Supe-brrrrrr Bowl

Spotlight On
by Clark Westfield
January 2014

Let’s face it. When we think of the Super Bowl, our thoughts immediately drift to the beaches of San Diego, the palm tree-lined streets of Los Angeles or the hot liquid nights in the French Quarter of New Orleans. The game is almost secondary to the parties and the hoopla that surrounds the event itself. The first week of February is perfect getaway time for any respectable and well-heeled sports fan with the time and the wherewithal to let loose with a little fun in the sun. Tickets are purchased, hotels are booked, sunscreen is packed, and the great migration that is at the pinnacle of American sports begins en masse on highways and runways all across the nation. Their destination? Paradise, and for one glorious weekend, the realization of the American Dream. The rest of the world has its World Cup with soccer. We have football. Does it get any better? If you are a businessman in New Jersey, the answer is a resounding YES. Because you see, this year the Super Bowl will be played right here in what will henceforth be known as the Gridiron State.

How did it get here? Why did it get here? Pure and simple, the answer usually comes down to money. Somewhere along the way, the NFL powers that be decided that a change of scenery to the nation’s largest, and presumably richest metropolitan area was an idea whose time had come. For the football faithful that was never a problem. The game seems to have been invented, if not glorified in the frozen tundra of Green Bay. To many purists, football should be played in the cold and snow, as done long ago by the Packers, the Bears and the Giants. The snowy climate of New England did not hurt the Patriots as they made their runs at glory in the past decade, so why not play the game as God meant it to be played – with bitter cold fingers and long underwear. Do the players even care? To a man, they will tell you no. They’re tough men playing a rough game. This is no place for the namby-pamby.

But what about the fans? The game aside, again an afterthought to the many who come to carouse and celebrate, how are the fans going to occupy their time in town? No beaches by day nor shirtsleeves on the streets at night, what will they have to look forward to? The answer is a resounding array of parties, sideshows and more parties. In New York City the entire Times Square area is being turned into a winter wonderland with attractions, snow tubing runs and ice skating rinks. As a footnote, ex-Mayor Bloomberg has outlawed large mugs of cocoa and has regulated the size of most thermal underwear. New Jersey will not be bested however. The entire area surrounding the New Met Life Stadium will be a carnival-like cornucopia of entertainment, winter-related sports and family fare. Prepare for the “Secaucus Slalom,” the “Weehawken Weenie Roast,” the “Cranford Curling Competition” and my favorite, the “Bayonne Bobsled.”

OK, these events are not real. Thankfully there are people out there with real entertainment event planning skills. They have been working feverishly for over a year to make sure that this super bowl will go down in history as the biggest and best ever. Unless of course, Poor Richard’s Almanac is correct in its prediction of a major snow storm pummeling the state with record amounts of snow and wind. But even then, we can say we did it bigger and better. It’s a win-win, dontcha think?

More to come…CW

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