Grand Valley residents heading to Super Bowl
Paul Currie-Mills was sure that he got left out in the cold when it came to Super Bowl tickets.
As it turns out, the Grand Junction man will now be sitting out in the New Jersey cold on Sunday.
Currie-Mills has been a Denver Broncos season-ticket holder since 1977 but he’s never been to the Super Bowl.
But this year, he will be headed to New Jersey and hoping his Broncos freeze the Seattle Seahawks out of a title.
“I’m excited about it, I’ve been a pretty rabid fan for a long time. I think their chances are good,” Currie-Mills said.
But there was not excitement at first.
When he returned from the AFC Championship game, he ripped open a letter informing him that he was not in the running for Super Bowl tickets.
Currie-Mills wasn’t happy about the cold, hard truth. As a longtime season-ticket holder, he had a priority number in the 9,000 range. He was sure this would be his year.
When snubbed, he fired off a testy letter to the Denver Broncos.
His frustration over initially being left out of the random ticket drawing was a mile high, maybe more.
“If I had to wait another 15 years for another Broncos Super Bowl I might not be around,” the 70-year-old Currie-Mills said with a laugh.
On Friday, he got a call he wasn’t expecting. A pair of Super Bowl tickets had been allocated to him. He didn’t think his letter had anything to do with the sudden reversal, but he was obviously happy it occurred.
Then he uttered what is on the minds of every football fan who is headed to New Jersey or a spot in front of the TV: “I hope there’s a break in the weather.”
As a native of Canada, he’s no stranger to cold weather but that doesn’t mean the Super Bowl should be played in the cold — especially in New Jersey.
“I know northern New Jersey like the back of my hand and the weather this time of year is never real good,” he said.
Besides the weather, he admits there’s another downside to his trip to MetLife Stadium and Super Bowl XLVII.
“I’m going to be up in the nose-bleed seats,” he said. “It’s not my choice spot to go but I will take it.”
It will be a big change from the primo seats he has at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
The cold weather has left Currie-Mills packing just one bag for the trip. His wife Sharon called an audible and said no thanks.
“If it was in Miami, San Diego, Jacksonville, or some other warm site, she’d be going,” Currie-Mills said.
So he will try to sell his other ticket and head up to the nose-bleed section bundled up like a Mount Everest climber.
“I will be wearing orange somewhere but I may have to wear my parka,” he said.
As a retired trucking company executive, Currie-Mills has lived in Connecticut, New Jersey and Cincinnati, but it was his time in Denver in the early 1970s when he became a Broncos fan.
Perched in front of a TV, he’s watched one, two, three and four Denver teams get pummeled in Super Bowl games.
Then came the spectacular euphoria of watching the Broncos win titles after the 1997 and 1998 seasons.
Currie-Mills is a student of the game and his analysis tells him that the Broncos and Manning will be victorious on Sunday.
He predicts Denver will score in the 28-to-33 point range and Seattle 19 to the low 20s.
As a big Manning fan, he’s sure that the record-setting QB is a shoo-in for the MVP if Denver wins.
The late arrival of his tickets had Currie-Mills scrambling to make plans that resulted in a whirlwind agenda. He will take a charter flight out of Denver that leaves Sunday morning and returns Sunday night following the game. If there’s the rare possibility that the game gets moved to Monday because of weather, he will still go to the game.
“But I’m only taking one set of clothes,” he said.
ALSO HEADED TO THE BIG GAME
Broncos fever sometimes is just too much to bear.
Debbie Kovalik thought she might be lucky enough to win the chance at a Super Bowl ticket in the lottery because her family has had Broncos season tickets since 1962, with a priority number of 462.
“I got a note (last) Saturday that I didn’t get it so I had a little pity party,” said Kovalik, who heads the Avalon Theatre and Two Rivers Convention Center for the city of Grand Junction.
Kovalik went back and forth over whether to try to purchase tickets and make plans and travel to New Jersey with her brother from San Francisco to watch the game. Then Kovalik was put in touch with a person who won tickets from a sweepstakes in Kansas City who wanted $5,500 for two tickets. Kovalik didn’t know where the seats were, but after buying them found out. Face value was $1,500 each.
“It’s seven rows over the tunnel where Denver runs out,” she said, thrilled of the placement. “Oh my god!”
Heading to the Super Bowl to watch her Broncos is a check mark off her bucket list. In 1978, Kovalik traveled with her aunt and uncle to watch the Broncos play in that year’s Super Bowl with the Broncos pitted against the Dallas Cowboys at the Superdome in the New Orleans. The Cowboys won, 27-10, but Kovalik never forgot the experience. In comparison, fans could nab a seat for about $30 back then.
Kovalik said she is more than ready to be one among 79,000 others in the New Jersey stadium. Her nails are painted in Broncos blue and orange. She’s packing long underwear and her father’s oversized Broncos jacket. She’ll also be one of a handful of Grand Valley residents cheering on the Broncos in person.
“I am the epitome of a Bronco maniac,” Kovalik said. “I’ve been rooting for this silly team no matter which way they go. I wanted to go again and this fell in my lap.”
According to the ticket-selling website seatgeek.com the average price for a Super Bowl ticket is $3,601, with the cheapest seat pegged at $1,500. As of Wednesday, tickets were selling for an average of $2,615, according to the site.
As of Monday, seatgeek.com reported that 8.1 percent of Super Bowl fans hail from Colorado, compared to 18.1 percent from Washington state, home of the rival Seattle Seahawks.
Staff writer Amy Hamilton contributed to this report.