TAMPA — Apryl Rogers grew up a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs.
“When I was a kid, Sundays were stand-on-the-couch-days," Rogers said. "I was allowed to stand on the couch on Sundays and that was it. The only day of the week I could stand on the couch.”
Rogers grew up between Kansas City and Joplin, Missouri. After graduating, she moved to Tampa to launch her nursing career. Over the past 10 years, she has maintained her love of the Chiefs from afar.
In January, the NFL announced it was giving more than 7,000 vaccinated healthcare workers free tickets to Super Bowl LV. The majority of those health care workers would be from the Tampa area, which is hosting the big game.
Rogers received the email she had been dreaming of about a week ago -- She was one of the workers chosen to attend the Super Bowl and watch her hometown Chiefs play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“I screamed," Rogers said. "I actually screamed. I work the night shift, so I woke up in the middle of the day and I screamed, ‘I can’t believe I’m going!’ I called everyone, called my mom, called my dad, called my boyfriend, rubbed it in his face."
She will attend the game with coworkers who also are Chiefs fans. She said she hopes the stadium feels more like Arrowhead than Raymond James during the game Sunday.
“It's going to be electrifying,” she said.
Working overnights in a hospital during a pandemic has made for a long year, so Rogers is thankful for the recognition.
“So grateful to the hospital for putting it together, so grateful for Tampa General Hospital, so grateful to the NFL,” she said. “It's amazing.”