Super Bowl 50

I awoke and started watched the CBS Sunday Morning show. My parents phoned me. My old friend John stopped by early to pick me up and take us over to Bette’s Oceanview Diner for breakfast. I had the Maryland Breakfast with poached eggs, corned beef hash, and toast. We walked around the neighborhood before stopping at the Amtrak station. The morning got warmer as the time for the train to arrive got closer. We saw some interesting sights as the train went from Jack London Square to the Oakland Coliseum to Hayward to Fremont to Santa Clara. Since we did not have our tickets yet, we were sent on a path where we had to take three left turns and walk counterclockwise three-quarters of the way around this closed off area to get to the stadium entrance. The sun was out and we spent a good amount of time walking. I wasn’t surprised to see the Banjo Man hanging around outside the stadium. The passes that we were given were enough to get us through a security area, and a woman with a portable device scanned my credit card and printed our tickets that said NOT A TICKET but had our seat locations printed on them. I guess we were relieved that all went right, and that we were actually in the stadium. We got programs that came with a tote bag, and I bought a cap with the team logos and a Super Bowl 50 logo. We had a couple of hours to go. We took photos and found our seats. They were high up. It seemed that every few feet there was someone who said to us, “Welcome to Super Bowl 50.” The stadium filled up gradually. As game time got close, we made a run for hot dogs and water. The hot dogs cost eight dollars and the bottled water was seven. We took our seats again. The wind made it so that wearing a jacket was comfortable. We saw the previous winners of the Super Bowl Most Valuable Awards, including Joe Namath, Roger Staubach, Terry Bradshaw, and Fred Biletnikoff. Tom Brady received some boos from the Broncos fans in the stadium. Lady Gaga sang the national anthem rather slowly to my ears, and then the Blue Angels did a flyover. Joe Montana flipped the coin that determined the opening kickoff. The Broncos opened the scoring with a 34-yard field goal at 10:43 in the quarter. The Cam Newton fumble with 6:27 left in the first quarter that went for a Broncos touchdown put the Panthers in trouble, as it looked like they weren’t handling the Denver defense. All afternoon it felt like this game was a Broncos home game, as there were so many more of their fans in the stands compared to the Panthers fans. They showed some of the Super Bowl commercials up on the scoreboard screen, but I didn’t feel that we came to the game to watch commercials. The Panthers did get back into the game in the second quarter at 11:25 with a touchdown to make the score 10-7. However, they would give up the longest punt return in Super Bowl history, which was 61 yards, and the Broncos would go ahead by 13-7 with a 33-yard field goal at 6:58. The Panthers ran out of time in their attempt to score before the end of the half. For the two card stunts during the halftime show, I had a blue card for the first to stunt that I was supposed to flip over for the yellow card for the second stunt. It was impressive how the crew quickly put the stage out onto the field. Some people ran out onto the field to fill the four areas around the stage. The music was impossible to hear, and I didn’t see what the attraction of Beyoncé or Bruno Mars was. My friend who sent me a text message differed in his opinion in the spectacle, but I thought it was because it was really set up for the television audience. When the in-game hosts asked us what we thought of Coldplay, they got a lukewarm response. When they asked about Bruno Mars, it was another lukewarm response. When they asked about Beyoncé, it was another lukewarm response. In the third quarter, the Panthers looked like they might be getting back into the game with a drive, but they missed a field goal. With 8:18 left, the Broncos made it 16-7 with their own field goal. With one quarter left, it was looking like the Panthers didn’t have the ability to come back with even one more touchdown. Perhaps desperate and so making a last push, the Panthers pulled to within 16-10 with a 39-yard field goal with 10:21 left. They had their chance for a last drive to win the game, but that Denver defense came through, forcing Newton to fumble again. That play virtually sealed the Panthers’ fate, because even a 9-point lead would have been too much to overcome with only four minutes to play considering the way things were going. As it was, the Broncos scored another touchdown, a two-yard run with 3:08 left on the clock. The fans around me were ecstatic. I couldn’t understand why one fan in a Seattle Seahawks jersey was rooting so loudly for the Broncos, and standing up during the entire game. Peyton Manning threw a pass for two points after the touchdown. The Panthers had tried running plays on first down that didn’t work all during the game, but they finally had to depart from that plan with the situation so dire. The Panthers had to punt, and so everyone was just waiting for the last seconds of the game clock to expire. We saw a ton of gold confetti fall down on the field, and the Denver fans celebrated. I have to give them credit for playing better than I thought they would, although their offense came up with only 194 yards. The Panthers suffered four turnovers, dropped at least two big passes, and missed a field goal try. I would have felt terrible if I’d taken the trip all the way from Charlotte to see the Panthers lose. The fan with the Seahawks jersey asked John to take a photo of him and his friend because his phone wasn’t working. We didn’t stick around for the trophy presentation. I had to use the restroom rather badly at this point. A lot of workers and volunteers were around to say goodbye to us as we took the walk back to our trains to get home. It seemed that there were people every few feet in the entire city of Santa Clara either greeting us or saying goodbye to us. I had an uneasy moment of coughing up my drinking water while we were waiting for our train. We saw the buses taking the Broncos away from the stadium, and the fans around us cheered. I thought that it would be very difficult to make a trip to Houston for next year’s Super Bowl. Our train was about twenty minutes late in arriving, and fans crammed to the cars in front of them, but I led us to the front car beyond the café car, which was nearly empty. One of the principles of train riding is that the middle cars fill up, so you should try to board a car that either end when the train is crowded. We had a pleasant ride, although in the darkness we couldn’t see the scenery. We talked about Super Bowl history and the celebrities that we saw. I think the only one I recognized was Vince Vaughn, who mouthed the words “Go Broncos.” We got to our stop at 10:35, and John drove me to my door at 10:50. We parted ways because he had to go back to work on a Monday. It had been fifteen years since I’d last seen him, so it was a rather sad moment. I was tired, but I ate some raspberries and yogurt and drank some water. I watched the news with some video showing Cam Newton as a poor loser. He asked the media what they wanted him to say. HE is the one who should have had something to say. I slept well and was glad that I’d taken the day off from work. Some of the people who died on February 8 include Connie Mack (1956), John von Neumann (1957), Del Shannon (1990), and Anna Nicole Smith (2007). Today is a birthday for Vince Neil (55), Mary Steenburgen (63), Nick Nolte (75), and John Williams (84). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for February 8, “Planet of the Apes” had its New York premiere in 1968. In 1969, “TCB,” a collaboration by the Supremes and the Temptations, reached Number One on the album chart. In 1974, “Good Times” debuted on CBS. James Dean would have turned 85 today.

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