SEATTLE — This is probably as good a time as any to look back at my trip to Munich and outside of the first half of the Seahawks game, it was very memorable.
I should preface this by saying I'm not a world traveler - far from it. The thought of a 10-hour flight to anywhere is tough for me to endure. You've seen that kid on the plane with his handheld video game, toys, juice box, and crackers. That's me. But at 58 years old, I've upgraded to movies, magazines, Chex Mix, candy and soda. And keep'em coming.
Bottom line - I can't sleep on planes.
I remember being in New York and driving straight to the airport after Super Bowl 48, as well as the 1995 ALDS between the Mariners and Yankees. After our final live shots at 2:30 a.m. EST, we went straight to the airport for a 6 a.m. flight.
I figured this was perfect. I'd been up all day and night, and would finally be able to sleep on a plane.
All right, where was I? Munich, right.
On Sunday, I showed up in my suit thinking it'd be a pretty routine day preparing to host the 5th Quarter. I take my seat in the press box of this awesome stadium, Allianz Arena, and it'll be business as usual.
Not even close. The press area is outside with temperatures hovering in the 40s and me without my parka. I go to my assigned seat between Gregg Bell of The News Tribune and Mazvita Maraire of Cascadiasports.net. Turns out it's just an assigned "space" because unlike those two, I have no chair to sit in.
Now, there was a jump seat that folded down off a wall between Gregg and Maz - you know like the flight attendants use, but without my snacks and entertainment I knew I wouldn't last.
All of this is great news for the two veteran reporters, who not only have extra elbow room with Silvi out of the picture, but they're dressed appropriately - Maz in a nice, warm sweater and Gregg outfitted in European attire, complete with a hat and trench coat. Picture Inspector Clouseau without all the bumbling.
Alas, with Gregg's impressive West Point education, of course he's going to be more prepared than a guy who went to one Boy Scout meeting as a kid and snuck out halfway through after realizing it was much more about the "Be Prepared" motto than fun camp outs and hiking.
Rather than sit in my jump seat for 90 minutes awaiting kickoff, I headed out to the concourse to join some of the 75,000 fans fortunate enough to get a ticket. Some were high-fiving and jumping around with their buddies the minute they came through the turnstiles.
The level of fun and anticipation for this historic game was awesome to witness. Almost every NFL team was represented by the masses of jersey-wearing fans. From Joe Namath to Joe Jurevicius. I even saw a jersey from Joe's former Seahawks Super Bowl teammate Michael Boulware as well as one from another former Hawk, Patrick Kerney.
Fans came from all over to see this game. I met former Washingtonians who now live in Berlin, Frankfurt and Naples, Italy just to name a few, all to show their love for American football.
It was a memorable experience, especially after returning to my jump seat and listening to the fans cheer for just about everything the game had to offer.
It was quite a spectacle.
Maz looked at me at one point and said, "And we get paid for this."
Yes, we do.
And by the way, if you're not too attached to that sweater, I know a guy who will pay you for that, too.