Mike and Char Gregori really like football.
This past week, they attended the Super Bowl for the first time in their lives. The Gregoris were in Florida on Sunday and watched, along with thousands of other excited fans, as the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers, 31-20 in a thrilling comeback victory.
“It was a dream come true,” Mike said.
Char dubbed it “the best experience ever.”
The opportunity to watch one of the most exciting sporting events in the world started months before Mike and his sister ever set foot in Hard Rock Stadium.
They began shopping for Super Bowl tickets in March, before the 2019 NFL season began. Although Pittsburg Steelers fans, their main drive was to watch the Super Bowl and visit Miami, another first.
“We found out it was in Miami, and I said, ‘Let’s go,’” Char said during an interview Thursday afternoon in their family-operated restaurant, Char’s Family Dining. “We’re big football fans.”
The first step was buying tickets. Char searched for “how to get Super Bowl tickets” on the Internet.
They bought Hall of Fame experience tickets that included not only nosebleed stadium seats, but also opportunities to meet professional Hall of Famers like Jerry Rice, Billy Shaw and Randell McDaniel.
At $4,500 per ticket, although “a little expensive,” Char said, “every penny of it was worth it.”
Mike and Char beamed with excitement when talking about their trip.
The highlight for Char was meeting Buffalo Bills offensive guard Hall of Famer Billy Shaw, among others. She also met former NBA rebound legend Dennis Rodman at a Miami club.
Mike described a pre-game party in which he eyed a chance to meet Niners legend Jerry Rice. Easily recognizable, NFL Hall of Famer Rice, a star wide receiver, stood between Mike and a mob of people.
“Everybody rushed him,” Mike said. “I didn’t think I’d meet him.”
However, on his way out the door, Mike saw an opportunity to nudge Rice.
“He graciously came over and took a picture. That was a big moment,” Mike said.
By 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, the two Havreites started filing into the stadium, already electric and celebratory.
“You could just feel the energy,” Mike said. “Everybody was just excited. You can feel it in the crowd.”
Among the excited fans were a group of people from Manhattan, Montana, who sat in the row in front of the Gregoris.
For the sake of the occasion, each picked a team to win. Mike chose to root for the Niners, because it was his girlfriend’s favorite team. and Char cheered the Chiefs.
After the big game, the spent a little more time, taking in other south Florida attractions.
After the Miami experience, the Gregoris definitely caught the Super Bowl bug. And they plan to hit up another one. Next time , in 2022, they plan to attend Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, where Mike was born.
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