As the Super Bowl XLVI broadcast came back from one commercial break, NBC’s Al Michaels said something like (paraphrasing): “What’s so great about Indianapolis as a Super Bowl host is that it’s one of the places where everything is within walking distance.”
Sitting, as I was, in a living a room amidst the exurban sprawl of Frisco on Sunday, that comment stung. I mean, he wasn’t talking about North Texas, and yet he was.
And Michaels isn’t alone. Indianapolis is getting rave reviews for its hosting of the NFL’s championship extravaganza. Having been blessed with unseasonably pleasant weather this year (as opposed to the ice and snow we greeted fans with in Dallas for Super Bowl XLV), there’s already speculation about how soon the capital of Indiana will get to host another. It’s very unlike the “Will North Texas Ever Get to Host Another?” headlines that followed our region’s turn.
Much of the praise for Indy is about its compactness. Whereas North Texas had some activities in Fort Worth, others in Dallas, and the game in Arlington, with driving required to get anywhere, Indianapolis was walkable. Sports economist Patrick Rishe wrote a column for Forbes yesterday where he noted that “Bigger is not always better” – another slap in the face of Texas?
One by one, the grand plans once touted by Super Bowl XLV backers seem to have popped like balloons. First there was the week-long, “mega-bucks” run-up to the February game; it got curtailed by the ice storm. Then there was the seating fiasco. Then the apparent failure of other Super Bowl cities to rush to embrace the SLANT 45 initiative, which was supposed to have been DFW’s Super Bowl legacy for all times. Now, even the host committee’s regional sports commission idea has been tossed on the scrap heap. Best-laid plans, indeed.
Let’s call a spade a spade. Setting weather troubles aside, Super Bowl XLV organizers said it was theÂ big game at Cowboys StadiumÂ that would “carry the day” for North Texas and its attractiveness for future Super Bowls. We know now that–thanks toÂ logistical disorganization,Â plus the famousÂ seating fiasco, among other things–the stadiumÂ did not “carry the day” in the end.
What’s more, it appears that the seat flap can be tracedÂ directly to Jerry’s vow to break the game’s all-time attendance record. You read about his quest firstÂ on FrontBurnerÂ back in early January;Â the New York Times, with help from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, has the smoking-gunÂ reporting on the debacle here.
I appreciate the owner’s wanting to be the biggest and baddest and best at whatever he does, but the Times says Jerry’s saddled now withÂ anotherÂ ”superlative” heÂ surely didn’t want:Â colossal failure.
UPDATE: Check out the plentiful pulchritude on display in our full photo gallery from the Maxim Super Bowl XLV Bash.
In its current issue Maxim, the titillating big gun of U.S. men’s magazines, takes on the Super Bowl with a sports column suggesting ways to make the big game even more super. Among other things, the article humorously lambastes Dallas’ Troy Aikman (“devoid of personality,” it says of Troy) and the Black Eyed Peas (calling its music “overly focus-grouped *hit-hop”). None of that, of course, kept the freewheeling “lad” mag from showing up to celebrate Super Bowl XLV here Saturday with its annual Super Bowl party, turning Fair Park’s Centennial Hall into a “midway” that riffed on the State Fair of Texas.
Dubbed the Maxim Party Powered by Motorola Xoom, the bash drew 1,500 invite-only guests as well as a clutch of entertainers and athletes. Among them: Ryan Kwanten of True Blood, Entourage’s Kevin Connolly, and pro footballer Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson. The celebs paraded across the red carpet–posing with a dozen Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and Melanie Iglesias, the magazine’s “Hometown Hotties” winner–before hitting the “midway,” where acts including Wyclef Jean performed. “The Super Bowl is the ultimate guy event, and Maxim is the ultimate guy’s magazine,” said Joe Levy, the magazine’s editor-in-chief. “They go together like burgers and fries, and we’re proud to be the fries in this equation–the side dish that makes the main course shine.”
If you’re not totally Super Bowled out by now, jump for a couple of more juicy details. (more…)
Chuck Cox, sports editor for People Newspapers, attended Super Bowl XLV as a fan. He files this report:
Somehow, I lucked my way into getting a Super Bowl XLV ticket for face value. I actually picked up my admission to football’s holy grail of games on Sunday morning, which made for one long, amazing day I will never forget.
UPDATE: Check out our fully-fleshed gallery of photos here.
I was a bit concerned about last night’s Fantasy Party hosted by P. Diddy. We all know how his first party went. And I’d heard rumors that Friday night’s party had been a bust. (Though when I talked to the pr people, they said 3,000 showed up the night before.) But by the time I got to the red carpet with tip sheet in hand, I was ready for quite the party.
Unfortunately, it just didn’t live up to my expectations.
Arianna Huffington, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, isn’t exactly someone you’d expect to see at a big Super Bowl bash thrown by Maxim, the titillating “lad” mag. But there she was at the Maxim shindig at Fair Park last night, chatting up the media and posing for photos with Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders on the red carpet.
“This is my first Super Bowl,” Huffington (pictured) told us, smiling gamely. “I wanted an all-American experience.” When asked who she was rooting for in Super Bowl XLV, she turned to an assistant and said, “Who are we rooting for?” The aide’s reply: “The winners.” “We’re rooting for the winners,” Arianna repeated. “That’s a good line.”
UPDATE: Guess Arianna wasn’t just in Dallas to party. News accounts say she met here with AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong Sunday and agreed to a $315 million buyout of The Huffington Post from AOL Inc.
