Pubdate: Mon, 04 Feb 2013
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2013 Postmedia Network Inc.
Author: Ian Austin
Page: A3


Vancouver: Trip-of-lifetime to Super Bowl ends at U.S. border with old 
pot conviction

For Myles Wilkinson, second-best was still pretty darn

The Victoria man was bureaucratically tackled at the U.S. border when
he tried to take a free trip to the Super Bowl.

Instead, he was hanging with cheerleaders and a former NFL great
Sunday at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver.

Wilkinson gained his 15 minutes of fame the hard way - getting refused
entry to the U.S. after winning a Fantasy Football trip-of-a-lifetime
because of a 1981 conviction for possessing two grams of marijuana.

Organizers of the Commodore Ballroom Super Bowl Party heard about
Wilkinson's offside with U.S. authorities, and gave him the red-carpet
treatment in pot-loving Vancouver.

Instead of hanging in the stadium in New Orleans, he got up close and
personal with some NFL talent.

"I'm a huge Seattle Seahawks fan, and Shaun Alexander is one of the
all-time greats," said Wilkinson, 51. "When he arrived at the
Commodore, he got out of the limo and said, 'Where's Myles?'

"He walked right over and gave me a football."

Myles's win streak continued as he cheered for the Baltimore Ravens,
who took a big lead and held on to beat the San Francisco 49ers in an
exciting finish.

Then the Sea Gals, four Seahawks cheerleaders in Vancouver for the
game, came and cheered him up some more.

"These are the Sea Gals - this is it for me," grinned Wilkinson,
surrounded by pompoms, a pleasant cure for the bitterness he still
feels about having his trip to New Orleans dashed.

"Marijuana's legal in Washington (state) now - everyone knows this is
just silly. They've got to decriminalize possession of small amounts
of marijuana - it's ruining people's lives."

The crowd had more West Coast fans of the 49ers than the Ravens, but
Bri King was boozily cheering on her adopted team.

"I'm rooting for the Ravens, because my roommate's from Baltimore,"
said King. "I'm a Saints fan, and she was cheering for me when they
were in the Super Bowl."

Football games turns on big plays - none bigger than Baltimore
superstar Ed Reed's interception.

There, in the Commodore's front row, wearing a Reed jersey, Greg
Marshall was overjoyed.

"That's what Ed Reed does - he plays centre-fielder, and he does what
it takes to win."

The interception seemed to take most of the drama out of the spectacle
- - until halftime, at least, when Beyonce took the stage. While the
burly guys glued to the screen during the game made a beeline for the
can, the gals in the audience shook their tail feathers along with the
lip-synching anthem singer who - we think - was performing live.

"Oh, my God, the best part of Super Bowl is Beyonce," said huge fan
Balbina Dabrowski, dancing with her gal pals as Beyonce put on quite
an athletic dance performance of her own. "Everybody knows she can
sing - and she did, amazingly."

The Girl Power decibels blew the roof off as former Destiny's Child
bandmates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams exploded on to the stage
to sing Independent Woman.

"They reunited for the first time," exulted Dabrowski. "Beyonce blew
that controversy away when she sang live at her news conference."
Baltimore appeared to blow away San Francisco in the first half, but
after a second-half-opening kickoff return for a score by Baltimore,
the 49ers really came to play.

At least they did once the Louisiana stadium got its act together -
the lights went out for another dramatic Super Bowl subplot.

Back to the game at hand, San Francisco and Baltimore traded punches
and a series of dramatic momentum shifts before the Ravens hung on to
win 34-31.
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MAP posted-by: Matt