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Each year, I like to amuse myself by fantasizing that I'm going to the Super Bowl.
Of course, a better fantasy would be that my Buffalo Bills are going. I'm not, however, a guy who lets his fantasies get out of hand.
Ah, but dreams have a price tag, do they not? So, I took a few minutes to see what it would cost me to go to New Orleans this year to catch the big game.
Surprisingly, logistics seem fairly reasonable. I plugged into a travel site and found airfare and a hotel room for the wife and me at a total of $1,360, for four nights.
Whoops, almost forgot to get a rental car. That tacks on another $140.
An aside here. When it comes to hotel accommodations, the wife and I are not picky, for the most part. We do draw the line, however, at certain things.
For instance, not long ago, she and I went to Greensboro. I'd booked us a room at a low-end hotel chain that has a solid reputation.
I was covering an event that evening. I came back to our room that night to find the wife sitting on a folded-up towel on the edge of a chair.
The wife, a truly hardy soul, asked if we might consider leaving, given that it seemed that either a Satanic ritual or a bus full of teenage boys had used the room the night before.
So, I'm going with a more upscale hotel, though it's (literally) not the Ritz.
So, airfare, room and a car total up to $1,500.
I figure that meals would run another $100, since we'd live on Po' Boys and gumbo.
So, while $1,600 is a good chunk of coin (by my measure, anyway), it is still reasonable for four nights in the Big Easy.
It's that third night that's the killer, though. That's the night of the big game. Much to my fantasy-devastating chagrin, I discovered that the price of admission to the Super Dome that evening is a whopper.
In fact, the cheapest ticket I was able to locate was going for $2,842. That's for one ticket, by the way. At the upper end, a single ducat was priced at $12, 502. That's twenty-five grand for a pair, by the way.
I quote those prices from the official NFL ticket site, not from some Nigerian website or BernieMadoff.com.
Now, I'm no bleeding heart, so I'm not going to rant about how far $25K could go toward helping my fellow man.
But, I will provide you with an idea of what it could provide in terms of selfish pursuits.
-1 Panasonic 55" Plasma 3D Smart TV
-1 All Leather Recliner and 1 all-leather sofa
-10 buckets of heavenly bliss from KFC
-10 loaded pizzas from Court Street Pizza
-10 Pu Pu Platters from China Tastes
-300 chicken wings to cook to your taste
-1 gallon of Frank's Hot Sauce, in which to drown those wings
-1 Weber grill
-4 cases of Old Speckled Hen English Ale, the finest brew I have ever sampled
-1 year's worth of your electrical and cable bills
-1 case of assorted desserts, including ring-dings, ho-hos and sno-balls
-1,000 bags of ice.
-1,000 bottles of Pepsi.
-1 each 2007 BMW 3-Series sedan.
Here's the plan. You outfit your home with the TV and fancy furniture, and park the grill in the back. Then, you go out in your (somewhat) new German car and pick up the pizzas, chicken, Chinese food, wings, sauce, ho-hos, Pepsi and brew.
After buying your car, furniture, grub and fixin's, and paying off your utility bills, you'll still be only at the $24,000 mark.
Should you go to New Orleans, all you'll have are some memories, some photos on your cell phone and some cheesy tee-shirt ("Who Dat?" or "Geaux Saints!" or "Big AND Easy").
If you follow the stay-at-home plan, you'll have plenty of leftovers (I presume), plus you'll get years of enjoyment from your big TV, grill, leather furniture and fancy German car.
Or, you could whip up a seven-layer dip and hit your neighbor's Super Bowl party, saving approximately $23,996 in the process.
And that, in a word, would be just super.