2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

My long, meandering journey to the Super Bowl

Published: February 2, 2014, 11:31 am, by Brent Briggeman

Like so many others – I’m guessing – from Colorado and Washington, I arrived in New York for the Super Bowl with red eyes.

My blood-shot look had nothing to do with the shared, um, green policies, but with the conclusion of a crazy week of travel that was capped with an aptly named red eye from Los Angeles that wreaked havoc on my contact lenses and my insistence on removing them only as a last resort.

My week brought me first from my Colorado Springs home to Denver – in between snow storms, thankfully – and to Boise for an Air Force basketball game on Tuesday. There I was greeted with the news that the Falcons did not bring leading scorer Tre’ Coggins along for the trip, you know, just in case I had plans of laying low for a bit.

That Air Force loss was followed by a five-hour drive to Bend, Oregon to visit longtime friends. With the Falcons staying on the road for Saturday’s game in Reno, Nevada, there was little sense it flying back to Colorado on Thursday just to turn around the next day.

After two days of ping pong and brewery hopping, I departed at 5 a.m. for Reno (by way of San Francisco), thus beginning a span of, what I’m guessing will be about 70 hours without a stretch of sleep lasting more than 180 minutes. I feel a bit like Kramer when he tried out a Leonardo DiVinci-inspired resting schedule; and I fear mine will result in similar results. If you’re not a Seinfeld fan I’m guessing you can still piece together what that means.

In Reno, where I had to catch a plane shortly after Air Force’s game, I was, naturally, treated to the Falcons’ first overtime game of the season – a crushing loss. That made things a bit tight, but I had little trouble filing a story and catching a plane to Los Angeles before regrouping and crossing the country under (over, I guess) the cover of night.

As I write this I’m on the final leg of the journey, approaching MetLife Stadium in a motorcade of buses being aided by a police escort. Having married a New Jersey girl, I’ve driven in this area many times. The escort makes things considerably quicker.

The heavy fog that greeted me at JFK has lifted to reveal a gorgeous February day; perfect conditions to decide the NFL champion.

My eyes are adjusted, the red is out, and they are ready to fix their gaze on the first Super Bowl I have ever seen in person.