I have to admit that the idea of going to a super bowl party didn’t appeal to me. Although I joked around about it, I didn’t set out to find an invitation, pay for a ticket, or overspend on anything they had to offer. My DVR had a lot I had to catch up with anyway. However, around 1 p.m. yesterday I was on twitter and a radio station with a username @indieverse was offering tickets to a super bowl party at the historic cotton bowl in fair park. I thought I’d get a pair just in case I wanted to go. I let my brother know and he let one of his friends know and by the end of the day, we had six tickets to this event. What a night it was.
I waffled back and forth throughout the evening, trying to decide if this event was really worth going to. It was wet, cold, and icy outside. I presumed the conditions would worsen as the night went on. I didn’t want to drive in that mess and the idea of getting a cab or taking a train was unappealing. On the other hand, this is super bowl weekend. Because the Super Bowl probably won’t be around for a while, I wanted to take part of it in some way. I wanted to get out, hopefully listen to good music, enjoy the scene a little bit. It was a tough decision, but my temptations to bail were superseded by the realization that I may not get to do this the next time I’m in a super bowl city.
There was a group of five that ended up going on this adventure. It was me, my brother, his friend Don, Billy, and Billy’s girlfriend Tuvvy. We decided to take the train to fair park since I live in walking distance to a train station. I figured that even though it would take a little longer, trying to find a cab might take just as long and we’d end up spending more money. Our plans were to look homeless on our way there and leave as A list celebrities in a…cab. Oh well. At least we’d be safe and nobody would have to brave the icy road conditions. Five minutes into the walk, I knew we made a mistake.
In my apartment complex, there is one way in and one way out. It’s kind of old fashioned like that. I live in the back of the community, up a large hill that I’ve found is not very fun to drive up or down when it ices over. Because of this, Josh couldn’t promptly return with the pizza we ordered and had to park at this parking garage across from our complex. When Billy, Don, and Tuvvy arrived, they parked in the same garage. We could have taken my truck to the train station, but I was worried about trying to get back up the icy hill so we ended up walking the entire way.
The distance to the station is about 300 yards. We spent a lot of that trek slipping, sliding, waving our arms in the air, desperate for stability, and walking like 90 year old cavemen. After a Tuvvy fall, runny noses, and many goose bumps, we finally made it to Walnut Hill station. We waited for what felt like was an eternity, but eventually the train came by and we were on our way.
After switching trains, we finally arrived to fair park. We walked in the front gate and had no idea where we were needing to go. Luckily, there was a map and Don pointed out the way. Straight ahead we went. To our right, there was a building with huge glass windows. We saw a collection of people and thought for a second that it may be where we needed to go. Taking a closer look, we quickly realized that the people in that building were there for a more formal occasion. We wouldn’t have fit in even if we wanted to. Trudging through the snow and ice we moved, fighting the cold and the growing urge to pee. Two hundred yards later, we saw our event. On the tall column, in staggered and spaced bright lights stated Super Bowl XLV Party, Sports Illustrated, and The Black Eyed Peas. Awesome, this must be our party.
There were three entrances at the top of the stairs. The entrance on the left was for athletes and celebrities. They were ushered in through what appeared to be a side door. The middle entrance had the red carpet. And the right entrance was for media. I talked with one of event workers before walking into any of them because I had no idea which list I’d be on. They instructed us to walk to a side building for a general admissions list. We were starting to feel a little more comfortable.
Inside of the building, there were long, winding lines outlined by white plastic chains. Nobody was waiting so we walked right up to the table. There were four people spread out, with lists of names in alphabetical order. I had a feeling that indieverse putting my name on a list was going to be difficult to explain if my name wasn’t actually on a list, but I had to ask.
“Hi, um my name is Justin Ozuna. I know my name is on a list, but I have no clue which one. Will you check to see if it is one of these?”
She shuffled through her papers, looking for my name. I’m not talking one or two papers, but maybe like 10 or 12, in different stacks. I wasn’t on any of them. Oh. No. Just as I had suspected. Tuvvy gave her name to indieverse also so I told her to ask. Nothing. They told us to ask another table. Two tables later we were told that it was possible that we were on the list at the main building. Beaten and dejected, we thought we’d at least ask.
We walked back over to the main building. There was a lot of activity over there, many people being dropped off and walking up. I talked with the person manning the right line. I figured the media line would be less assuming and I’d have a higher probability of finding my name there. We couldn’t get past her without credentials. Somehow, having the nickname Oozy didn’t qualify. We walked to the middle line and told the person up front that our name was on a list and that we needed to check it. She said ok and let us by. We walked into the building and the foyer was full of people in suits. We walked to a table on the right and told him we may be on the list. He looked and said we weren’t. He asked us if we were friends or family of the Black Eyed Peas (who are playing the halftime show at the Super Bowl). “Well, not exactly,” I told him. He said we may want to check with two other tables and Josh asked the Sports Illustrated table only to get turned down. I asked the final table, only to be told that it was for people who bought VIP tables. Haha, we were clearly in the wrong place.
