A Pretty Awesome Super Bowl Story

Anyone who knows me is aware of how much I love the Super Bowl. For my money, it's the greatest sporting spectacle each and every year, and I have always dreamed about someday going to see a Super Bowl in-person.

Well, the next best thing to going to a Super Bowl is hearing an awesome story from someone who actually went to one.

I was talking to a guy at work on Monday, and he was telling me about how he went to a few Super Bowls in a row in the early-80's when he was able to get tickets from one of his business-associates.

I asked him if he went to Super Bowl XVI in Detroit at the Pontiac Silverdome in January of 1982, since it was such an easy drive from Pittsburgh, and he did, indeed go to that one.

He said the tickets for that game were only $35 a piece and were located on the 45 yard line! It's hard to imagine that, even in 1982, tickets for the Super Bowl were that cheap.

The guy went to the game with his wife, and they left early that Sunday morning to make the six-hour drive to Pontiac, Michigan. The guy's father wanted him to call when he got there to let him know that they made it safely. When the guy and his wife arrived, they decided to go to this bar near the Silverdome to stay warm, have a few drinks, and call his dad. This was back in the days before cell phones, and he said the lines were 12 people deep waiting to use the pay phones so they could place bets for the game. While he was waiting to call his dad, he was talking to a woman sitting at the bar looking very depressed. She said, "this is the worst day of my life!" The guy asked her what was wrong, and she said that someone reached into her purse when she wasn't paying attention and stole her two Super Bowl tickets. She said she was just going to have a couple of drinks and drive back home.

Being Michigan in the middle of January, naturally, the conditions outside the Silverdome were rather treacherous. The guy told me that it was brutally cold and the ice in some of the parking lots was about 7-inches thick. He said people were slipping and sliding all over the place (if you've ever seen the NFL Films highlights show of Super Bowl XVI, you probably remember people slipping on the ice as they were heading into the Silverdome).

He didn't have much to say about the actual contest between the San Fransisco 49ers and the Cincinnati Bengals but said it was a pretty good game (the 49ers won, 26-21).

When the game was over, for whatever reason, they decided to re-route the pedestrian-traffic on the way out of the Silverdome. This totally messed up the guy's sense of direction, and since he was used to going to see games in 50,000 seat stadiums and not 80,000, he and his wife literally spent hours walking around the parking lots looking for their car.

Finally, they were so cold and frustrated, the guy jumped into the back of a police car and said, "You can arrest me on any charge. I have been walking around for hours looking for my car, and I'm so cold, I don't care if I spend the night in jail." The officer said, "Don't worry, I'm done with my game traffic duties, I'll just drive you around to look for your car." While driving around, they hit some wicked bump and the police car's axle was damaged so badly, it had to be taken to the shop immediately.

Once they found their car, the guy discovered that he had left his lights on the entire time and it wouldn't start. Fortunately, there were many people suffering from the same battery problems, and there was a man in the parking lot charging people $15 a pop to jump their batteries.

On the drive home, the guy was so tired, he told his wife they had to pull-over somewhere near the halfway point because he needed to take a nap. When they tried to get back on the road, they discovered that the transmission went and there was no reverse on the car. They were head-first in whatever spot they were sitting in, so the guy and his wife had to push the car out of the spot and line it up in a certain way because the only thing that worked now was drive.

Well, there it is. That's some story, and I just had to share it. Anyone else go to that same game?

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