Written by J skills correspondent Kevin Richeson
On Feb. 1, Super Bowl XLIX was contested between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots in Arizona.
This game, the championship game in the National Football League, was seen all across the nation by millions of people. However, one Godwin student experienced the Super Bowl in a much more exciting way.
Junior Charles Reiter was able to attend the Super Bowl in Glendale, AZ after his parents bought a pair of tickets from one of his aunt’s friends. Although Reiter had attended Patriots games against the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins, he had never attended the Super Bowl, the most important game in professional football.
On the Friday before Super Bowl Sunday, Reiter departed from Richmond, VA with his dad, flying through Charlotte, NC before ultimately landing in Phoenix, AZ.
On Saturday, Reiter engaged in activities that further enhanced his Super Bowl experience. He spent the day attending the NFL Experience at the Phoenix Convention Center which included games and Super Bowl attractions. Furthermore, Reiter walked around Super Bowl Central in downtown Phoenix.
On the day of the game, Reiter said his excitement was “more than can be expressed in words” because of his interest in football and his love of the New England Patriots. In order to get seated in plenty of time for the game, Reiter and his dad left their hotel around 9:00 a.m. mountain time, approximately six and a half hours before the 4:30 kickoff. After a four hour commute through heavy traffic and a metro ride, Reiter arrived at the stadium around 1:00 p.m.
After getting seated in the upper deck behind the Patriots end zone, Reiter was able to experience the incredible atmosphere that the Super Bowl produces. He said the crowd was “very pumped and excited for the game” however he was annoyed by some of the “SEAHAWK” chants throughout the arena.
Once the game began, it was described as an instant classic. After last year’s 43-8 drubbing of the Denver Broncos by the Seattle Seahawks, this game was tightly contested throughout.
The game stayed close throughout and with a couple of minutes remaining, the New England Patriots scored to take a 28-24 lead. Russell Wilson, a Richmond native and graduate of Collegiate School, had one final chance to lead the Seahawks down the field and win their second straight Super Bowl.
Starting from the 20 yard line with 2:02 to play, the Seahawks moved the ball 42 yards to the Patriots 38 yard line. Wilson threw a deep pass to wide receiver Jermaine Kearse which was tipped away by Patriots defender Malcolm Butler. However Kearse was able to tip the ball to himself and control it while lying on his back.
Reiter said, “At first I was cheering because I saw the ball tipped in the air by Butler, but since the catch happened on the opposite side of the field from where we were sitting so I didn’t get a great view of it. I was then shocked to see all the Seahawks fans start cheering.”
The Seahawks were now on the five yard line and on the next play they moved to the one after a four yard run by running back Marshawn Lynch. Then on 2nd down, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll called for a slant play to wide receiver Ricardo Lockette. Wilson threw the ball in the direction of Lockette, but Butler jumped the route and came away with the interception.
Reiter said of the interception, “Similar to the Kearse catch, I didn’t get a great view of it and sort of froze at the end of the play assuming the Seahawks had scored a touchdown. Then all the Patriots players and then the fans started going crazy and from that point on, it was all a blur.”
The Patriots melted away the rest of the clock cementing their Super Bowl victory by a score of 28-24. After the game, Reiter said his dad and he “watched the trophy celebration and then the player interviews and finally the MVP Speech.” The Most Valuable Player award went to Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady.
Afterwards, Reiter said, “we walked down to the field seats and waited around the set of NFL Network where Marshall Faulk, Michael Irvin, and Deion Sanders were analyzing the game. We were excited to see that Tom Brady was walking over and actually did an interview practically right in front of us.”
Reiter said that the difference between watching the Super Bowl on television and in person was that “seeing the game live allows you to see the game from a different perspective and you can see the entire field, crowd, and players without having to rely on where the cameras are filming.”
Reiter missed school the Monday after the Super Bowl, but feels the experience was worth the missed day of school.
This great experience will be something that Reiter will never forget and that he encourages other fans to participate in if they are able. Reiter says his favorite memory was “after the Butler interception when all the Patriots fans (including my dad and me) were all going crazy screaming and hugging random people.”