Richard Whelan from Dublin and Paul McEvoy from Cahir in Tipperary made headlines after the pair apparently landed themselves with free pitchside seats to the clash between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks in Phoenix, Arizona.
Richard Whelan told RTÉ Radio 1’s Morning Ireland that while he had his flights home booked, having blagged his way into the American football final, nothing seems impossible.
Whelan said the pair snuck in past one ticket desk on the advice of one good-humoured security guard.
“Our game plan was to be super confident,” Whelan said. “We just thought if we pretend we belong there, nobody will question us.
“Between one layer of security and another we just walked in behind these 20 first-aid workers, straight up to the front door and hid in behind them. Paul was looking at his phone, pretending to text me, as if we had just popped out to look at an email we got or something.
“We walked past another security guard that just wasn’t paying attention. We could see the field then, the stadium and the atmosphere was insane.”
Getting ready for the long trip back to Dublin. Hopefully I'm allowed back home :) pic.twitter.com/Leew8DNcIY— richiewhelan (@richiewhelan) February 3, 2015
The opportunistic duo took vacant seats when fans went for beer and snacks. They eventually found a pair of seats four rows from the pitch that were free for the second half, in a row where tickets were changing hands for $25,000 (€21,700)a seat prior to kick-off.
“We spoke to this guy and told him we had sneaked in. He told us the girls beside him were in the halftime show and so wouldn’t be coming back to their seats after halftime,” Whelan said.
It didn’t all end well for Whelan, however, who witnessed his beloved Seahawks denied a consecutive title. The Seattle team had a chance to win with 20 seconds left, but quarterback Russell Wilson’s intercepted pass saw the Patriots retain their 28-24 lead, securing their fourth title.
Gutted— richiewhelan (@richiewhelan) February 2, 2015
After the game, the pair hopped on a VIP bus going to a hotel next door to their own accommodation.