Victoria Martinez sends her family to Super Bowl

Thomas Garcia

A wife and mother’s generosity allowed father and son to experience the Super Bowl together.

Many fathers and sons enjoy spending time together talking, fishing, hunting and watching or playing sports.

However, Esteban Martinez II and his son, Esteban Martinez III, had the opportunity of a lifetime to attend Super Bowl XLV in Arlington, Texas because of Victoria Martinez’s luck and love.

Victoria won the pair of Super Bowl tickets from a contest sponsored by Brian Urlacher Cross Country Autoplex in Tucumcari.

“I knew this was a father/son opportunity of a lifetime,” Victoria said. “After I gave my son my ticket, people asked if I even liked football. I told them I love football, but I love my boys more.”

Victoria said she wanted to surprise her son with the Super Bowl trip but needed to make sure he could go.

“My husband and I discussed it and we first had to make sure our son could afford to miss the wrestling tournament that weekend,” Victoria said.

Martinez III is a member of the Tucumcari Rattlers wresting team. Victoria had to be sure that, if he missed the weekend’s tournament, it would not affect his district standings or chance at state competition.

“I walked in after practice Friday night and my mom said I was not going to the tournament,” Martinez III said. “I was shocked and kept asking, ‘What did I do?’ Then my mom told me ‘You’re not going because you and your father are going to the Super Bowl.’”

Martinez II and his son left for Arlington on Feb. 5. While en route to their hotel, they immediately were exposed to the Super Bowl atmosphere.

“The buildings had the pictures of the players on them,” Martinez III said. “I don’t know how they got them on the building, but it looked awesome.”

Martinez II said he and his son went to the Bridgestone Tires Super Bowl Experience in Dallas.

“They had different types of drills and events for the people to compete in,” Martinez III said. “My dad and I competed in the throwing, passing and offensive and defensive drills. We also had a couple of pictures taken with backdrops and props.”

Martinez III said he was unable to sleep Saturday night. He said the excitement of the upcoming game kept him awake.

“I was ready to be there,” Martinez III said.

Both father and son said when they arrived at the stadium, they were overwhelmed with the amount of people at the event and the security.

“There were snipers on buildings and helicopters patrolling the skies,” Martinez II said. “They took this day and game very seriously.”

Martinez II and his son are Chicago Bears fans, and despite their rival playing in the game, they were pulling for the Green Bay Packers.

“Our team may have not been playing but we support the NFC (National Football Conference),” Martinez II said.

Martinez III said their seats were situated above the NFC end zone where most of the game’s action took place.

“We got to see every touchdown but one,” Martinez II said. “We were right there. It was unbelievable.”

The game was played, the Packers won and the Martinez’s returned to Tucumcari with a great story to share and experiences neither of them will soon forget.

“It was an amazing experience,” Martinez II said. “I am hooked. Once you have been to a live game, you want to go back.”