This is my story of the Super Bowl…it will be a long one folks

Saturday was one of the longest days of my life. I could not stop pacing around the house due to the anticipation of the trip. I was supposed to meet Brian at 4 pm at O’Hare since our flight was at 6 pm. I left my house at 1 pm to start towards the airport and I made a couple of stops and phone calls and arrived at O’Hare at 3 pm. I got us checked in and printed out or boarding passes and then waited on Brian to get there. He arrived a little after 4 pm and we got through security with no problem and then the wait began for the flight to Detroit. I had Brian take a picture of me wearing the Super Bowl ticket before we left O’Hare. Here it is:

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The flight to Detroit was quite entertaining. I had a Muslim woman sitting next to me and she did not want anyone on the flight talking. She tapped me on the shoulder a couple of times and gave me the sign language for being quiet until I gave her a “I’m about to take that towel off your fucking head and shove it directly up your terrorist looking ass if you touch me one more time” look. She then focused her efforts on the people behind us the rest of the trip. Thankfully she wasn’t on the connecting flight in Detroit down to Ft. Lauderdale.

The car rental place at the Ft. Lauderdale airport was crazy. They had a guy that spoke worse English than Sammy Sosa as the only person working the counter and Brian and I could not understand a single word he said the whole time. I may be an organ donor in the Dominican Republic or signed up for some kind of credit card with the paperwork I signed. We ended up being stuck with an old grandmother car since just about everything else was already taken. We get to the hotel at about 1:30 am and check in and decide against getting food because we needed our rest for the big day.

Sunday morning rolled around and it was the big day. It was giving a slight drizzle of rain and we weren’t too concerned because it was calling for just scattered showers. Chris gives me a call and sees if we made it safely and where we were. He told me that he saw Hulk Hogan and Big Show the night before on South Beach and practically rubbed shoulders with them as they passed by while being followed by a mob of people wanting autographs. He then saw The Warlord a few minutes later. We made some plans to make sure we met up at the game at some point. Brian and I left to get to the NFL Experience before the gates opened for the game. We couldn’t find the cash parking lots for anything after getting to the stadium. They had the big flashing lights signs saying straight ahead for cash parking but then it was just a little blue sign that said “Lot 19 <-” that ended up being the cash lot and we drove past it a few times. Brian had a job fair for teachers that he had went to on Saturday morning and he only had dress shoes with him for the trip. We saw a Wal-Mart by the stadium so we went there so he could get a pair of tennis shoes. It was when we got to the Wal-Mart that we saw the field across the way that everyone was parking in that was Lot 19 and the cash lot. Brian got his picture taken with a couple of the Jacksonville Jaguars cheerleaders that had a booth set up inside the Wal-Mart. Sox picked up a couple of ponchos and I told him that I wouldn’t wear one so he just got the one for him. We left and got into the cash parking lot finally and started heading towards the game. Brian forgot something in the car and we went back. Then I forgot my camera in the car so we went back again. Finally to the stadium. Brian decided to leave his poncho in the car since I wasn’t going to wear one.

We have a long line to get into the NFL Experience which was right outside the stadium. As we walking to get up to the line to get in, this crazy man was waving signs and yelling about Castro being dead and now is the time to free Cuba. Someone asked him when Castro died and the guy said “last night.” Since Brian and I hadn’t seen any television or anything, I believed that maybe he did die last night since he’s been in bad shape for a long time now. Then a few seconds later someone else asked and the guy responded “six months ago.” I said “two seconds ago he died last night…what happened?” The guy responded with “last night, six months ago, a year ago…he’s dead.” I then decided to take his picture because he was entertaining. Here he is:

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We finally get through the maze to get into the NFL Experience and we go up to the set for the CBS pregame show. Brian and I end up getting onto CBS twice (we could see the monitors and we were right in front and made a couple of the crowd shots). I got a picture of Marion, Sharpe and Esiason together on the stage but the one cameraman would never get out of my way. Here is a picture of the three of them on the set.

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After listening to them talk about the rain (it was still going in a light drizzle at this time) and how the ball wouldn’t get wet during the game but the jerseys would be wet, we decided it was time to enter the stadium and get ready for the huge game.

On the way to the seats, we passed a souvenir stand that was selling autograph collectibles. Everyone knows what an autograph whore I am so I had to stop and look. They had Super Bowl XLI full size and mini helmets signed by Bears players. Full sized signed by the entire team was $3K. I didn’t want to do that especially since I didn’t have anywhere to put it. I did get a mini helmet signed by Rex Grossman, Brian Urlacher, Lovie Smith, Cedric Benson and Thomas Jones though. I haven’t gotten any of those signatures on anything yet except for Urlacher. Here is a picture of my new SB helmet.

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I tell the people I don’t need a bag for it since I already had a free nylon backpack that was some Super Bowl swag they were giving out at the NFL Experience. We then go to our seats. Brian has a picture on his camera of the two of us standing down by the endzone that someone took for us after we took the same kind of picture for them. Here is a picture of what our view looked like without zooming in or anything.

