MONTROSE – A pair of local Broncos fanatics will make the pilgrimage to professional football's biggest stage Sunday hoping to see Peyton Manning and the Broncos hoist the Lombardy trophy.
Todd and Maya Haynes of Montrose will watch Super Bowl XLVIII live from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., featuring the NFL's most potent offense in the Denver Broncos, versus arguably the NFL's best defense, the Seattle Seahawks.
Both teams were each the number one seed in their conferences, and for just the second time in 20 seasons, the two number one seeds will meet to the decide the championship. Game time is Sunday, Feb. 2, 4:30 p.m. ET, 2 p.m. Colorado on FOX.
Todd said he scored the tickets online just after the final seconds of the NFC Conference Championship, with Seattle defeating San Francisco 23-17.
"We wanted to get them before all the Seattle people got them," Todd said. "We went online right after the game ended, while they were still taking the field.
Through the NFL's ticket exchange, with ticket prices ranging from $2,000 to $89,000, Todd bought two of the cheapest tickets available for seats about 40 rows from the field, overlooking an end zone. Using credit card points, the Hayneses found cheap airline tickets. fare from Colorado to New York.
Maya said she has family in the New York area and Todd said he wanted to pay his respects at Ground Zero in lower Manhattan. It’s the trip of a lifetime, and they’ll be able to visit and go sightseeing in New York – Maya has family in New York, and Todd plans to pay his respects at Ground Zero. And while going to the Super Bowl is the highlight of the trip, "We don't want to rub it in," Todd said, about going to the game.
"We're just kicking some things off the old bucket list," Maya said. "We couldn't justify” the trip to the Super Bowl all on its own, “but since we have some family, many in their 90s, it makes more sense to combine everything into one big trip.”
Todd said they are leaving some time unbooked, just in case the game gets moved to Monday, due to weather conditions.
Todd, a Montrose native, is a lifelong Broncos fan. Maya, who is from California (and grew up with San Diego and San Francisco fans in her family), had hoped to see the 49ers beat Seattle to play the Broncos, which "led to some bickering, but it's all in clean fun," she said. "I like the Broncos organization; it’s a pretty classy group.”
Todd says the cold-weather Broncos will be better suited to New Jersey winter conditions, but it’s debatable how game-time conditions will affect the game.
"If it's not bad weather, I predict we're going to win by seven," Todd said. And if it is bad weather? “We'll win by three.”
The couple agree that the Broncos' defense that will have to step up if the team is going to win, with Todd hoping to the Broncos don’t get into a "shootout" with Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson and the Seahawks.
"I felt in the last game, they really stepped up," Todd said of the Broncos' defense. "We rely on Peyton to score a lot of points and the defense hopefully stopping them once or twice.
"You can't win a game without it," Maya said confidently of the Bronco’s defense.
The Haynes of Montrose are used to watching football in cold weather, but they’re looking forward to the "butt warmer, gloves and earmuffs" the NFL is giving to each fan attending Sunday's game.
In the fall, the couple are regular attendees at Montrose High School games.
"We support high school football,” said Maya. “We love the game."