Sunday 24 September 2017

Man in Cavan jersey reveals his unbelievable Super Bowl journey

Niall O'Riordan at the University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday
Niall O'Riordan at the University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday

Niall O'Riordan became a social media phenomenon when he was caught on camera donning a Cavan jersey at the Super Bowl in Arizona on Sunday night.

The Cavan Gaels clubman crossed the Atlantic for his 40th birthday with no ticket and no accommodation and ended up enjoying one of the best adventures of his life.

He contacted members of the Irish community in Phoenix and found himself the guest of Seamus McCaffrey who owns an Irish bar in the city.

He had almost given up on finding a ticket on Saturday morning when he was handed a piece  of cardboard from a waitress at Mr McCaffrey's bar with the message: 'Travelled from Ireland need 1 ticket please.'

"I’d seen a good few people with similar signs but mine was unique. And then I had the Cavan jersey on me as well, Tom Brady is meant to have Cavan connections and I had the number 12, Brady wears 12, all the Seattle fans wear 12," he told Balls.ie

He was hanging around bars close to the stadium and was about to give up on finding something when he was approached by a fan who offered him the ticket at face value.

He accompanied the fan as he had to match the ticket with his credit card.

Having got to the stadium with plenty of time to spare, O'Riordan was able to enjoy the atmosphere and move freely and got into a picture with Sky Sport’s Neil Reynolds.

Niall stayed pitchside for the first quarter and got into seats as they were vacated by people going to the bathroom or getting snacks and was determined to stay there for Katy Perry's half time show.

He noticed a row of seats that had been left empty by people who eventually turned out to be Katy Perry's friends and family and sat down on one of them.

He was captured by Sky Sports cameras in the seats and Twitter and Facebook lit up to acclaim the guy in the Cavan jersey.

"There was a good few Irish people on Saturday night about and every now and then you’d hear ‘Hey Cavan’!," he added.

He had the perfect seat in the house for Malcolm Butler's interception which won the game for the New England Patriots. What a day.

"Without the jersey I wouldn’t have gotten a ticket for the game, without a doubt”

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