Two cunning Irish sports fans had a day to remember when they made the trip to the States for the Superbowl final and blagged some of the best seats in the stadium, next to an NFL star.
While many sports fans were sat on the sofa with a cold beer enjoying the game and half time show (and of course the adverts featuring Irish stars Pierce Brosnan and Liam Neeson), Richard Whelan and Paul McEvoy had found their way into a pair of $25,000 seats.
Whelan, from Dublin, and McEvoy, from Tipperary, are big fans of American football and made the trip to the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona to watch the Superbowl final, despite not having tickets for the game.
Whelan told Joe.ie: “Originally I thought that I’d be able to buy a ticket in Ireland because I got my ticket for last year’s Super Bowl on the Friday before the match for $1,500, but this year the prices skyrocketed to over $7k for the cheapest ticket!”
The lads made the trip anyway, hoping to get tickets on the day. However, they were also unable to afford a ticket from touts outside the stadium, so decided they needed another way in.
Whelan continued: “We snuck into the Super Bowl straight through the front door! It was absolutely insane. Tough loss for the Hawks but great experience. Ended up in 4th row in seats that were worth $25,000 each, sitting next to Lawyer Milloy, one of the best safeties that played for the Pats. Unreal stuff!”
Whelan later told RTE Radio One Morning Ireland: “Our game plan was to be super confident. We just thought if we pretend we belong there, nobody will question us.
“Between one layer of security and another we just walked in behind these 20 first aid workers, straight up to the front door and hid in behind them.
“Paul was looking at his phone, pretending to text me, as if we had just popped out to look at an email we got or something.”
“We walked past another security guard that just wasn’t paying attention. We could see the field then, the stadium and the atmosphere was insane.”
As they got into the ground they ‘borrowed’ a number of people’s seats as they got up for food and drink. Someone eventually told them that the girls in the seats near the front were part of the half time show and would not be returning for the rest of the game.
Whelan’s hero Lawyer Millroy treated the lads to his expert opinion on the match as they took their seats next to him.
Whelan added: “It was pretty cool to have the Super Bowl champion sharing all the details.”
If that wasn’t enough, at the end of the game they managed to beat the queue and got onto a VIP bus that took them to the street of their hotel.
The luck of the Irish couldn’t last the whole day however, their team (Seattle Seahawks) were beaten after being in front going into the final quarter.