20

February

Dallas Texas Super Bowl Baby – Part Two – This Packers Fan’s Game Day Excellent Adventure

Part 1 of this two-part article can be found here.

Dallas Texas Super Bowl Baby! The day was finally here. The cellphone alarm woke my cousin Pete and I up around 8:30AM. We each took a quick shower, changed into our game day attire, and headed downstairs for the free breakfast at the hotel.

Once again, there were plenty of Steeler Jerseys to be seen, with just a spattering of Green and gold mixed in.  We joined a couple of fellow Packer fans about our age, introduced ourselves and talked Packers while we ate breakfast.  These two fans were originally from Wisconsin, but had both re-located after getting married (to Alabama and North Carolina, I believe).

They talked about some of their early memories in Green Bay and were eager to hear our stories about how we became and stayed Packers fans while living in New Jersey. We had planned to get out earlier and make it over to the NFL Experience, but ended up talking with these guys for almost an hour.

One of the guys was convinced my cousin would make the perfect Vince Lombardi, in a fedora and topcoat and kept coming back to that during the conversation. They randomly threw a little Packers history trivia at us, probably figuring what do a couple of guys from Jersey know, but of course, we handled it all without a problem.

Finally, it was time to hit the road and start our game day adventure. We took off for the “NFL Experience” at the Dallas Convention Center and found we had to park almost a half mile away. The tiny lots next to the Convention Center were already full. We walked along to the Convention Center with a couple of Cowboys fans and their uber-cute girlfriends. As I do with any Cowboys fan I meet, I made them say “thank you” to the Packers for getting Wade Phillips fired. Saying thank you is the least they can do, right?

Approaching the Convention Center, we were dwarfed by a giant XLV as we proceeded into the building.  There was a $25 fee, and to be honest, I had no idea why I was paying or what I was paying for, but it didn’t much matter. This was Super Bowl Sunday, damn it – I expected to be fleeced.

15

February

Dallas Texas Super Bowl Baby – Part One – This Packers Fan’s Excellent Adventure

As Jermichael Finley now famously said at the Packers’ 2010 family night scrimmage, “I’ve got ONE word: Dallas Texas Super Bowl, Baby.” OK say, so it’s five words. But who cares?

What an excellent adventure it was. As I sit down to write this, I realize that at this time last week, I was on Texas I-30, driving to Cowboys Stadium. A battle between two teams with the most respected organizations in sports awaited, and the game did not disappoint. Especially if you were a Packers Fan.

Since returning to reality back home in NJ, work has kept me inundated and unable to properly enjoy or reflect on that weekend (really, I could have used a week off after the game – I’ll have to remember that if there’s a next time).

So as I sit here on this football-less Sunday, I’m going to look back and properly reflect on my experience. And as Elton John said, “I hope you don’t mind if, I put down in words….  how wonderful life is when the Packers are Champs.” Sorry Elton…

3:00AM Saturday, Feb 5th. RING! RING! RING!  The alarm goes off. “You have got to be kidding me”, I think to myself. But there was no hesitation. I jumped out of bed and into the shower.  I was on the road by 3:45 to catch a 6:20 flight out of JFK airport in NY.

Just getting into Dallas had been a huge concern all week. I closely watched weather.com and accuweather.com to check on Dallas weather and NY weather. I followed the series of storms hitting Dallas, and the multiple airport closures. I had just paid more than 3 times face value for a Super Bowl ticket, what if I can’t get there? Not to mention there was a storm predicted for Saturday morning in NY. What if I’m delayed there and miss my connecting flight? Ahhhhhhhhhh!

Fortunately, I’m really not the worrying type, so I put all of this out of my head and convinced myself all would be OK.

As I hit the road, I leave to light flurries. The latest weather report predicted a 7:00 start to the snow in the airport area. So basically, I am racing the snow east to the airport, and if all goes well, I’ll be in the air by the time the first snow hits in NY.