike many hockey fans of competing teams.

“There are hockey fan bases where they don’t talk to each other. I didn’t see that with football,” said Hill, who would like to be a sideline sports reporter.

Hill also networked, giving out her business card and getting contact info from other sports journalists. She knows landing a job after graduation is often due to who you know in the industry.

Hill’s first passion for sports for hockey runs deep. During the NHL COVID bubble this past summer and fall, she used her blog Hanna Hill Hockey and her YouTube channel to hone her craft by doing pregame stand-ups, game previews, analysis of individual players and more.

“I always wanted to do hockey. But this opened my eyes, maybe I could consider [a career in] football, too,” said Hill.

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