Monday, February 04, 2008

Networking Your Way To The Superbowl

When you have a diverse network of amazing people you will have unique opportunities that will come your way. Sometimes you don't even know how these events could impact your life..... and worse.... sometimes you could just say "nah, not this time" and miss out all together.

In December a friend mentioned that he and some buddies were going to the Superbowl, since they try to attend when the game is held on the West Coast (they both live in the Bay Area). Having been five years ago to San Diego, they knew that Phoenix, with it's new University Of Phoenix Stadium and the undefeated New England Patriots on the field would make for a historical game (By the way, I think it is a brilliant marketing ploy by the on-line college to purchase the naming rights to a football stadium.... the irony is not lost on me!). But nobody knew just how great this game would be.

My friend casually invited me to join them and I declined. I was concerned about vacation days, costs, and I was not sure my wife would support a boondoggle trip of a boys-weekend at the Superbowl.

When I mentioned to my wife about having turned down the invitation, she was dumfounded. For days she encouraged me to call back and sign on for the trip. Finally, she told me to look at the weekend as an extra Christmas present and to go live the experience of Superbowl XLII. Sara is actually the football fan in the house (get out of the way if the 49ers are playing!), but she recognized that one should go for it when such an opportunity arrives.

Who could have known that I would be attending onw of the most amazing Superbowls ever played?

Tickets were hard to come by, but not impossible. We all worked our networks, including trying to solicit help from a friend's brother who is a former two-time Superbowl NY Giant. We surfed Craig's List for days, watching the prices slowly creep down over the two days leading up to the game. And we talked to scalpers outside the Staduim who were in a race with the clock to get a top price before kick-off would sink the value of their gold-like tickets. The process itself was an experience. We got seats, and without sharing the final price (lower than you might think if you listened to the news reports), I can tell you that in retrospect the end result was worth twice as much as we paid. I shudder to think I had said "no" when invited, and can't thank my wife enough for making me go for it.

Since I did not have any ties to either the Patriots or the New York Giants, I became a Giant's fan as the delegate of my older brother, Bill, who lives in New Jersey and been a fan for decades. My two other brothers, who live in California, were rooting against Bill's beloved Giants, hoping for the Pats to go 19-0. Historical, yes, but you gotta love routing for the underdog, and witnessing a true Cinderella story unfold on the gridiron below. Having a horse in the race sure made a difference, as the emotional highs and lows of this game were stupendous (especially in the 4th quarter).... and probably made me a lifetime fan of the NY Giants! Having someone to cheer for makes watching a game just that much better!

If you have the chance to go to a Superbowl, Kentucky Derby, Presidential Inauguration, World Series, or other major event that interests you..... don't think "nah".... think "YEAH!". There are ways to get there. Make sure people in your network know your passions and interests. If they do not know what you desire, they will not think of you for such things.

Be prepared to take advantage of opportunities when they cross your path. I am glad I did. Oh, by the way, .... did
I mention how great my wife is? Yes, Eli Manning thinks he was the MVP on Sunday, but in my book the MVP is my wife for making this happen for me!!!

Come back the rest of this week for three more blog entries about my trip to Phoenix and the Superbowl, as too much happened that was "blog-worthy" to put into one post.

Have A Great Day.

Photo taken with my camera phone at kick-off. More pics later in the week, as my camera broke so I only have a few from the phone, but some nice people took pics and promised to email them to me. I hope they do!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

no way. amazing game to have attended. You are a lucky man.