So, I went to my first Super Bowl yesterday. Here's the super quick highlights:
1. It's not easy picking whom to take
I was able to get two tickets to the game, which left me choosing between my 15-year-old son, my dad, my brother and several close friends. After thinking about it, I decided to go with the person who needed it most. My childhood friend who is going through a divorce and his sister was on her deathbed (she passed on Friday). Seeing a smile on his face made it all worthwhile.
2. Apparently I don't look like a terrorist
My buddy and I parked on opposite sides of the stadium, and the only way to him is through the employee area. Not possible without a badge I'm told, but the alternative is walking four miles around the blockaded area. So, I approach the employee entrance, show them my tickets and explain my dilemma, "my buddy's on the other side, just need to give him his ticket, blah, blah, blah." Five different sets of badge checkers and 12 different law enforcement agencies later I get escorted to the man in charge. He laughs at my predicament but allows me to continue with a friendly parting comment, "hope those snipers don't shoot you." A hundred yards later I'm stopped by Tina, a security person. But by now I can literally see my buddy 100 yards away, and the cop she called over tells me I can go if Tina walks me the rest of the way. Fine. Made it, all good.
3. Stoners beware
Tina proceeds to tell me about her day. As you'd expect, there were thousands of security personnel, and like us game-goers, these workers were put through rigorous security protocols. During the screening, a pair of drug detection dogs start going crazy and run up to two guys hired to work the event. They get searched but have no contraband on them. However, the police are adamant that their dogs picked up something. Finally, these guys admit to getting stoned before coming to work. Apparently, the dogs had picked up the scent. Not sure what the "moral" of the story is, but I can certainly give out some free advice. If you're a stoner and you happen to be working security at one of the world's biggest events, probably not a good idea to show up stoned.
4. The game
Big. A once-in-a-lifetime experience. The NFL holds the grandest stage in sports, and they deliver, especially when it's not a blowout. Congrats to Denver's D who put on a performance for the ages. Condolences to all the Panthers fans I was on the train with, as the Broncos fans apparently stuck around for the Peyton Coronation. Once again, Peyton shows us all how to act with class and integrity, giving us a living example of what it means to be a leader. And Cam shows us that while he's an uber competitor, he still has some growing up to do.
To all the police, armed forces and other security personnel. Thanks for keeping us safe. To the Blue Angels who did the fly by, you guys (and gal) are studs. Total Blue Angel envy. To my son, Mason -- Sorry, buddy, I promise to take you to a Super Bowl in the future.