It's hard to explain how you begin with what's supposed to be a one night get-away with friends to Memphis and end up at the Super Bowl, but you'd just have to know my friends.
I know people who collect everything from antiques to postage stamps. My friends and I enjoy collecting unique sports experiences. That quest led Dr. Bruce Longest, Casey Clark, Kent Moore and me on an impromptu journey to "Big D" for America's largest sporting event last Sunday.
All of our travels revolve around great food, sports and unique experiences, so when Dr. Longest came up with a one-day trip to the Bluff City for some BBQ, Blues and NBA basketball, we all jumped on it as fast as we could answer the phone.
Then something happened on the way to the Rendezvous - home of the best ribs in America - we began talking Super Bowl.
It started with some joking around about a possible trip in the future, then evolved into a visit to StubHub –the online ticket service – the discovery of some unbelievably affordable tickets and the realization that the future was now today.
To say the least, the Memphis Grizzlies’ game against the incredibly pathetic Cleveland Cavaliers suddenly became anti-climatic.
Our excitement for what lay ahead prompted us to frequently announce to perfect strangers on the streets of Downtown Memphis “We're going to the Super Bowl!”
We made it to Mesquite, Texas Saturday night on the outskirts of Dallas, where a host of Steeler and Packer fans were lodging.
Sunday morning, we drove the last 40 miles to Cowboys Stadium – an unbelievable facility that from the outside more resembles a spaceship from a sci-fi movie than a football stadium.
The snow and ice of early week had given way to sunshine and 50 degrees. Hordes of football fans, mostly wearing Pittsburgh and Green Bay jerseys, swarmed the area. We were still in a bit of shock to be among them.
The only downer of the experience was the incredibly long lines and wait to get inside, but once we passed the airport-like security checks, it was an experience like no other.
Casey and I met the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders, one of which, Brittney Evans, is a former Ole Miss Rebelette.
We chanted “Go Pack Go,” waved “terrible towels,” and grabbed armfuls of Super Bowl merchandise for family and friends.
We walked out of Super Bowl 45 into the chilly North Texas night with an unforgettable experience in our memory banks and a new idea – Super Bowl 47 is in New Orleans.
You may follow Joel McNeece on Twitter @joelmcneece