UPDATE: Check out our full-on photo gallery from the GQ Super Bowl XLV Party at the Hickory Street Annex on Friday.
Ok, well, I’m sure it wasn’t just the GQ party that brought the celebs to town, but it did get several of them here. It was a fantastic party with plenty of celebrity sightings. We’ll have an album up soon with photos from the party taken by something more advanced than my digital camera and iPhone. (Both died before the end of the party. I will be more prepared for tonight’s parties.)
Snowpocalypse Continues to Plague Super Bowl XLV
Of course the story last night at the GQ, Lacoste, and Cadillac party was the weather. At least, it was at the beginning of the party. Media was told to arrive at 8:30, but valet didn’t open until 9. Therefore some of us had to walk a block in the snow/ice/sludge. The planners were still preparing the Hickory Street Annex 15 minutes before the party. They realized that when they put heat lamps on the deck, the ice on the overhang started melting. Not wanting to repeat the incident from earlier in the day, they sent people to the roof with shovels to knock down the snow and ice.
Intern Nicole Holland Pearce talked to InÃ©s Sainz. Read what Sainz has to say about that little incident in a locker room:
In Mexico, she’s known as the Woman of Sports. In America, InÃ©s Sainz’ reputation got off to a rough start after the incident in the New York Jets locker room. But the seasoned sports reporter for TV Azteca in Mexico, and now Azteca America in the United States, is here to prove it’s all for the love of the game. We caught up with Sainz earlier this week, in town covering her seventh Super Bowl.
I’ll be honest. I don’t get invited to a lot of rap guys’ parties. So I really didn’t know what to expect from Sean “Diddy” Combs’ Super Bowl Bash at Main Street Event Center on Thursday night. I knew Diddy was scheduled to arrive at 12:30 (in the a.m.) and I was to arrive between 9 and 10 pm to pick up my media credentials. I arrived at 9:20. Diddy arrived at, well, I’m not sure. I actually never saw him. My friends swear they caught a glimpse of his head sometime around 2 am, so I trust them. They’re honest folks. But never again will I trust a man with a microphone who yells out “Diddy is in the building!” every 15 minutes. That guy, I’m afraid, is a liar. Although I never saw Mr. Combs, I did see lots of other things in the five hours I spent playing Diddy or Didn’t He? Jump if you want to play, too.
While the adequacy of DFW’s response to the big storm is debated, Jerry and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell have issued their pronouncements: This week’s icy chaos won’t knock North Texas out of the running for future Super Bowls. Why not? Because there’s just too much dough to be made off attendees at JerryWorld, the conventional wisdom goes.
But, as an ESPN commentator argued yesterday, Super Bowls aren’t just about Super Sunday, but more like three- or four- or five-day festivals–like Mardi Gras. If shopkeepers and restaurateurs and cabbies and event planners and party-going fans can’t count on a decently pleasurable build-up to the game, why not just hold the thing in Southern California or Florida or Arizona every year, where there’s a much better shot at decent weather? (I know, every party needs a pooper …)
It’s not going to be held in tents anymore, but the XLV Party is still happening this Friday and Saturday. We have just a few tickets left. Go here to win them! The giveaway ends at 3 p.m. today.
Remember that tent in the Cotton Bowl that “didn’t collapse” but went down before handlers could put it down? Well, instead ofÂ resurrecting the downed tent, organizers are moving the Friday and Saturday parties next door to the Fair Park Coliseum. Not only has it been the location for equine exhibitions, it can handle 9,000 seatedÂ humans.
According to spokesperson Ariana Hajibashi, they’ve added more boldface type performers:
“In addition to the location change, XLV Party has been busy securing even more talent for Friday and Saturday night. Nadis Warrior will join Friday night’s lineup, which already includes Passion Pit, DJ Samantha Ronson, Duran Duran’s Roger Taylor and more. Saturday gets two new artists: acclaimed alt-rockers and hometown favorite, Drowning Pool, and DJ Enferno, the world-renowned DJ who tours with Madonna. They’ll bring extra excitement to a night that already features Exit 380, Rhymin’ N Stealin’ and two Playboy Playmates as hosts.”
Tickets are now on sale for $59.
The NFL had issued its marching orders to ESPN earlier about DFW’s big freeze, with the sports anchors repeating the mantra: “It’s the Ultimate Reality Show; have fun with it!” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones had also weighed in, saying the frigid temps would only serve to make Saturday and Sunday–when it’s predicted to be warmer–that muchÂ sweeter.Â So you knew the weather would beÂ aÂ hot topicÂ at Tuesday night’s Super Bowl Media Party at the House of Blues, where the thousands of guest included Jerry and his son Stephen (shown here watching the action from aÂ roped-off balcony perch, with two Dallas cops guarding access.) And sure enough Â it was.
Among the local and out-of-town media types packed into the nightclub’s multiple floors, Fox4 weatherman Ron Jackson said he “just came in to have a couple of beers” after a long, tough day ofÂ reporting on the below-freezing conditions. Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert welcomed the throng like this:Â ”WhileÂ temperaturesÂ are a little cold outside … there’s no warmer hospitality than you’ll find in Dallas.”
And local host committee chairman Roger Staubach said the committee wasÂ simplyÂ trying to accommodate theÂ Super Bowl rivals, Green Bay and Pittsburgh, with weather that was relevant to their parts of the country. “But by Friday, Saturday and Sunday,”Â Roger added, “our host committee will deliver [to the fans and media] the weather thatÂ you want. I just wanted to clarify that.”
So, who all was at this shindig?