3pm CST - Make our way to Reliant Stadium and enter to find our seats. The stadium is very cool looking, bigger than Gillette with even more stands and wide concourses but the seats themselves have much more room at Gillette. Out seats were in the corner just above the entrance that the patriots used and as luck would have it - the end zone that had all of the patriots scoring. Bob Villa was sitting in row behind us and the ghost of Jerry Garcia in front of us.
Had other friends at the game - but despite many cell calls we just couldn't hook up. It was just too loud and chaotic to attempt anything.
4:30pm CST - Pre-Game Entertainment starts with Toby Keith and Willie Nelson, then Walter Suhr and Mango Punch (discovered after watching the game at home that only those of us in the stadium saw these guys - they were just commercial filler) and finally Boston's own Aerosmith. Another great omen for the Pats since the win two years ago featured the Boston Pops in the pre-game show.
Then Beyonce did the anthem and we all had to do our card trick for the television audience.
5:25pm CST - KICKOFF of Super Bowl XXXVIII
Our defense started so strong and patriots fans were so loud I thought the blow out predictions might just be true. Then we couldn't score either and I thought what I predicted and hoped for - a long competitive low scoring battle was on tap. Then in the final minutes of the half all hell breaks lose and everyone is scoring.
Halftime entertainment consisted of so many lame people to me (except for Kid Rock) that I roamed the stadium and tried to hook up with friends. That failed but I did bump into the infamous"Mr. Freeze". If you've ever watched a Patriots home game on TV you've seen him. His head is airbrushed silver and has the patriots logo on each side. He sits in the front row at Gillette and the cameras love him. So I missed the notorious "wardrobe malfunction" live but did get back to my seat and immediately noticed a naked guy dancing a jig at midfield. Since nobody was going after him I first thought it was some sort of elaborate ad. Finally after so many players kept pointing at him saying somebody get this clown out of their. Cops finally ran out, the streaker ran away and wasn't getting caught at all until Patriots special teamer #58 Matt Chatham laid him out. It was funny cuz after Matt hit him Matt tried to disappear and act like he hadn't done anything.
The second half started of with the defensive battle again - then in final minutes of the game everything went totally nuts and it became a shootout. This was a tremendous roller coaster and at times I found myself mentally preparing to deal with a loss -- but that is just due to too many years of being a Red Sox fan. I should have finally accepted it - the Patriots do NOT lose! I think Adam missed field goals all year intentionally just to raise the drama - this game certainly had plenty of that. With 4 seconds left in the game - the winning field goal is GOOD!
10pm CST - we are back on our bus and waiting to go to the team's hotel - the InterContinental in downtown Houston - for the official Victory Party. The party was supposed to be from 10pm - 2am for us, but traffic was so crazy we didn't get there until well after 11pm.