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(From left): Wesley Simons, Steve Bond and Jeremy Cohen before Super Bowl XLIX.

 

Last Sunday night was an exhilarating and exhausting one for Hartman Simons partners Jeremy Cohen and Bob Simons, who were in the stands in Glendale, Arizona, to witness their beloved New England Patriots win one of the most thrilling, nerve-wracking Super Bowls in history.

In today’s Four on Friday, we get their reflections on their trip out West and the historic contest, as well as their thoughts on the chances that Tom Brady will one day have a Super Bowl ring for his thumb. Many thanks to Bob and Jeremy for their time.

Could you give us a quick breakdown of your trip overall?

Simons: In addition to the Super Bowl, last weekend the Phoenix/Scottsdale area hosted the Waste Management Open (formerly Phoenix Open) golf tournament, which has the largest attendance of any golf tournament in the world. As a result, there were a lot of special events, parties and activities going on around the clock in Scottsdale.

As a host city, Phoenix did an amazing job orchestrating everything. Traffic was never a problem, and all of their organization was outstanding. We had a fun group of guys on our trip, and we packed a lot (other than sleep) into it.

Cohen: We arrived on Saturday late morning. After dropping off our bags, we headed out to play golf at the Boulders North Course. Saturday night, we had dinner in Carefree, and then hit a country/western bar for some music, cocktails and pool. We awoke early Sunday morning to go to The Phoenix Open. It was a beautiful morning to watch some professional golfers make the game look so easy.

We left the golf tournament around noon to head to the stadium. We spent about 90 minutes tailgating on our lot before heading into the game. The game was, as most folks know by now, one of a kind. We were emotionally wiped after it, and so our post-game celebration consisted of just late-night munchies.

Monday morning brought one more round of golf at Grayhawk. On Monday night, we celebrated with a steak dinner and a short trip to Talking Stick Casino, and we flew back Tuesday midday. With the exception of the airline losing my luggage on the trip home, our excursion couldn’t have been any better!

How would you compare this game to those of Super Bowls past?

Simons: This Super Bowl was definitely different than the Patriots’ previous Super Bowl appearances. This year, there was no argument that the two best teams were playing in the finale. In fact, the teams were so well matched, that for most of the two weeks leading up to the game, the odds were “pick 'em,” and there was no clear favorite to win the game. As it turned out, the odds makers were right (as they usually are).

This was an incredibly close and intense game from start to finish. There was never a time where fans of either team could sit back and relax because the game was in hand. It was a nail biter down to the final 10 seconds. 

Cohen: This is the third Super Bowl I have been to and my third victory. Of the three, this one easily had the most tension. No one expected the Pats to win the first time in New Orleans, and so it felt great just to be there. When they won, it happened at the last second, and so we were more shocked than anything else.

In ‘05, I really just felt that the Pats wouldn’t lose to the Eagles, and so I really wasn’t that nervous during the game. In this game, however, I just wasn’t sure what would happen and so the entire game, I was on pins and needles, but I wasn’t alone.

Everyone in the stadium was nervous, both Pats and Hawks fans alike. My childhood friend Steve Bond, who joined us, had a hard time sitting still. Bob’s son Wesley, the fourth member of our group, said that his heart was coming out of his chest. The energy in the stadium was just so incredible and something that’s hard to put into words. That’s something I won’t soon forget and get the chills just thinking back on it.

What was your most memorable experience of the weekend?

Simons: For me, having grown up in the Boston area and being a lifelong Patriots fan, having the opportunity to be at the Super Bowl with my oldest son (Wesley) and other friends who are diehard Patriots fans was tremendous. We were fortunate to have the opportunity to go to the game, and as it turned out, we had great seats as well. All of the action at the end of the game was directly in front of us, and it was a crazy experience. I will never forget it, and I know that my son won’t either. 

Cohen: I am not sure I can narrow this trip down to just one memorable experience as everything was so incredible. I guess just the sense of relief I felt once the Pats took the final snap, knowing that my team had just won their fourth Super Bowl Championship and that all of the money that we spent to be in the stands for the game was so completely worth it.

With you both being Pats’ fans, do you foresee them winning another Super Bowl before Tom Brady retires?

Simons: In the era of free agency, it’s very hard to come back and repeat as Super Bowl Champions. Nevertheless, as long as the Patriots can keep the Brady/Belichek era going, I think that they will always have a chance to win the championship again. Of course there is always the risk of injury, but absent a serious injury to Tom Brady, I don’t see any reason why he can’t play for another two or three years. He needs one more Super Bowl ring for his thumb!

Cohen: That’s an excellent question. On the flight home, Bob was already looking to make plans for Santa Clara next year and “One for the Thumb.” Given as hard as Tom works to stay in great physical shape, if he doesn’t get injured, I could actually foresee the Patriots having one final shot. Nevertheless, I won’t be disappointed if this is Tom’s final win, as it was clearly a game for the ages. GO PATS!

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Confetti rains down after Super Bowl XLIX as the New England Patriots and their fans celebrate a nail-biting 28-24 victory.
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(From left to right): Mark Garfinkle, Rob Reeder, Wesley Simons, Benji Franz, and Hartman Simons partners Jeremy Cohen, Bob Simons and Peter Hartman at the Waste Management Open golf tournament in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Super Bowl weekend.