Hourslong train commutes, clogged lines through security checks and even feeling overdressed for the relatively mild temperatures didn't dampen the moods of football fans who trekked to the MetLife Stadium for what many deemed a "once-in-a-lifetime" experience -- Super Bowl XLVIII.
And with a 43-8 blowout by Seattle, the game wasn't disappointing to half the fans.
"It was probably the best day of my life," said Bobby Kuehne, 24 of Redmond, Wash. "Especially how badly we beat them."
But the final score wasn't as thrilling for the other half of fans, among them Greg Berson, 20, who went with his mom Sandra-Lynn Berson to the game. He held a bent cardboard sign of Denver quarterback Peyton Manning's bust with the words "SuperManning."
"Surprisingly, it hurt," he said.
His mother agreed. "I'm beyond disappointed," she said.
Jack Curtin, 11, a sixth-grader from Point Lookout decked out in a Giants hat and jersey, called the game "a blowout."
"I was rooting for Denver, because Peyton is Eli's brother, and I was expecting a close game," he said. "I'm pretty upset."
His mother, Kelly Curtin, focused on the benefit to the region. "I'm so glad that New York and New Jersey got to host it," she said. "It was a great way to shine a spotlight on the region."
Paul Ferrigno, 40, and his wife Lisa Mills, 39, New Providence, N.J., residents who grew up in Shoreham-Wading River, said they are Giants fans who rooted for Denver because of the Manning connection.
Mills said it was still worth the money, time and energy, because she got to spend it with her husband. "It was absolutely a great day," she said. "It was once-in-a-lifetime, despite our team losing."
Giants fan Chris Ilsley, 34, of Hicksville, was glad to go to the game with friend Victor Cardis, 39, of Astoria.
"It's my first Super Bowl. And it's at Giants Stadium, even if it's not the Giants," said Cardis, wearing a Big Blue jersey. "We didn't have to go far."
Eric Bremer, 40, of Garden City, and friend Jim Hollenbach, 40, of Madison, N.J., who wore Jets lanyards and hats with plush groundhogs, said they had no issues at Penn Station, but found the Secaucus stop to be "backed up."
Once at the stadium, however, Bremer summarized the opportunity to attend the Super Bowl in one word: "Awesome."
Broncos loyalist Dina Deal, of Albuquerque, left Penn Station about 1 p.m. and arrived at the game four hours later, weathering lines from the trains and security. Police lined every entrance to the stadium, spectators were patted down, bomb-sniffing dogs and officers searched bags and helicopters hovered overhead.
"It was not well-organized at all. There was a lot of standing around," Deal said, adding, "We're here. Go, Broncos!"