Several years ago, I stopped writing about the Ravens (and the Orioles and Spurs) in this blog, for fear of jinxing them. People that know me however, know that I follow all 3 teams religiously, particularly the Ravens. Prior to this year, I had seen the Orioles win the World Series in 1983, and the Spurs win the NBA Finals in 2003, in person. There's something very fun about being there when the confetti drops. Obviously, seeing the Ravens win a Super Bowl was on my Bucket List.
This year, the Ravens made it to the Super Bowl. Normally, I would have watched this game at Upper Decks in Austin, with the rest of Nest 512, my weekly ritual during Football season. However, when my lifelong friend called and said he wanted to go to the game, and asked if I was interested, I immediately said yes.
After watching tickets services for days, and exploring every option for airfare, and hotels, we settled on a plan. My friend would fly into Houston, I would pick him up in a rental car, and we would drive to Baton Rouge, which is about an hour outside of New Orleans. After waiting a week, the ticket prices started to come back down, we got ours on the Tuesday before game day. Game on!
Getting up early, I left Austin and drove to Houston, where I picked up my buddy at Bush airport around 11AM. It was a great 4.5 hour trip to Baton Rouge. Fortunately, the weather was fantastic.
After checking in to our hotel, we drove into New Orleans, went to the French Quarter, had some excellent Cajun food, and then walked Bourbon Street. There was a surprisingly large contingent of fans for both teams.
Super Bowl Sunday
We got up fairly early Sunday, had breakfast at our hotel and then headed into New Orleans, where we had prepaid for parking all day. On the way in, we stopped at the Marriott near the Convention Center, to pick up our tickets from PrimeSport. I must say, PrimeSport has quite the operation. There was a continual stream of people coming in and picking up tickets.
Tickets in hand, we parked our car. Surprisingly, some people from Baltimore had the space next to us, and were tailgating in the parking garage. This made sense, since there really isn't much space for this at the Super Dome, making me wonder what they do during the regular season.
After a couple of hours, I was able to text some other friends from Nest 512 in Austin, and set up a rendezvous at Cafe du Monde. The Cafe is one of my favorite places in New Orleans. Of course, we had some delicious Beignets, and coffee.
Leaving the Cafe, we then headed over to water front where Nestor Aparicio and WNST were have pre-game party for the Ravens, in Woldenberg Park.
After a 90 minutes or so, all of the Ravens fans present got in a line and walked from the Park to the Super Dome. It was an impressive sight. The line easily extended for more than 9 blocks or so. The entire street was filled with purple jerseys.
The Super Dome and the Big Game
There's no need to recap the game. I must say, the security checkpoints getting into the Super Dome left a little to be desired.
I did manage to get a few shots of myself with the field behind me. Here's one.
Although the game almost looked like a blowout until the power outage, it ended up being quite close. None the less, the Ravens prevailed and won 34 - 31. We spent about a hour or so afterwards down at field level, looking at the aftermath.
Without a doubt, this was an unforgettable weekend.
I found this really cool panoramic picture of the Superdome, two minutes into the first quarter at this site. I have tagged myself in the picture.