NEWARK, N.J. — Lynnwood’s Mark Booher, who was diagnosed with liver and colon cancer last summer, says he doesn’t know what lies ahead.
But for now, he has prescribed himself what seems to be an effective therapy: big-time football.
“Right now, I feel great. This is like a dream,” Booher said Tuesday as he and thousands of other fans got a close look during Media Day at some of the marquee players preparing for Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVIII.
For $30 to $50, fans bought tickets to sit in the upper levels of The Prudential Center, while on the ground level, members of news organizations from around the world attempted to glean tidbits of insight from star members of both the Seahawks and Denver Broncos.
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Fans entering the arena, which usually hosts hockey, basketball and concerts, were given small radio receivers that allowed them to tune into any one of five interviews going on simultaneously below them.
Booher is here for the week, staying with a brother-in-law in New Jersey. He paid $5,000 for two Super Bowl end-zone seats, and although the price for such seats has been dropping on the secondary market, he has no regrets.
“I don’t know if I’ll get another chance,” he said.
Blue-clad Seahawks fans at media day included residents from both coasts.
“They’re great to watch, and they treat their fans like they’re part of the team,” said Cynthia Strahl, who grew up in the Tacoma area and now lives on New York’s Staten Island.
Strahl and her husband, Brandon, wore Russell Wilson No. 3 jerseys Tuesday while son Michael, 26, sported one with Richard Sherman’s No. 25. They weren’t able to get tickets to the Super Bowl, so this was their best chance of seeing the top players.
After years of feeling like an outsider in the New York area because of her allegiance to Seattle, Strahl said she is starting to see more Seahawks fans.
“Of course, it helps that the Jets are horrible,” she said.
The New York area’s other NFL team, the Giants, also had a down year. The Strahls were at MetLife Stadium in mid-December to see the Seahawks dismantle the Giants 23-0.
Media Day stands also included a large contingent of Broncos fans in bright orange jerseys.
“I’m a big Peyton Manning fan and have been for years,” said Greg Giordano, who lives in Jersey City.
Giordano said some people in the New York area feel a family tie with Manning because Manning’s younger brother, Eli, is the Giants’ quarterback.
Carl Patterson of Maplewood, N.J., wearing a Wilson jersey, said he’s confident that the Seahawks will win Sunday.
“I love Russell Wilson,” he said. “I love Richard Sherman, and Pete Carroll is exactly the kind of coach you need. He understands every aspect of the game.”
Has Patterson ever been to Seattle? “No, but it is on my bucket list.”
Carl Davidson, 41, said there’s no secret why he was wearing a Marshawn Lynch No. 24 jersey. “He could run though a house.”
Also at Media Day was John Chen of Shoreline, a former Microsoft manager who now has a company called Geoteaming that “creates life-changing adventures.”
Chen purchased three Super Bowl suites that together hold 88 spectators, and he has been marketing — for $30,000 a head — an experience that includes a week of entertainment, fine dining, exclusive parties and being his guest in one of the suites.
Chen won’t say what he paid for the suites, but in case you’re interested, he still has some spots open.