I started to realize that being offered tickets to anything on twitter may have been a bad idea. I mean, I knew @indieverse was a credible source (radio station 100.3 fm), but I thought maybe the info just never got to the right person. We walked outside, even more dejected, realizing that all of our travel across the snow and ice was for not. We stood at the end of the red carpet, trying to decide what to do when Don said, “Hey, that’s Ashton Kutcher.” Right next to us, talking to the event worker at the end of the carpet was Kutcher and Demi Moore. He had a beanie on so I couldn’t tell if Don was making stuff up or if was really him. They were next to us for a few second and walked by. Whoa, it really was them. I thought that maybe if we just stayed there, it may be worth it just to see who walked by. I’m totally being sarcastic. Kinda.
We gave in and started the trek back to the train station. We were laughing and making jokes all the way back. It is good to be with people who can have fun in any circumstance. Freezing and miserable, we passed by the map again to see if that really was the coliseum. The XLV party was supposed to be held in the Cotton Bowl, but the weather moved it to the coliseum next door. Josh looked at the map.
“Dude, we were on the completely opposite side of the stadium,” he said, “That wasn’t even the coliseum.”
We all started laughing. No way. We were at the wrong party in fair park. Unbelievable. Now we had to make the decision if we even wanted to go. It was already almost 1 a.m. We decided to do it. We wanted to revel in the adventure. Besides, we were already on fair park grounds. Three hundred yards later, we made it. Finally, the list we were looking for.
We walked into the coliseum with renewed energy. That renewed energy was met with an underwhelming sight of maybe two hundred people scattered about an older, but still big coliseum. I don’t think it really mattered though. We walked to the front. Separated by a metal gate, was a platformed stage that found Samantha Ronson playing DJ to a house dance floor full of interesting people. It was weird to be in the same room with somebody that seemed to be somewhat controversial during her time as Lindsay Lohan’s girlfriend (or whatever that was). I never imagined that we’d be in the same building, mmmm EVER.
A little later in the night, she walked by us. She stopped a took a couple of picks as Tuvvy and Billy (and for that matter, all of us) waited for a pic with her. She took a total of two before she decided that she wasn’t taking any more and she was on her way. I felt uncharacteristically douchey when I simulated those dweebs at TMZ as I recorded her walk by. I have to say that it may have been the regret of not asking for a pic with Ashton and Demi that made me overdo the attention I paid to Ronson.
About an hour or so in, the night appeared to be coming to a close. We decided to trek back home. We knew it wasn’t going to be fun, but we figured taking the cab back would make it a little easier. I used an iPhone app to book us a cab. It notified the company and ten minutes later I get an automatic text telling me that it isn’t on it’s way yet and informed me to call the cab company. I called and talked to a dispatcher who got my location and told me the cab would be on its way shortly. Twenty minutes later, we decided to walk to the train station to see which one came first, the cab or a train.
The walk back to the front of fair park was long. It was colder, more miserable, and had regrets about not driving ourselves. Ten minutes later, we made it to the station. There was no refuge from the weather as we waited, but we did our best to not break down and eat each other. In what seemed like an eternity, our train came. We rode to the station where we have to switch and waited again at a different station. The cold was getting old.
Josh eventually got ahold of a different cab company and they said one would be on their way. Ten minutes later, we started noticing cabs drive by at the end of the street. I grabbed a souvenir Cowboys helmet that we had acquired and put it on. I ran across the street to hail a cab, but like in every movie ever, none seemed interested. Billy saw one headed to this five star hotel next to us and he ran up to see if we could get in once the passengers got out. No dice. I didn’t make it over in time to hear why, but the door guy said we could stay in the lobby until one came. I knew that because of the increased cab demand, it would probably be a while.
It was four in the morning at this point. I went to the restroom and when I came back, Josh asked if I had heard the story of a homeless couple in Green Bay winning Super Bowl tickets (Story here). I hadn’t, but he told me that he just met them and talked with them for a few minutes. They were still in the lobby. The dude was getting his shirt autographed by somebody else in the lobby before they started walking by. We called them over and talked with them for a while. They were really nice people. It made me happy they had an opportunity to experience something like this. We eventually got a picture with them.
Twenty minutes later, the cab showed up and we booked it home. It was such a long night, so full of adventure, so full of funny stories. “Home, sweet home,” I thought, until I remembered that we’d still have to trek the frozen tundra at our apartment complex. I figured I’d have the cab driver give it a shot. I wouldn’t tell him how bad it was until we started spinning out. And then I’d offer to walk it. That’s how done I was with the cold weather. But of course, we get home and there is a truck stuck at the bottom of the hill. Our night ended as it began, slipping and sliding all over the place, making crazy faces in lost efforts to maintain control.