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We didn’t like being in the Colts end zone so we walked around the stadium and got a picture of the Bears end zone.

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Then I get a call from Chris and they have made it into the stadium so I go and meet up with him for a few minutes. I had his aunt take a picture of us at the Super Bowl together. I have no pictures of Chris and me. Best friends for 25 years and we have no pictures. The only other ones in existence would be from his wedding and I don’t have any of those. Here is a monumental first:

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I go back to the seats and it is still drizzling a little bit but nothing bad. The teams come out and do some warming up:

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Then some die hard Bears fans walk in front of us to get to their seats:

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Before we knew it, it was time for the pregame festivities…Cirque De Soleil or however it is spelled. Here are some pictures from an entertaining show:

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It was then time for the Bears to take the field:

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I told Brian how great it would be if Hester ran back the opening kickoff and what a good omen it would be for the game. When it happened, we were all jumping up and down and going crazy and I almost squashed this poor woman sitting next to me. We didn’t mind that it was started pouring and we were drenched from the non stop drizzle for the previous six hours of being in it. As the game went on and the rain kept coming, I regretted not getting that poncho or asking for another bag to put the expensive helmet into to help protect it. I was soaked to the bone and freezing by halftime and worried about the helmet. I made it through the halftime show which was Prince. I didn’t even look at the field. I am not a Prince fan…never have been…never will be. A little too flamboyant and Michael Jacksonesque for my taste. Make that way too much but either way, I just bent over the bag holding the helmet and protected it with my life during the halftime show. I said “fuck it” and went up under the tunnel for the rest of the game because I was too damn cold and wet to stay in the seats. I had reached my breaking point. The Cedric Benson fumble, the kickoff fumble, the Grossman fumble…I had seen enough to know that it wasn’t going to miraculously get any better. I might as well be warmer and drier while watching a super bowl loss. The sad thing is, I didn’t get any drier. Brian came up with about 6 minutes left and we decided to start the walk to the car. My clothes will still soaked when I got home Monday night at 1:30 am. That is 26 hours after I got back to the hotel and took them off and hung them up to dry. That was a lot of fucking rain.

We got back to the hotel and changed and then went to grab some food at Denny’s. It was just as bad as the Oklahoma Denny’s story. It took us 20 minutes to get our order in. Blah. We didn’t have any time to do anything else on the trip. We got up Monday morning and checked out of the hotel and went to eat at IHOP. We then went to a flea market and got a movie to watch on the laptop to help kill time on the flight. The flea market had valet parking!!!!!

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Sox got his girlfriend a Valentine’s Day present at the flea market as well. Don’t laugh, it was a very nice gift. I got some post cards and then inside the flea market was the world’s worst post office. I didn’t know the zip code for DeKalb off the top of my head so I asked the guy if he could look it up for me. He had to use google to find the Post office website. This place wasn’t a regular post office, it was just a shipping store that happened to use post office for its stuff but still the guy should be able to know www.usps.com. It isn’t hard. We also shopped at a Target because I only had shorts to wear back to Chicago since my jeans were still soaked to the core. I am a size smaller in my jeans now with the 15 pounds I’ve lost. YAY ME.

We leave the flea market and start heading towards the airport. Brian freaks out because he can’t find his cell phone and says it is back at the IHOP. I turn around and we head back to the HOP for his phone. 20 minutes later we arrive and he gets out of the car and goes up to the door. I look over and the phone is in the seat. He had been sitting on it the whole time! (Yeah I told the fucking story Sox and I’m about to tell the other one too!)

So we finally get to the airport and charge up my battery on the laptop so we could watch the movie. I then discover that my cell phone is not working due to the 11 hours of rain that it had to endure at the game. Blah.

We get on the plane and the guy sitting next to us wants to keep asking us questions about the game (he was from Detroit and went to go to a Super Bowl) and we were in no mood to talk about the game. We finally get off the ground and I go to get the laptop ready to watch Blazing Saddles and Sox can’t find the bag. He starts to freak out again more about the expensive gift for his girlfriend (that everyone [Yan, Ray and me is everyone btw] has unanimously agreed is way too hot for him! lol. Yeah I went there too). So we just endure sleeping and talking to pass the 2 1/2 hour flight to Detroit. 20 minutes from landing, the guy next to us reaches down to get his stuff and pulls up a bag and says “is that yours?” Sox lets out a huge sign of relief as the “missing” bag that had caused such panic and anger was sitting next to his leg the entire damn time.

The flight from Detroit to Chicago was delayed an hour for deicing the wings. We get in and I take off to the car and go home. That is the end of the trip that can only be summed up as wet, sad and grumpy but yet a great experience that I’m glad I had. Hopefully I can do it all over again next year in Arizona and get a win this time.

The weather in Morris right now:

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and we are supposed to get about 4 inches of it today by the time it is done. I think I’d rather be back in the rain and the 70 degrees in Florida.

Good Day.


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