Loyal Beckett reader and Donruss collector Ryan Schear was the grand prize winner of the Donruss Beckett NFL Playoffs promotion. To be eligible to win, Ryan had to find all 13 logos hidden throughout the December issue of Beckett Football. After being notified that he was the winner, Ryan was off to the AFC Championship game between the undefeated New England Patriots and San Diego Chargers.
Here's what Ryan shared with us:
After learning of my impending trip to Foxboro, there was only one thing I could do. Go out to eat with my buddies (Jim, Fleming and Giles). Through their unwavering disbelief and envy, the excitement peaked with me yelling "I'm going to the AFC Championship" in the parking lot of Chili's. The guys working on the roof peaked over and offered up congratulations. Everybody at my work was in shock, congratulating me and saying how great it was. The store where I bought the magazine, Front Row Sportscards, in Severna Park, MD was buzzing also. Owners Bill and Belinda as well as Joe, Clint and Maryland Don (as we call him) were really excited.
I decided to take one of my best friends, Tom Giles, with me. Tom has been a great friend for a number of years and I knew he would appreciate the magnitude of this event. After several correspondences with Elizabeth at Donruss, our flight and hotel was booked. We left Regan Airport at 7am on Sunday and touched down in Boston around 8:30 am. After a quick cab ride we were at our hotel in Foxboro. A few hours later we were dressed in our winter expedition best and headed out to the game. The woman at the front desk, Jill, extended congratulations and talked some Pats football with us. She was awesome and knew her stuff.
We shared a shuttle with 4 Chargers fans (we were pro-Patriots), one of which yelled "GO Chargers!" out the window at every Pats fan he saw. I must say that the Chargers fans travel well, there were a lot more than I was expecting. We settled into our seats and waited for the game to begin. It was cold. Not just "Brrr, it's chilly" but "Wow, I can't feel my feet" cold. I had bought "Expedition Tested" socks that apparently were tested on an expedition slightly warmer than the weather in Foxboro because my feet went fast. The crowd was great, everyone was into it. Some of the Chargers fans were trying to tell the locals that Tom Brady just wasn't that good. They were met with a thick-Boston accented cheer of "MVP, MVP". After the Maroney touchdown and Gaffney reception, the place was electric. Everyone in our section stood for most of the game. After Brady hit Welker for the 3rd touchdown, everyone was dancing and chanting, "Super Bowl, Super Bowl!" We headed back to the hotel and ate at the "99" while watching the upset special Giants.
The nest morning, we caught a cab back to the airport and were back in Maryland by 11 am. This was a truly unforgettable experience. I want to thank Elizabeth DeLoera at Donruss for sending us to the AFC Championship Game and providing awesome accommodations. Also, Tracy Hackler and Beckett Media for sponsoring the contest.
People actually win these contests, I'm proof.