Super Bowl Activities & The DeShan’s! (TX) “DAY 214” – 2/3/11

February 5, 2011 - 9:50 am - (TX) “DAY 213” - Week 31 - State 28

I woke up this morning at Todd’s house and the only thing I had on my mind was Super Bowl activities.  Seeing the Stadium, finding a party somewhere, heading to the Fort Worth area (Steelers Headquarters, they say), or the NFL Experience at the Convention center in Dallas.

So, after writing my daily post, I thanked Kelli and Todd for everything, then decided the best route to hit the town.  Here’s the problem, everything is so spread out!  The stadium is in Irving which 25 miles from Fort Worth and Fort Worth is almost 40 miles from Dallas.  Ahhh!

What makes it even worse is that the weather is still terrible out and all the roads are covered in ice.  The Dallas area obviously has no idea how to deal with a storm this massive.  Even though they must be somewhere, I haven’t seen a snow plow or salt truck yet.

My Plan For The Day
OK, when I left Todd’s my plan was to go see the new stadium, then go to Fort Worth for whatever, and lastly head over to Dallas to see the NFL Experience.  The route I would take is about 80 miles of driving to see it all and return to where I was.  Ahhh!

Cowboys Stadium
Still, what else am I doing, so I was off!  The first place I was going to see was where the Super Bowl is being played, Cowboys Stadium.  But... this never happened because my GPS took me to the old Texas Stadium (which is torn down) and after driving around for 10 minutes, I realized I must be in the wrong place.

Plus, what should have taken me 20 minutes to get to, took me well over an hour because of the icy roads.  What a pain in the ass!  So, I decided that I wasn’t gonna drive 30 more miles to Fort Worth and I would only go see the NFL Experience.

The NFL Experience
Since my plans for the day had changed, basically all I was doing now is going to see the NFL experience in Dallas about 15 miles from I was.  That’s fine by me because it’s an indoor event and it is FREEZING outside today! (It feels like an awful NJ winter day!)

So, after parking my car at a metered spot which was free after 4 pm (I got a ticket on my car at 4:01 pm, mother f%$kers!).  F.Y.I. - Ya know, for how awesome our country is, our government employed parking officials are real pieces of shit!  They (Dallas) think that just because I’m from NJ, I won’t fight it... well they are wrong!  Dallas sucks! 🙁

Meeting Up WIth Todd
Once I realized the only thing I was doing today was going to the NFL Experience, I called Todd to see if he wanted to meet me.  Actually, I knew he wanted to meet me because this morning he said he wanted to see it later (NFL EX.) if I was gonna be around. Well, I am and that’s all I’m gonna be doing today.

Waiting On Todd To Arrive
While I was waiting on Todd, I took some real cool pictures of the huge Super Bowl sign they had right in front of the Convention Center.  Also during the time I waited, Josh from NJ (Kean U. friend) called to interview me for the local article he is writing on my journey.  Thank you so much Josh!

The roads were so bad out and parking was such a problem, that Todd didn’t arrive to the facility until almost 5 pm. (I was there at 3:30 pm.)  It wasn’t a problem, I’ll just letting you know how the day went.

Buying Tickets
While I was waiting for Todd after I did the phone interview, I walked around the whole facility looking for a free way in.  Not a way to sneak in, but a maybe a free ticket somewhere or a security guard who likes my story and lets me in.  Well... after searching... nothing came up.

So, when Todd arrived, we walked up to the ticket booth and got our tickets the traditional way... we paid for them ($25 each)!  Ahhh!  Noooo! 🙁  The Super Bowl (NFL) is already beating me! 🙁

Entering The Experience

Now, this place was huge as there was so much to see and do. But as I found out throughout the day, it wasn’t that exciting for me because everything there that was cool, everybody could do.  I’ll explain.

For instance, many players were there signing autographs but to get the autograph, all you had to do was stand in line and then... you got it.  So, anybody there could have and did get the autograph, that isn’t to special me.

For example, if I was to have met Torry Holt there (soon to be Hall of Fame WR) and then he took me to a Super Bowl party with Playboy playmates... that would have been special and exciting.  But that didn’t happen, I got and did what everybody there was able to do for the $25 entrance fee.

Brent Celek - Philadelphia Eagles Pro-Bowl Tight End
Even though I wasn’t super excited to get an autograph that everybody else could, I still waited in line to get Brent Celek’s autograph.  I did this because Pat (from Colorado) is a huge Eagles fan and after everything he did for me in Denver... I had to get him the autograph and sent it to him as a thank you.

The problem... I had nothing cool for him to sign.  Damn!  So, after searching around all the memorabilia shops they had (there were a bunch of them), I finally found one of the last remaining mini-Eagle helmets for him to sign ($33 with tax and NFL fees).

Are you serious!  These helmets are at most $14.99 and can be found for $9.99.  What a rip-off!  And even more so, I really don’t have an extra $35 to spend right now (I’ve been bleeding money for days).  Damn!

Calling Pat
So I called Pat and asked him if he wanted the autograph.  When he said he would (as I thought), I told him that I couldn’t afford the helmet which was as much as I would spend on a room for the night.  He then said, no problem, I’ll Paypal you the hemet money.

