The Denver Broncos are going to the Super Bowl and I was there to see it. I've been to about 6 games over the course of the last decade. This one was easily the best. To get to the AFC Championship is quite an accomplishment. It's rare enough as it is but to also be a home game, I just couldn't miss that chance. So I used an online ticket exchange and paid roughly twice the face value. Even for the nosebleed section it was $200 but I tell you it was worth the expense.
Earlier this week I was thinking to buy a new football jersey. My current one is still fine but it's for a retired player that never made a big mark in the league (Jake "The Snake" Plummer). Then I remembered some advise I try to follow when possible. Spend your money on experiences and not stuff. So I abandoned the jersey idea and bought a ticket instead.
As with concerts, it's easier and cheaper when you go solo. Sometimes being single has it's moments. I arrived at my seat with beer, chips, and radio just in time for the Broncos to come out on the field. I took it all in and was overwhelmed with excitement. And really the game wasn't even that exciting. There were no wild fumbles or interceptions. No kickoff returns or game changing penalties. The weather was nice with sun and no wind. Just disciplined, solid, well-played football.
They say that defense wins championships. They also say that you can't win without scoring points. Denver delivered on both sides of the ball. Props to the banged-up "D" for stopping the always potent Patriots offense. Just incredible what they managed against Brady plus the running game that beat us before. Then the Denver offense put together long, time consuming drives to keep the ball and limit the possessions for New England. Maybe more than anything, excellent play calling and strategy from the coaches. It's easy to forget that part of the game.
Some other small recollections:
Amusing perhaps just to me how Peyton Manning has the power to silence 75,000 people just by flapping his arms slightly. This obedience is known as the "Orange Hush"
Conversely, I screamed my lungs out when NE had the ball. I think they heard me. By the end I was a bit hoarse. (See what I did there?)
The half-time show was better than average with acclaimed local band, The Fray. I'm not a major fan but they were pretty good.
Any other day I would take a Sam Adams over Coors. That day I couldn't bring myself to drink Boston beer. I had Coors out of state pride and enjoyed it. (Better beers are available but they cost more and the lines are longer).
The weather was absolutely perfect. I'm glad I brought sunglasses and lip balm though.
While fireworks are a nice gesture, they lack impact when it's not dark out. Really they just make a little noise and a lot of smoke.
Confetti is more fun. It's like colored snow!
John Elway and Peyton Manning together getting that trophy was monumental. As a kid growing up I idolized Elway and I still do. You can draw parallels between the them.
How quickly the fans turn. After all that Tim Tebow hype just a few years ago, I didn't see a single Tebow jersey. His was the best selling jersey too that year. I wonder where they all went? Those poor suckers.
The jersey I have may not be the latest or coolest but at least it's not for that jerk Cutler.
Leaving the stadium, the energy levels continued with fans chanting "Super Bowl". Lots of smart phones out taking videos too. You could almost taste that victory. I was super happy to be there and witness that in person. A memory like that I plan to keep for many years.