I've been a Saints fan for a long time. I was at the first game. I saw Tom Dempsey kick the field goal. I heard all of the squirrels on WWL talking about a Superbowl after a couple of preseason wins.
I'm not as flamboyant as some fans, in fact by New Orleans Standards I quite reserved. I am also an almost compulsive planner, looking forward to what might happen and guarding against what might go wrong. My major Saints superstition is not to get too far ahead of events. This year I was cautiously optimistic after 8 wins in a row, by the time we got to 10 I was confident we would make the playoffs. By 12 wins I couldn't get hold of myself, I started to plan. What if they actually did it? What if I missed the Saints' first Superbowl appearance.
The critical path was through airline tickets. If the Saints' won flights would be almost instantly full, in fact the closer the Saints' got the more Who Dat's would be planning on the trip. I secretly checked flight availability almost daily. Judging by the prices flights were either already heavily booked or airlines were holding seats back anticipating heavy demand.
I finally could not wait any longer and used some frequent flier points to book flights knowing that if they didn't go to the Superbowl, I could cash in the tickets and use them another time. I had almost waited too long. I only got the green light on January 20th after the Arizona game. Even then I couldn't get us both back on the same plane.
That left a rental car, tickets and a hotel. The car was easy, rental cars can be canceled with no penalty and the earlier it was booked the cheaper it would be. That could be done before we committed to a trip.
Tickets would have to wait for the season ticket holder lottery.
The Hotel was trickier. Being familiar with South Florida I thought getting a hotel wouldn't be that difficult and would likely have a cancellation charge if it was canceled the last minute. That would have to be the last piece of the puzzle.
One of the reasons I married her is that She is lucky, both kinds of luck, the kind you make for yourself through preparation, hard work and making the most of opportunity but also the other kind, just plain dumb not so random luck. She has won drawings lotteries and countless prizes awarded on a random basis, including Superbowl tickets the last time it was here and a 10 day Mediterranean cruise on a sailing ship. When traveling her luggage is always the first one out. Mine is usually last. She was sure she would win. So was I but not as sure as she was. She didn't win the first round, nor the second round.
It was time to decide. Time to make a commitment.
We decided that this is a historic event. A once in a life time opportunity. There would never be a second chance to attend the Saint's first Superbowl. We decided to go for it.
We're going to be leaving Friday. I'd be happy to hear of anything the Who Dat Nation has planned.