Living the Dream

Bad news: I got wait listed for the ball. I don’t know if the person who invited me needs to say something to someone, so I mentioned it to her in a polite and tactful way, but I haven’t heard anything yet, so maybe not.

Good news: I still got to experience my football fantasy, as close as I am going to get.

The football fantasy comes about because of a commercial that Valiant Husband and I saw once. It featured a guy catching touchdown passes from Drew Brees. So we thought about what our fantasies would be.

Valiant Husband said he wanted to perform the coin toss at the beginning of the Super Bowl. Not bad as far as fantasies go.

I said I wanted to sing the national anthem before a Bears game at Soldier Field. Then I wanted a pizza party (Chicago style deep dish of course) in a suite.

Fat chance any of that would happen, right?

Well, last Tuesday, Valiant Husband got an email from the Saints offering the opportunity to participate in the pre-game festivities on the field by holding the large flags which require approximately a dozen people on each side. The opportunity was especially exciting since this particular game would be nationally televised on Monday night. No telling how many ticket holders they sent the message to. It said first come, first served. When Valiant Husband called me, I compared it to being invited to a Mardi Gras ball and asked why he was wasting time checking with me. He hung up the phone and responded to the email.

We were on pins and needles until late Thursday afternoon when he received a reply that we had been selected! We would have to arrive at the game early, so I arranged to get off of work by a certain time. Fortunately both of my bosses were out of the office anyway. I wore a dress with a bold print hoping to stand out from the jeans and jerseys.

We had instructions to meet at a certain location outside the stadium. We found the spot, signed two waiver forms, received wristbands to enter the secure area, and were escorted into the Superdome. Guys wearing suits and earpieces did a run through and allowed us to take photos.

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At one point the opposing team started walking in wearing their suits and headphones. I was within about five yards of Super Bowl winning quarterback Joe Flacco.

We had about an hour after the run through and then met back up for the real thing. We tried to line back up in the same order. They gave us a 15-minute warning. When the time came, they counted down and told us to go.

I stepped out on the field.

The lights were bright. The seats were filling up. We looked up to our section and saw people waving. (Valiant Husband had somebody’s number and had let the guy know to look for us). We waved back. We grabbed our side of the flag and got into position. I was right in the middle so I felt like I was the center of attention!

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If you look at the flag that has a fleur de lis on it, and zoom in at the bottom point of the fleur de lis, there is a woman in a gold jersey. Look just to the right of her and you will see a sliver of a light colored dress and a black boot. That’s me!

We held the flag while the Saints’ starters were announced, cheering loudly for our favorite players. Then the flag had to be closed back up. We stood in the end zone while some guy I didn’t know sang the national anthem. The people who held the American flag got on television but all you saw of us was the crowd of people in the end zone. Then we had to exit the field. It was fun to return to our section and tell everyone where we had been!

It was an exciting experience that I will always remember and I was glad to share it with the person I most want to share everything special with. But I ended up operating on four hours of sleep as we had to catch a 6:00 am flight for our Thanksgiving trip. Happy holidays!

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