Mitch Denman recently became one of the thousands of Canadians who cross the border every weekend to participate in NFL tailgate parties and to watch live NFL games.
Yet Denman’s road trip was a little different than most.
In addition to making the trip from Sherwood Park Alberta to Denver on October 23 to watch his beloved Chargers , Denman convinced two friends that they should extend the weekend and catch games in both Dallas and New Orleans – two of the NFL’s most famous game-day hosts.
Over the course of just five days, Denman and his crew took in three marquee games. Thursday night Football between at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver (Broncos 35, Chargers 21), Sunday Night Football at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans (Saints 44, Packers 23) and Monday Night Football at AT&T Stadium in Dallas (Redskins 20, Cowboys 17).
Why did you decide to do this #NFLRoadtrip?
Along with my two best friends we initially wanted to see a game in Dallas but the more we looked, the more it seemed that we could fit more games in due to the scheduling. The idea started back in April when the NFL schedule was released and through some coordinating of flights we turned this one game trip into a NFL trip of a lifetime. We were satisfied with just Dallas but then New Orleans came into the picture and lastly a stop in Denver for Thursday Night Football…we could not resist the thought of making this trip a reality.
My two best friends Ryan who is a die hard Pittsburgh Steelers and Ian who is a Seattle Seahawks fan joined me on this journey. It was difficult supporting other teams at the games with jerseys that just did not feel right but when you go to a NFL game, you need to have a jersey for a team and can’t be neutral while in attendance.
How long have you been a Chargers fan?
The Chargers have had my support for the last 14 years and have been lucky enough to attend 2 games at Qualcomm stadium both against the Indianapolis Colts. I was lucky enough to be there to see both Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck on separate occasions and both games resulted in wins for the Chargers. My dream was to see the Chargers on the road and seeing them in Denver lived up to hype. The adrenaline was through the roof and the experience as a whole was amazing. I proudly wore my #32 Eric Weddle jersey and took my fair share of criticism from the broncos faithful but I loved every second of it.
Have you met other Canadians?
During our journey we ran into Canadians at every game but saw a traveling group of Saskatchewan Roughriders fans in Denver and New Orleans sporting the Green and white. Also ran into a family of 3 in New orleans that were wearing a Edmonton Eskimos jersey and that totally caught me off guard but had to go over for a chat.
Tell us about some of the trip’s most memorable moments
Experiencing AT&T stadium in Dallas was amazing, and our seats were fantastic with a great view. The stadium was almost sensory overload with all the sights to see around the building and the sheer size. Everything from the cowboys cheerleaders to the massive scoreboard and the history of America’s team the Dallas Cowboys, the stadium experience will be tough to beat
The most unbelievable moment was in New Orleans – I’ll never forget the noise level and how it suffocates in the dome when the crowd gets behind the saints defence. From the moment the player intros started and the national anthem to the game and every single 3rd down play, the crowd NEVER lets up and just makes the experience unforgettable. For any fan that goes to Denver for a Broncos game and sits in the upper deck be prepared to shake literally……the stadium is made of steel so every play on defence you can feel the stadium shake with all 76,000 people stomping their feet.
Are you planning your own cross-border road trip to an NFL game? Share your story with fellow Canadian fans at @NFLCanada #NFLRoadTrip
Personal stories and photos – such as Mitch Denman’s- will be featured on the league’s Canadian social media presence.
Photos courtesy Mitch Denman @MitchDenman