It kinda sucks because now I’m only getting him a half-assed present.  Damn, I wish I had money!  Still, I did have to wait in a long line and where else would he be able to get a signed helmet from one of his favorite Eagles for $35 bucks.  So, I felt a little better about my gift but still... I wish had the extra $35 myself. 🙁

Meeting Brent Celek
While I was getting the helmet made out to Larkin (Pat’s kick-ass son), I started to talking to Brent about my journey and what I’m doing.  He seemed really interested because as I was walking away, he learned across the table and said, “Are you crazy dude (as he smiled).”  (I left him a card, maybe he’ll check it out!)

A Quick Re-Cap Of The NFL Experience
If I wanted to talk about everything I saw and did piece by piece, it would take forever and it wouldn’t be to exciting.  So, I’ll just give a brief re-cap all they had to offer.

They had many displays from past Super Bowl items the likes of... all the Super Bowl Rings, tickets throughout the years, as well as a mini Hall of Fame that they actually brought in from Canton, Ohio.

There were tons of shops where you could buy anything NFL.  This ranged from phonemail painting to Super Bowl collector pins to life like 3-D statues of current or former players.  Really cool but expensive stuff!

The Steel Curtain

One my favorite things I saw was a od school banner of the Steel Curtain.  It actually looked like the one they show on Steeler highlights from the 70’s.  It may have even been the real one, I didn’t ask even though I got a picture as the 5th D-lineman! 🙂

Me As A Player On Every NFL Team
I haven’t mentioned this yet but Todd was awesome to me all day he turned out to be my personal photographer for 5 hours.  He took almost every picture I was in and there were many!  Thank you so much Todd!

Anyway, he took a picture of me as a member of every single team in the league.  It might not look so cool one by one, but when I finally put all these pictures together in one frame... it should be an awesome collage of me in the NFL!  😉

Physical Sporting Events
Other than throwing a football, Todd and I didn’t participate in any of the physical activities they had and they had many.  They had mock combine tests, flag football games, punt-pass-and kick drills, as well as many other things for children of all ages to do.  Really cool!

F.Y.I. - There were a few reasons why I didn’t do the drills. 1.) These lines were the longest in the whole venue. 2.) There was some much to do/see and we only had 4 hours to do it (ended at 9 pm). 3.) I didn’t want to pull a hamstring! 😉

Tony Siragusa
The last thing we did at the NFL Experience was to meet and get an autograph from Ex-Raven (and Colt), current Fox sidelines reporter, and local NJ celebrity... Tony “The Goose” Siragusa.  (Tony is from Kenilworth, NJ, one town over from me in NJ.)

Anyway, the Goose was there to sign things for the fans, but they gave him surprise as well.  The NFL or whoever made a life-like statue of the Goose and put in on stage for him.  So, when he walked up... he was looking at himself!  Really freaky!  Two Geese! LOL

Leaving The NFL Experience
Next thing we knew, it was already 9 pm and it was time to go (they were closing for the day).  I definitely left out a ton of stuff because there was just that much to see.  But... I did try to give you a good idea of what the NFL experience was like.

Finding A Place To Stay
As we were leaving, Todd asked me where I was staying the night and when I told him I wasn’t sure yet, he said I had to go stay at his parents house in McKinney, TX. (McKinney is 35 miles north and his parents have 70 acres there.)

Traveling/Arriving At Todd’s Parents House
What should have taken us 30-40 minutes, took us almost 2 hours because the roads were so bad!  It is a huge sheet of ice out here.  None-the-less, we kept trucking and arrived at the Rusty Spur ranch (Todd’s Parents ranch) around 11:30 -12:00 pm.

The DeShan’s
Now, although I have already seen some farms/country living before on my trip, I haven’t seen anything like this yet.  This place was huge and old, yet very nice and cozy.

After walking in the house, Todd and I found our way into a old barn/shed/something where his parents were still awake waiting on us to arrive.  As soon as I walked in and met them, I immediately felt comfortable and at home.  What cool people!

Before I could even sit down and unwind, Todd’s Mom (Nancy) got me a bowl of awesome stew that Randy (Todd’s Dad) had made earlier.  It was real good as I ate two bowls.  Yummy! 🙂

A Snow Storm In Dallas!
After talking with the Deshan’s about anything and everything, it was close to 1 am, so I went to my car to grab some things for bed.  But, when I walked outside... there was snow everywhere!  It had already snowed over an inch in the hour we were inside!  This is unreal!

Calling It A Night
It was getting late and I was tired from getting up early today (6:30 am), so Todd showed me to my room (almost a 100 years old, where I’m sleeping).  For being 93 years old, this room is really nice and the bed was super comfy.  🙂 Thank you!

Oh yeah, I almost forgot.  Sometime during the evening, I called Mike from NJ and told him I wouldn’t make to his house today and asked I could stay with him on Friday instead.  He was way cool with idea as it even worked out better for him because I would be there on the weekend instead of on a weekday.  Nice! 🙂  That's it!

Thanks for reading!


Comments (2)

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  1. Great to talk to ya the other day, Rooster. Working on the article now, probably gonna give you a call again on Monday to see how your Super Bowl weekend experience wound up (I don’t expect the article to go up this weekend, so it’ll come out better if we can talk about the whole weekend and base the article around your experience in Dallas on Super Bowl weekend, I think).

    Talk to ya soon, and good luck with the game! (I can’t believe I’m saying this, but…Go Steelers, I guess. Okay, I still feel a little dirty saying that, but when there’s a kid who went to the same high school you did playing the Super Bowl, you kinda have to root for him, lol)

  2. DAD says:

    I finally got to read all of this post. Awesome photo’s of the rings, statues, etc. Looks like you were having the experience you wanted in Dallas.

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