For R.B. Wick, life is just too short not to go to the Super Bowl.
When his father had open heart surgery in 2009, Wick told himself that if the Seattle Seahawks ever made it to the Super Bowl again, he would take his dad to the game.
Randall Wick, now 76 and living in Palm Springs, Calif., has had health issues just about every year since the surgery. R.B. Wick didn't know how much more time he was going to have with his dad to be able to fulfill the promise he'd made to himself.
But then this season happened.
The Seahawks kept winning. And when Richard Sherman tipped the pass from 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to wide receiver Michael Crabtree, ending the NFC Championship game and sealing the Seahawks' Super Bowl fate, it was almost too much.
"That last-minute grab, honestly it was almost like destiny," the 27-year-old Bellingham resident said. "It was almost like I won the game. I wanted to cry. I probably had tears in my eyes."
His first thought: He was taking his dad to the Super Bowl.
"I knew I was going to do it," he said. "I knew I was going to make it happen because I had to. My dad has done a lot for me in my life. Growing up, he made me the guy I am. It wasn't a question of if, it was a question of how."
Money was going to be an issue, though. Wick lost his job last January and is now self-employed, so money was tight. He sold some things, borrowed money from his friends and did whatever it took, but he got together the money for game tickets, flights and a hotel.
"I love my dad and the idea of having this memory for the rest of my life and the remainder of his, I think it's worth doing whatever I can to come up with the money," he said.
Wick spent the week before his trip to Palm Springs anxiously anticipating the moment that his dad would find out he was going to the Super Bowl. He bought extra-extra large jerseys for them both so they could get layered up for the cold. Then Wick and his girlfriend, Jessica Oaks, wrapped the jerseys along with a big card Oaks made that said, "You're going to New York Friday for the game." They put those in a box, then stuffed blue and green helium balloons on top so they would soar out of the box as his father opened the package.
When his father read the card, he laughed and said, "Not really." When Wick assured him that he was, in fact, going to the Super Bowl, tears welled up in his dad's eyes. It made everything worth it.
"He wouldn't stop thanking me, giving a great big old hug and couldn't wait to start talking about it and the fun we're going to have. Very excited guy," Wick wrote in an email from Palm Springs. "It's not every day you can make your old man the most excited he has ever been in years and years."
Wick hopes the trip to New York will give them some serious father-son bonding time.
"It'll be nice to kind of relive those memories of me being young and going to football games and baseball games with him," Wick said. "Win or lose, I don't think there will be any disappointments. But of course, the Seahawks win will be a cherry on top."
Though he's going all out for the weekend with his dad, he hopes other people will take the time hey have with their loved ones and do something special, too. It could be a fishing trip or a trip to a game, but it will be worth it to make new memories.
"When they're gone they're gone and you can't get that time back," he said. "I can make the money back over time, but I will never get another chance to do this with my dad."
Reach Zoe Fraley at 360-756-2803 or firstname.lastname@example.org.