Sunday, January 30, 2011

Super Bowl for Dummies (Or "Man Up & Get Off the Couch Losers. It's The Freakin' Super Bowl!")

OK, so you're lying there on the sofa somewhere in the middle of the country and wishing you were like Jimmy, Terry, Michael and Howie and had Super Bowl tickets. If you really want to go, think again sunshine because being in the game doesn't require a media pass.

But it does require a game plan, some moxie and big cahones just to get a shot.

Here's a proven strategy to score the most expensive ticket in sports Dallas-style and enjoy the total Super Bowl experience. It's a game of numbers and if you play the odds correctly, you just might score!

1. Transportation--Dallas Fort Worth International Airport is one of the largest and busiest in the world. Airlines are adding flights like crazy and upgrading plans to accommodate the Super Bowl traffic into DFW. Love Field is also in Dallas and Southwest Airlines is based there. If you can't find a flight suitable to your needs in Dallas, check out San Antonio, Houston and Austin. It's not a long drive. If all else fails, fill up the car with gas and hop on I-35 and drive.

2. Hotel--Dallas Fort Worth has 100,000 hotel rooms. The NFL took 24,000 for the Super Bowl. That leaves 76,000 rooms for visitors. The Convention and Visitors Bureaus are estimating 50% occupancy for the Super Bowl. That leaves 38,000 hotel rooms for you. If you want one and don't mind staying in Denton at the Holiday Inn on I-35, you're set.

3. Parties--Unless you're dating Pamela Anderson, are married to a beer distributor or willing to spend $1,500 to see Prince perform "Purple Rain" in a tent, forget about the parties. Oh sure, there are plenty to be had and they are affordable to the guacamole and cracker crowd like you. But let's face it. If you can afford it so can other people just like you and you can see them in your local bar in Des Moines.

4. Getting Around Dallas--Yes, we have a light rail called DART but unless you already know a red line from a green line, just ask any OU/Texas fan about the convenience of DART on a busy football day. We also aren't a taxi-friendly city like say, New York City. Ok, yes we have them but some of the ones we have are on strike and good luck getting one. And, if you do, better luck getting one to pick you back up. When in doubt, drive yourself. Oh, and we drive fast here, don't turn on our blinkers when we cut you off and honk at you if you drive too slow. And we don't pay any attention to speed limit signs. If you get on the Tollway and it says 60 mph, it's really 90 mph. And, if you have a wreck don't bother calling the police. Unless someone is injured, they won't respond so just exchange information with the other driver and mosey on lest you block traffic any more than necessary because we are in a hurry.

5. Valet Park--If you are adventuresome and want to taste a little Bright Lights Big City Super Bowl weekend, don't bother trying to find a parking spot at the nearest watering hole or restaurant because we don't have any. Oh, yes you can park on the street in the M Streets or Lower Greeneville but unless you can distinguish one Tudor from the next, good luck finding your car at 2 a.m. after you've had a few. Trust me. Valet and tip the guy $5. It's the best investment you'll make.

6. NFL Experience--If you want to buy Super Bowl merchandise, an official program just like they sell at the stadium, have your photo taken with the Lombardi Trophy (yes its' the real one,) get an autograph from an NFL player and make a fool out of yourself trying to throw a football like Steve Young, check out the NFL Experience at the Dallas Convention Center. It's the best $25 you'll spend and if you don't score a game ticket, you'll at least feel better having gone.

7. Restaurants--OK big spender now that you've waited until the last minute to come to Super Bowl, all the good restaurants are booked and have been for awhile. But you don't need to fret. You're here on a mission to score game tickets so there are plenty of Chick-Fil-A's and Taco Bells in Dallas. Save your money for more important things.

8. Bar Scene--Yes the bar scene in Dallas is lively, with great people watching and we have plenty of them. But remember what your mother always told you, nothing good happens after midnight. Enjoy yourself, leave your game jerseys at home and try and act like you've been out before. Otherwise, see below.

9. Police--Yes Dallas has police it's just you never see them until after midnight. That's when the DUI roadblocks pop up all over town. For Super Bowl weekend they have even beefed up the resources with the Texas Department of Transportation. So unless you know the neighborhoods and can navigate around the police on the major arteries, get home early. Oh, and if the blonde in the corner at the hotel bar, who you could never get at home, is smiling at you and asks you what your name is, just remember she's not who she says she is. She's probably a working girl and if you're lucky you can't afford her and if you're not, she's likely an undercover officer waiting to bust your ass and arrest you for solicitation.

10. Tickets--The game is sold out. Scalping is illegal in Arlington and Super Bowl is a Homeland Security Level One event meaning you'll never get close to the stadium without a ticket. There are no public tickets available anyway unless you want to dabble in the secondary markets. The best bet is where the NFL allows valid ticket sellers to resell their tickets. As of this morning, there were 1,914 tickets available ranging from $2,500 to $23,000 per ticket!

This is a simple supply and demand situation. The longer you wait until game time, the lower demand becomes and ticket sellers get nervous they are about to get stuck with the ticket so they lower the price. There aren't alot of tickets out there like this but if you are patient, willing to risk watching the game at the Media Bar at the Hilton Anatole and have cash, you might get lucky.

And, remember it's a football game and stuff happens. People get sick, they get in a fight with the hottie in the next cubicle who they thought would be fun to take to Dallas, someone misses a flight or Uncle Rob from Sheboygan couldn't get off work Monday. There are a myriad of reasons why someone has an extra Super Bowl ticket. The trick is you won't know until the last minute and unless you are out and about asking, you'll never know about them.

Hang out at the nicer hotel bars (Anatole, Ritz, Crescent,) tip the bartender and tell him you are "buying a single." Go to the NFL Experience, check out the local coffee shops or just walk around the media hotel. Also, this is Dallas so that means "Gentlemen Clubs." And there are plenty of them all over. So pay attention to the main stage because you never know if "Amber" is dating Mr. Big who has your ticket. You never know who is connected. And, smile at everyone. That Packers fan with the cheesehead might have a single.

If all else fails, relax and enjoy the game with the local bar crowd. You'll be glad with the money you saved on a ticket and if you did everything else on the list, you will have enjoyed the Super Bowl and can at least say you were here.

Happy hunting.

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