I just got back from attending what could be one of the greatest Super Bowl battles ever played (yeah, I know, but I was at this one, so that’s how my story will be told from now on), with the other bloggers from the Game On Blogger Road Trip to the Big Game. (More pics and videos here.)
And while I’m a lifelong football fan, this is the first Big Game I’ve attended, and I learned a few things – and had a couple more suspicions confirmed – while watching the game at Jerryland.
1. There’s a Ton of Cash Changing Hands
It isn’t just on gambling either. Walking to the entrance from our tailgate, we were offered ever-increasing, ridiculous sums of money for our tickets. Last offer? $3,000 cash for my $900 seat. And if they weren’t doling out duckets for tickets, people were wearing out their credit cards for merchandise. The lines for the NFL Pro Shops were longer than any beer (or bathroom) line.
2. Fans Won’t Be Kept Away
Everyone will tell you the stands are filled with corporate wanks, NFL VIPs, and rich guys who don’t know a Jet’s tailback from their jet’s tail wind. Not entirely true. Whether they actually get into the game or not, the true fans were at the stadium in force.
3. $1.2 Billion For a Stadium And 3 Years Planning Apparently Aren’t Enough
By now you’ve heard about the problems with seats not in place in time for the game, and hundreds of misplaced ticket holders, and that little incident with ice from the roof nearly killing a fan. But you may not have heard about the logistical nightmare of getting in and out of the stadium. Some people told us it took them over 2 1/2 hours just to get through the gates. And when the game was over it was like trying to get the last flight out of Saigon. Only with overcrowded escalators.
4. But a Gigantic Jumbotron Makes Up For a Lot
Once we got to our seats and feasted our eyes on that insanely huge screen hovering over the field, all was forgiven. Imagine watching a game on your big screen with 100,000 of your closest friends. And miniature players acting out the action below you. Pure. Football. Nirvana.
5. The Halftime Show is Better in Person
Texts came rolling in after the halftime show saying how awful it was. But in the stands we loved it. Maybe it was the jump cuts we heard the TV director was throwing at you, or maybe we loved it because they gave us glow sticks to wave.
6. You Don’t Miss the Commercials
I actually had one buddy say to me, when he heard I was going to the game, “But you’ll miss the premier of all the commercials.” Miss ‘em? Not even a little. (But we did get a private screening after the game of the Chrysler 200 spot with Eminem, below, back at the Chrysler Tailgate House.)
7. You Don’t Miss the Play by Play Either
Sorry Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, but the commentary from the fans in the stands was a helluva lot more interesting than anything I’ve heard on TV.
8. Expensive? Sure. But a Bucket List Must Event
Will heading to a Super Bowl set you back a few grand? Absolutely. But if you’ve got a Bucket List, this is one event that has to be on it. It lives up to the hype. Besides, what else do you have on there? Sit in the back of a fighter jet? Visit Hawaii? Child please.