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Student Reports for "Ellen Show" at Super Bowl

By Christine Duellman
UW-RF News Bureau

FEB. 18, 2005--It's a scene that could be straight out of a reality show like MTV's "Road Rules" or Fox's "Simple Life: Interns."

UW-River Falls student Morgan Fisher and her boyfriend, a UW-RF alumnus, headed to Super Bowl XXXIX in a Winnebago with a crew from "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

Last November, Fisher submitted a news report about the lives of Wisconsin Packer fans during a bye week to a Roving Reporter Contest sponsored by the show.

The guidelines of the contest were simple: submit a one-minute report of an interesting story. Fisher's boyfriend, Casey Rentmeester (B.S. '04), who is a weekend disc jockey at WIXX 101.1 FM in Green Bay, filmed and edited the tape.

"We were just having fun," said Fisher. "I never dreamed that I would actually get to report for Ellen from the Super Bowl."
After playing extended phone tag, DeGeneres finally connected with Fisher on Jan. 11. During that phone call, Fisher also was able to say hello to comedian, actor and producer Carl Reiner, who was a guest on the show that day.

Rentmeester also was invited on the 1,961 mile road trip to Jacksonville, Fla. They were accompanied by Houston, DeGeneres's popular sidekick, and a production crew. They stopped in many towns and cities along the way from Darwin, Minn., to Chattanooga, Tenn., reporting on the quirky landmarks and other events going on throughout the country.

At last Fisher and her crew arrived in Jacksonville, Fla., for the Super Bowl. She did a live feed from Altell Stadium and was on the football field during the pre-game and halftime.

"I got to interview Gretchen Wilson, Charlie Daniels, Michael Douglas and Earth, Wind and Fire. It was an opportunity of a lifetime," said Fisher, who at one point was stationed a few feet from former Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton.

Her career as Ellen's "roving" reporter did not end there. The road trip continued to New Orleans, La., where Fisher and the crew did a live feed from Bourbon Street about Mardi Gras. Houston and Fisher wore beads around their neck and reported in the midst of all the festivities. DeGeneres also made her presence known at Mardi Gras with a life-size picture of herself dancing in the background.

Their final stop was in Los Angeles, Calif. Fisher was interviewed on the show and toured the studio.

"I was amazed when I realized that everyone who worked there already knew me. People chuckled to themselves when I introduced myself," said Fisher. "When we stepped into the control room the entire room cheered and clapped."

Because of his background in broadcasting and marketing communications, Rentmeester was a contract employee for the show for a few days, handling routine PR tasks and recording some footage. The show's editing crew also commended Rentmeester for a job well done on the initial video submitted to the contest.

The crew spent most of Jan. 26 shooting a "live remote" at Fisher's River Falls apartment before hitting the road. Fisher's Mardi Gras and Superbowl segments aired in Feb. on KSTP-TV Channel 5 in the Twin Cities.

"For the trip that seemed to never end, I wished it never would," said Fisher, who is from Ettrick, Wis. "But as all good things eventually come to an end, I am forever thankful for the friends I have made and the memories I will always have to cherish."

Fisher is a senior at UW-RF who will graduate in the spring with a major in theater and a minor in animal science.

"The experience changed my outlook on what options I have for my future," said Fisher. "It's an experience that I never expected and one that I'll never forget."

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Last updated: Tuesday, 22-Jun-2010 16:21:19 Central Daylight Time

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