NFL Super Bowl XLVIII is history. Super Bowl 48 – the Seattle Seahawks vs. the Denver Broncos (or should I say, Peyton Manning?) Or, as some say, a diversion from the Bruno Mars Half Time Show.
But that’s not today’s story. This is a personal story about a man, a dog, a wife, a daughter, and a Bucket List. The adventure began when Seattle Seahawks won the playoffs. The Handsome Bloke and I were in Honolulu at the time, enjoying a glass of wine.
The Handsome Bloke looked at me seductively. “Would you like to go to Seattle for a few days?”
“Why? It’s winter. Everyone in Seattle wants to be here.”
Handsome Bloke changed tactics. “Did you know the Seahawks won the playoffs?”
This was like asking if I knew the sun appears to rise in the East. Handsome Bloke has followed the Seattle Seahawks since before we were married. The first time the team made it to the Super Bowl (and lost), we had a Super Bowl party.
“I may have heard something about it. Wait, do you want to go to the Super Bowl?”
“The team organization put together this really cool package, and I thought you might want to stay in Seattle, and I could go to the game.”
Well, there’s not much I could say to that. “You do know the game is in New Jersey?”
“Yes – it’s at MetLife Field.”
“You realize it’s an outside stadium, and it’s really, really cold in New Jersey?”
“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
“Ah,” I thought, “a Bucket List item.” Out loud I said, “I’ll stay home where it’s warm. Why don’t you take our Seattle daughter with you?”
Did I mention she attends every – and I mean every – home game at Qwest Field?
“Can you get time off work?” we asked.
“Definitely. No problems.”
And so the Handsome Bloke flew to Seattle, connected with our daughter, and off they went for an amazing Super Bowl weekend.
Game day began with a “Tail Gate” party held on the top floor of a hotel in New York City. The party started at 10:30 and went until 2:30. Open bar. According to Handsome Bloke, a number of the group members took full advantage. At 2:30 the group was off to MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. The game didn’t start until 6:30. Don’t know where the other folks went, but my guy took a nap. He’s sensible that way.
Game on. Twelve seconds in, Seattle scored, and pretty much controlled the game after that. By the time I turned on the television after half time, the score was 22-0. It looked like Seattle would win. I only say that because in the past the Seahawks have been able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. But not this time.
Then there was the Half Time Show – which Seattle Daughter said was amazing. Bruno Mars, Fireworks. Well, you probably saw it.
The game ended in disappointment for Bronco fans. But Seattle folks were flying high. A few in the Handsome Bloke’s group flew so high, they apparently forgot where the bus was. The group did not leave any stragglers. Their bus was the last to leave the MetLife parking lot at 11:30. This event was made worse, because next day pick up for Newark Airport was 6:30 a.m. for an 8:00 flight.
But wait, there’s more. While everyone slept, a snowstorm dropped enough snow to delay the flight by about four hours. Then, a couple group members were not present for boarding, and the flight couldn’t leave without them. So, passengers remained on board . . .waiting. And then when the people arrived, there was an altercation between them, the gate agent, and the flight crew. Finally everyone fastened their seatbelts and the plane took off, not nonstop to Seattle as originally scheduled, but to Chicago because they had to refuel. [This was probably a good idea. Flying on an empty tank is no fun.]
Among the passengers was a person who used an oxygen tank. The delays meant that by the time the plane got to Chicago, this passenger was almost out of oxygen. There were oxygen tanks on the plane, but no one knew how to use them. So, at Chicago the paramedics came and took the traveler to the hospital. Another passenger needed to use an aisle wheelchair to get to the lavatories. The crew contacted the ground personnel to bring a wheelchair. It took an hour to arrive at the gate.
The Handsome Bloke was holding up OK. But, he had a unique problem. He’s a blind person traveling with a certified seeing-eye guide dog, (a beautiful black Labrador). The dog hadn’t been outside since he left the hotel. Could someone toilet the dog? Eventually, the captain took the dog off the plane. I’m told the dog was considerably more relaxed when he returned.
The flight from Chicago to Seattle was otherwise uneventful. Only 19 hours after leaving the hotel, the Handsome Bloke picked up his luggage at SeaTac Airport.
“So,” I asked this morning. “Was it worth it?”
“Absolutely. I’d never do it again, but it was totally worth it. Best of all, we won.”
I hear Phoenix, site of the NFL Super Bowl XLIX, has pretty good weather in January.
Game Photos by Cassandra Cabaong. All Rights Reserved.
Photo of Guide Dog Legend by Author. All Rights Reserved.
Sandra Wagner-Wright holds the doctoral degree in history and taught women’s and global history at the University of Hawai`i. Sandra travels for her research, most recently to Salem, Massachusetts, the setting of her new Salem Stories series. She also enjoys traveling for new experiences. Recent trips include Antarctica and a river cruise on the Rhine from Amsterdam to Basel.
Sandra particularly likes writing about strong women who make a difference. She lives in Hilo, Hawai`i with her family and writes a blog relating to history, travel, and the idiosyncrasies of life.