The enormity of the situation didn't dawn on Jordan Hill until Tuesday night, when he finally had a little free time.
Hill and Michael Brooks, both rookie defensive linemen for the Seahawks, got a driver from their hotel in New Jersey to take them into Manhattan and ferry them around. As they passed a giant billboard in midtown advertising Super Bowl XLVIII, the two almost became hysterical.
"I looked at him and said, 'Hey, we're really in the Super Bowl?' " Hill said. "It's hard to believe really, to be here in our first year. It's like a dream come true."
Ahh, to be a rookie in the Super Bowl.
There are players -- great ones such as Warren Moon and Barry Sanders and Eric Dickerson -- who are in the Hall of Fame but never got to play a snap in the Super Bowl.
Then there are the lucky guys, such as Brooks and Hill, who have barely had a drink of water in the league but get to go to the big game in their first year.
And they are not alone.
The Seahawks, the second-youngest team in Super Bowl history, don't have a single player on their roster who has played in the big game. Six Seahawks are rookies. Denver has only four players with Super Bowl experience and has six rookies.
Contrast that with the fact that the Broncos have five players -- Champ Bailey, Quentin Jammer, Paris Lenon, Mike Adams and Shaun Phillips -- who are making their first trip to the big game despite having been in the league at least 10 years.
"I talk to Champ and Mike all the time," rookie defensive tackle Sylvester Williams said. "They tell us about 15 years and 10 years in the NFL, you're talking about guys that have done it for a long time and this is their first opportunity to go to the big game, so it doesn't come around often. We have coaches that have never been. It's an opportunity you have to take advantage of."
Denver's veterans have told the young players to treat the trip as if they will never be back again. They are told to take as many pictures as possible and soak in the entire week.
"For me, I'm approaching this as it may be my last time in the Super Bowl," Denver rookie running back Montee Ball said. "I'm going to play my heart out."