On Sunday, February 1, 2004, Danny Masters and I rolled into Ruidoso, New Mexico and stopped for a beer in what could only be described as a cowboy bar. I was probably the only one in the place not wearing cowboy boots and Wranglers. Even Danny was sporting a pair of boots, jeans, and a snap button western shirt. Adding to the cowboy image was a genuine king-size Marlboro dangling from his lips. The only clue he wasn’t a true son of the West was the one size fits all ball cap with KY embroidered on the front.
Ruidoso is in the Sierra Blanca Mountain chain which is part of the Mescalero Apache Reservation. It just happened to be Super Bowl XXXVIII Sunday but neither of us was aware of that. We just wanted to get off the road for a minute and a western looking cowboy bar seemed like the right place.
I can’t remember the bar’s name but it wasn’t what you’d call high-class. Nevertheless, they had cold bottles of Lone Star Beer, rickety old wooden chairs, a mostly clean table, and big screen TVs all tuned to the ball game. We arrived sometime during the second half and missed not getting a brief stare at Janet Jackson’s exposed breast.
We stayed long enough to witness the Patriots beat the Carolina Panthers with a last-minute field goal and then headed up into the snow-covered mountains, through a ski resort, and spending the night in a very cheap motel in Socorro, NM.
Probably my most memorable Super Bowl.