Less than a minute left in the game, and Seattle had the ball on the one yard line. The obvious play on 1st and 1, was a handoff to the “Beast”, Marshawn Lynch to carry it over the line for a Touchdown and most likely a Seattle Seahawks win. Instead, the choice was made for a pass to be thrown in the end zone, where it was the Patriots that picked it off and ultimately won the game.
This game was perhaps the best in Super Bowl history for me. I had the opportunity to take my dad to SuperBowl 49 in Phoenix, Arizona, fulfilling something on his bucket list, as well as mine. When I found out I had tickets, the first person I thought of was my dad. He has been the one man I have always been able to count on, and someone who I most admire. He taught me perseverance, how to give wholeheartedly, and the value of hard work. He has been and will continue to be my biggest fan, and so I knew that my SuperBowl date would be my dad.
When I called him to join me at the game, I told him I had an emergency – that I needed him. Of course, being both the honorable man he is and my father, he said, “What do you need”. My response, I need a date to the SuperBowl. His voice was ecstatic. He was in disbelief at first, until I sent him pictures of the tickets. We met in Phoenix the afternoon of the game, not knowing if we would make it do to fog putting flight patterns on hold.
The surreal experience of taking my dad to his first SuperBowl, watch an incredible game, and feel like my life was moving down the field making plays and scoring points is more than words can explain. The sights, sounds, and magic of the experience will be something I will never forget, and a memory I can share with my dad forever. Our team was not in the SuperBowl but we had the extraordinary opportunity to be there, although my dad still represented his beloved Broncos. My dad was lit up like a Christmas tree and bragging on his “cool” daughter that brought him to the SuperBowl – let’s just say, I scored some major points with not only him, but the fans around us.
I’m thankful for the love of sports I have, and for being the only girl. My dad spoiled me when I was younger… obviously, and to be able to spoil him felt so good. I had many friends that would have loved to take my dads place, and in no disrespect, how could I choose anyone but my father to jump up and down with, scream, laugh, dance, and high-five during this moment in my life? We knew the game would be great, but I did not realize it would inspire me more.
My dad was like a little kid. He was texting his friends the view from his seat, bragging to my brothers that he was the chosen one, and smiling. Growing up, my dad worked a lot. He has worked hard for everything he has, and both he and my mom would give anything to help any of us kids when we needed something. Not living in Utah close to them, I don’t get to have Sunday dinners, or weekly face-to-face conversations with either of my parents, and I miss that. It’s funny with each year I age, I gain a deeper respect for all they have done for me.
I am grateful that my dad (and my mom) have never given up on me. There were times in my life, I was the one that threw a pass instead of running through the pile to gain a victory. I lost, but I got back up. As we left the stadium, we discussed how this was just a game, and life goes on. Win or lose, time does not stop. We all make choices, and growth is a result of those. I am grateful that my victory was not because the Patriots won, or the Seahawks lost. My victory was time with my dad. The reflection of my feelings of the whirlwind trip and the opportunity to share this experience with the one man that I can always count on to show up for me.
Thank you dad for sharing this forever memory with me.
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