"Can you take a picture of us?"

If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me that while I was in New Orleans this past week, I'd quite possibly be a millionaire. As hundreds of thousands of people converged on the Big Easy for the incredible back-to-back combination that is the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras, everyone wanted to document their trip. With good reason, too: the Super Bowl is a spectacle that must be seen to be believed.

From the hectic Media Day to the cavernous NFL Fan Experience to the always-raucous Bourbon Street scene, New Orleans really is a city like no other. I went down for this year's game, plus a few days before, to see just what really goes into the event that every year breaks its own record as the most-watched event in the history of television.