Cardinals RHIR winner, Eric Mitzel, and his fiancée, Danielle, during the game.
As the Cardinals played in Super Bowl XLIII one special Cardinals fan joined the team in Tampa. Eric Mitzel was selected from almost 5,000 Cardinals fans who promised to refrain from drinking and be the designated drivers to get their friends and family home safely from the games played at the University of Phoenix Stadium this season as the Arizona Cardinals' Designated Driver for the Season.
For the sixth consecutive season, the National Football League (NFL), Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management (TEAM) Coalition, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have worked together to make more fans aware of the designated driver programs at all 31 NFL stadiums, encourage responsible fan behavior, and promote traffic safety.
As the Arizona Cardinals Designated Driver for the Season, Eric Mitzel joined the Cardinals at the Super Bowl. The prize included roundtrip airfare, hotel accommodations, and two tickets to the game for Mitzel and the Designated Driver for the Season from the Pittsburgh Steelers.
During the 2008 NFL season, more than 140,000 football fans planned ahead and made the responsible, winning play by pledging to be designated drivers. TEAM Coalition has been aggressively promoting the designated driver programs at NFL stadiums since 2003 with a league-wide campaign called Responsibility Has Its Rewards. The campaign encourages fans to participate in designated driver programs supported by beer and concessionaire companies at every NFL stadium nationwide.
"Game day should be safe and enjoyable for our fans, both in the Stadium and as they travel home after the games," said John Drum, vice president of Stadium Operations for the Cardinals. "We're proud that so many of our fans have chosen to demonstrate responsible behavior."
"We want to remind everyone that true football Fans Don't Let Fans Drive Drunk," said Michael Hegarty, deputy director of the Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety. "If you plan on consuming alcohol, Avoid the Max by planning ahead and having a sober designated driver or a schedule a taxi ride home before the game begins. We commend the NFL, the Arizona Cardinals and all the Responsibility Has Its Rewards campaign partners for creating such a fantastic incentive for fans who make the responsible decision to designate a driver."
Fortunately, football fans join millions of other Americans in doing the "ride thing." According to a national survey by TNS Custom Research Inc., nearly two out of three adults – more than 137 million Americans – have been a designated driver or been driven home by one.
TEAM Coalition – an alliance of professional and collegiate sports, entertainment facilities, concessionaries, stadium service providers, the beer industry, broadcasters, traffic safety experts and others working together to promote responsible drinking and positive fan behavior at sports and entertainment facilities.