As the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers prepare to square off this weekend for Super Bowl LIV in Miami, I find myself thinking back to Feb. 4, 2007, when I was privileged to attend Super Bowl XLI where the Colts beat the Chicago Bears, 29-17, also in Miami.
The following narrative describing my Colts/Bears Super Bowl experience is a refresh of a column written just before Indy hosted Super Bowl XLVI on Feb. 5, 2012, when the Giants beat the Patriots 21-17, but the content is timeless.
I didn’t think I would get to go to the game, but it was meant to be. My oldest son, Chad, was living and working in Fort Lauderdale at the time and the game was to be played at Joe Robbie Stadium (now Hard Rock Stadium) in Miami. So, we had to go. The game was practically in his back yard.
We looked for reasonably priced tickets but weren’t able to find any—that is, until a fateful call came Tuesday morning of game week. Chad got a call from a friend in Chicago who came across two tickets that originated from the Minnesota Vikings organization. Because of the source of the tickets, if they were resold, the selling price had to be at face value; they could not be sold for a profit. I believe the cost was $650 each, and they came with two tickets to the Taste of the NFL event the night before the game. It was an unbelievable bargain at the last minute.
We snagged those tickets in a nanosecond. I booked the last remaining seat on an Air Tran flight to Fort Myers on the opposite coast on Friday, rented a car and drove across Alligator Alley to my son’s studio apartment. I remember sleeping on a small couch in very cramped quarters with his lovable Australian Shepherd, Foster, who thinks he’s the world’s largest lap dog. It was cozy.
The bonding time with my son was great. The rock band Styx played at the Taste of the NFL and that event was great. Automatic Slims, the ear-deafening and raucous three-level bar we went to in Lauderdale, was great, although I felt too old to be there. And, of course, the game was great once we recovered from the Bears’ Devin Hester taking the opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown. Even sitting in a section of the stadium where we were totally surrounded by loud and obnoxious Bears fans was great.
The only thing that wasn’t great was the weather. It had never happened in Super Bowl history, but it started raining hard at game time and it didn’t stop until well after the game was over. The wind gusts were so strong it rained sideways into your face. I’ve never been so wet and cold in my life. I was so cold by halftime, I went down in the concession area, which was covered, and watched the halftime show performed by Prince on the TV monitors and stayed there for the entire third quarter.
But the Colts won the game and we eventually dried out and warmed up. Despite the weather, it was such an awesome experience. I have a framed picture of my son and me, soaking wet and holding up our fingers to indicate that we are No. 1. The inscription on the frame says … “Who wouldn’t want to be us?” Wonderful memories.
I wish the Chiefs and 49ers good weather this weekend and may the best team win. And I wish for another Colts Super Bowl appearance and another Super Bowl hosted here in Indy. Let’s get ’er done!•
Morris is publisher of IBJ. His column appears every other week. To comment on this column, send email to [email protected]