Originally created 01/27/99

Couple wins Super Bowl lottery

Meg Davis was in the factory at Thomson Plastics when the frightening call came.

"Meg Davis, you have an emergency phone call," the voice said over the public address system.

Before Mrs. Davis could reach the plant's reception area, a co-worker found her and said her husband, Damon, was on the line. He sounded breathless, like something was terribly wrong, the co-worker said.

Mrs. Davis was certain her husband had hurt himself, maybe cut his arm off with a chain saw while clearing the land around their Thomson home. Then she heard her husband's voice, listened to what he was telling her and fear turned to joy.

"We got the lottery. We got the lottery," Mrs. Davis screamed. Her co-workers screamed, too, presuming the Georgia Lottery had made their friend rich.

"No, no. Even better," she told them. "It's the Super Bowl lottery."

"We had to get a new earpiece for the phone because it blew the thing out because of her screaming," joked Mr. Davis, who tackled a friend when he received notice in the mail that he was Miami bound.

The Davises, die-hard Birdwatchers whose two cats are named for Atlanta Falcons players, were among season ticketholders given the option of purchasing Super Bowl tickets -- at the $325 face value.

The next morning, Mr. Davis went to the bank and withdrew enough money from savings for two tickets. He drove directly to the Georgia Dome, purchased the tickets and ignored ticket brokers outside the stadium, who offered more than $1,000 apiece for the passes.

On Sunday, the Davises will be sitting in the upper-level end zone -- Section 430, Row 24, Seats 15 and 16. The couple is used to a close-up, fifth-row view at the Georgia Dome, but seats anywhere in ProPlayer Stadium are fine with Mr. Davis, a true fanatic.

"I'm a fan of the game," he said. "Sitting up that high, you'll be able to see plays open up. I just like to sit up so I can see the plays developing."

The Davises won't leave for Miami until Thursday, but they've been in Big Game spirit since returning from the NFC Championship in Minneapolis two weeks ago.

The back window of their Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo is painted with palm trees and the message "Miami Bound." The couple has already purchased a bag of Ruffles "The Works" potato chips to eat on the way to the game, and a friend is making a batch of brownies -- so they won't break any game-day traditions and jinx the team.

"We tried cookies one time, but they didn't score a lot so we went back to brownies," Mrs. Davis said.

Mr. Davis has a Falcons duffel bag already packed with team gear, and his outfit is ready for Super Bowl Sunday.

For every Falcons game, Mr. Davis wears his autographed Jesse Tuggle jersey and a pair of Levis, rolled up midcalf to show off his team socks. He wears a pair of Falcon boxers over his jeans and a black Dirty Birds towel hanging from the waistband. He also can't forget the sunglasses or his falcon wings or his lucky gray-and-black hat with red-and-white pompons hanging from the back like a ponytail.

"He definitely dresses the part," said Mrs. Davis, whose game day attire includes blue jeans, a jersey, Falcon hightops and a gold Atlanta Falcons pendant -- the first gift her husband ever gave her.

"You get up Sunday morning like they do," Mr. Davis said, likening his ritual to players' superstitions. "You put on your game face and you tell people to go to hell. You nag people who have on the wrong clothes and all that."

The Davises aren't the only people from the Augusta area who are heading to Miami this weekend. Some fans don't even have tickets, but they want to be part of the excitement when the Falcons face the Denver Broncos.

"I'm trying to talk a friend into going with me," said George Anderson. "I'm certainly willing to go down there without tickets."

Mr. Anderson will likely try to buy tickets outside the stadium rather than paying inflated, advance broker prices, he said.

"There's plenty of them available," said Mr. Anderson, who is willing to spend about $1,000 to see the game. "I may have a line on some around $1,250. The price is a little bit more than I want to spend. I may have to increase my self-imposed budget."

Greg Brooks, president of the CSRA Sports Fan Club, is trying to organize a bus trip to Miami and find tickets for local fans.

"I'm still going whether I go down by myself or I have 20 people in the back of the bus," said Mr. Brooks, who has been to the Masters Tournament and the World Series and is planning to attend this year's Daytona 500.

"If you're a sports fan, you should experience every one of those events once in your life," he said.

Amy Joyner can be reached at (706) 823-3339 or amyjoyn@augustachronicle.com.


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