Midnight was fast approaching, but for Ellicott City brothers Mike and Bobby Bisson and the rest of the Baltimore Ravens fans in New Orleans, the party was just beginning.
“We won’t be getting much sleep tonight … we’re going to be going out and living it up and partying until morning,” said Mike Bisson while walking from the Superdome toward Bourbon Street. “It’s one big happy family right now; everyone is on cloud nine.
“We’re Super Bowl champs. It’s time to let loose.”
From the moment the game ended and the confetti began falling from the rafters, delirium had set in for the Bisson brothers and the seemingly endless throng of Ravens fans around them. There were hugs with strangers, high-fives with players next to the field, and even a quick cameo appearance on NFL Network.
“It’s crazy … better than anything I could have ever imagined,” Bobby said.
The truth is, earlier in the week, when they decided to purchase plane tickets to fly to New Orleans, the Bissons didn’t know how the trip would turn out. They didn’t have a hotel booked or tickets to the game lined up.
But as the week progressed, everything fell into place. Their dad, Joe, got them a hotel room just outside the city using his reward points on Thursday and then they tracked down tickets for $1,200 apiece on Friday.
After that, from the time their plane landed Saturday night, all they had to do was enjoy the ride.
“New Orleans is amazing. I don’t know how they could have a Super Bowl anywhere else,” Bobby said. “Everything, from the area to the people, it’s all perfect. I’m so glad we did this … completely worth every penny.”
The Bissons took a cab to the Superdome at 11 a.m. Sunday, spending the day taking in the sights and sounds. They had a front-row seat for the CBS pregame show, actually showing up in the background several times during the live broadcast.
Later they enjoyed some tailgating before making their way to their seats in the upper deck. Despite being up high, Bobby says the view was amazing.
“We were on the 1-yard line basically, and they were great,” he said. “Actually, as someone was telling us before the game, any seat in the Superdome is a good seat.”
The game itself was a rollercoaster ride.
There were highs, like the Ravens jumping out to a 28-6 lead early in the third quarter after Jacoby Jones took the second-half kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown -- after Joe Flacco had thrown three touchdown passes in the first half.
There were lows, watching the 49ers stage a dramatic comeback before the Ravens finally made a goal-line stand to preserve their 34-31 victory and their second Super Bowl.
And there was the bizarre, sitting through a 34-minute power outage.
“I think we both might have had a couple heart attacks,” Bobby said. “We were jumping for joy the whole first half and then the third and fourth quarter we were losing it.”
Mike says the final drive for San Francisco was particularly nerve-wracking.
“That first-and-goal for them on the 5-yard line, I’ve never been so scared in my entire life,” he said.
But as Colin Kaepernick’s fourth-down pass fell incomplete, essentially sealing the victory, that nervousness was replaced by “complete joy.” What was already a memorable trip, got significantly better.
“Time of my life," Mike said. "Something we’ll never forget for as long as we live."