When Seattle and Denver advanced to the Super Bowl, one thing became very clear to Stanford coach David Shaw.
"I needed to go," he said.
There were too many Stanford ties not to.
"You don't know when another opportunity like that will happen," Shaw said.
And that was his thought process before he got his seat assignment ... in NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's suite.
— David Shaw (@CoachDavidShaw) February 2, 2014
"First and foremost to be invited to the commissioner's box for the game was beyond what I could have expected," Shaw said. "He was gracious. We got a chance to talk about Stanford football, and it was really exciting to hear people say they've been watching Stanford and love the way we play."
Goodell and Shaw met at last year's NFL draft -- where Shaw served as an analyst on the NFL Network -- and Shaw received the surprise invitation after he let Goodell know he planned on being in New York for the Super Bowl. It was a packed suite with several well-known attendees from inside and outside the sports world, but the commissioner made football his top focus.
"[Goodell] was intent on watching the game," Shaw said. "Every single play he was into it."
Like the commissioner, Shaw said he tried to stay neutral and prepared himself to be happy for whoever won. Once Seattle did, it wasn't hard for Shaw to show pride. He served as the position coach for both Baldwin and Sherman (before he switched from receiver to corner) during their time on the Farm.
Shaw documented a significant portion of the day on Twitter, which included pictures with Brian Billick, Willie McGinest, Deion Sanders, Marcus Allen, Coby Fleener, Elway, Goodell and, yes, Sherman and Baldwin.
"The whole experience was really special," he said.
Shaw doesn't expect it to be long before he sees Sherman and Baldwin again. Those two, and several other Stanford players in the NFL, plan to make their way to campus to work out together. Shaw estimates there will be between 20-25 guys working out on campus and taking advantage of the new alumni locker room.