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If I were a man of means, I might consider spending about $10,000 to attend Super Bowl XLVIII being hosted by New York and played in New Jersey. That’s how much I figure it would cost to make this four-day event a comfortable splurge.

But I am not a man of means.

I am instead a mean man determined to spend the next five days at home hoping this ill-conceived Super Bowl is a logistical fiasco. I want traffic jams, hours-long security waits and the kind of cold, slushy weather that makes fans from grim Seattle wish they were home sipping some exotic five-bean blend.

New York is one of my top three favorite cities. Although I’ve never been there, from what I hear, East Rutherford, N.J., wouldn’t crack the top 300.

Pre-fatherhood, I used to go to Manhattan a couple of times a year. I’d enjoy the Lower East Side in spring, Rockefeller Center in summer and Central Park in fall.

Never once did I go to New York so I could see East Rutherford on Groundhog’s Day.

Purists say football was meant to be played outdoors in nasty weather.

Football, yes.

Super Bowls, no.

I’m not one to advocate more rules for the over-officiated NFL, but there ought to be a Tommy Bahama Rule: No city can host a Super Bowl in a place where wearing a Tommy Bahama party shirt outdoors would result in goose pimples.

I know what fun it can be to go to an expensive Super Bowl.

Let me clarify: I know what fun it can be to be in a bunch of cheap French Quarter dive bars about a mile from where they’re playing an expensive Super Bowl.

It was Super Bowl XXXI in MCMXCVII. It was the year Green Bay beat New England XXXV to XXI.

Oh, and that’s another thing I despise about the NFL: this silly insistence on using incomprehensible Roman numerals for Super Bowls in a way that must have even  people in Rome saying WTF?

But it was 1997. Me and my buddies were so sure the Steelers were going to advance to the Super Bowl we bought tickets to New Orleans sure we’d have a great time.

It didn’t work out that way, but it didn’t matter.

It was still one of the best buddy weeks I’ve ever had and it featured one of the most magnificent buzzes of my life -- and I’m still one of those guys that achieves a good primal buzz about four times a week.

We had so much fun.

Part of the fun was that it was miserable in Pittsburgh and we weren’t there.

In New Orleans the temperatures were about 75. I was with two great buddies. We were having a ball.

I was wearing Tommy Bahama!

I think the buzz was so spectacular because all three of us had awakened sure we were going to die. Our heads were pounding, our stomachs queasy and we ached all over like we’d been run over by a Second Line funeral parade.

I guess something must have been going around.

But with alcoholic assistance and some Central Grocer muffaletta we persevered like men. Stupid, drunken men, sure, but men, indeed.

And with every drink our merry little trio began feeling better and better.

I remember carrying a portable Hurricane into a little cigar shop down near Jackson Square, a place once known for public beheadings, to buy some stogies.

The smoke settled my soul.

I’ll never forget the feeling I had about four hours before that kick-off. I was with my friends. We were whooping it up. We were in New Orleans.

I’d survived a near-fatal hangover!

And none of us was burdened by the knowledge that any of the other guys was stupid enough to want to pay $500 for a ticket to the game (the prices have since quadrupled).

We spent the whole second half in the venerable Preservation Jazz Hall and didn’t even know who won until we saw the exuberant Packer fans streaming past outside.

Guaranteed, no one in the New York metro-area this weekend will have a day as splendid as mine was XIII years ago.

Such a pity.

Do you agree? Am I nuts? Is this winter Super Bowl a good idea?

I am eager to hear your thoughts.

Call me!


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Comment Preferences

  •  There is something we need to discuss (0+ / 0-)

    Please send me a message. My UID is MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

    The USA and the rest of the world face a dangerous enemy that not only threatens our freedom but our very existence. This enemy is deeply embedded within society and is actively working towards our annihilation. That enemy is ignorance.

    by Ex Con on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 10:26:45 AM PST

  •  I agree with this diary ENTIRELY. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mamooth, Ex Con

    As soon as this Super Bowl site was announced, I knew it would be an epic clusterfuque.

    I could even live with less than Tommy Bahama climate - if the layout is good. But this has all the earmarks of a mess if you want to attend the game.

    One: Hotel costs are a JOKE this year. Contrary to popular belief there are close to sane hotel rates in the regions where Super Bowls are held most years. And even when this is not happening, I have managed to network with local fans and "house share/rent a room" for the weekend in lieu of a hotel.

    Two: Lack of a "central party zone"/gathering area for fans. This is why NOLA (my nominee for permanent Super Bowl site status) and San Diego are supreme for Super Bowls, because they have that central gathering area/street party that everyone can be a part of. And NOLA has both the stadium and party zone in one place, making it perfect.

    Even Detroit threw a killer Super Bowl week for XL. They basically "built" a party area downtown in the stadium area, working that into the existing infrastructure (Kid Rock at Joe Louis and Bud Bowl party at Tiger Stadium) in addition to the "Winter Blast" in the center of Downtown. It wasn't Tommy Bahama, but they made a genuine effort to make it a good time, and it worked well because all the venues were in a small, easy to walk area. And the game was indoors :-)

    The NYC edition is wayyyyy too spread out for events - and the sheer mass of NYC tends to "suck up" the party - it's primarily NYC as NYC normally is. You could do that other NYC stuff most anytime. But for a "Super Bowl centric" type of deal where you want to party with like minded football fans it's not so good - because the events are too spread out (assuming you can get tix for those, and good luck with that) as opposed to other sites where I was able to get tix for special events and take in the festivities on the relative-to-NYC-cheap.

    Game tickets are also rather expensive. I've seen four Super Bowls over the last 24 years (XXV, XXXVI, XL, and XLV) plus I did host city week in Jax (XXXIX) and with exception to Jax the most I paid for a ticket was $400. Most recent years tix could be had on broker sites/Stubhub for $1000 or slightly less around the Friday before the game as those holding become desperate to get rid of the unsolds. Face price has gone up markedly in recent years......Super Bowl XXXVI faced for $400-$700.......this year's game faces for $800-$2500. Brokers are charging $1700 and up for tix this year, and with the vast New York market don't figure to get any cheaper.

    I've made it a hobby of sorts to attempt to attend the Super Bowl if things work out right - I enter the NFL fan lottery annually for tix, and if I can drive it within a day or so will watch for ticket offers up until gameday. I wrote that off for this year as soon as I heard it was in next attempt will likely not happen until Super Bowl 51 - rumored to be Houston, which works because I have friends living there and would go even without tix just to take in the festivities. That gives me the luxury to search for tix up until kickoff.

    As a veteran of seeing Super Bowls in person - NYC? Mehhhhhhh.

    "Because only three percent of you read books - and only fifteen percent of you read newspapers - but right now there is a whole and entire generation that didn't know anything that didn't come out of this tube." - Howard Beale

    by Audible Nectar on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 10:30:27 AM PST

    •  Indianapolis (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Audible Nectar

      Indy did a great job with their Super Bowl in 2011. Indoor stadium, downtown. Everything within walking distance from everything else, and all connected by hamster tubes, in case the weather gets bad. Which it didn't. The downtown is small enough that all of downtown was a party zone. And since Indy has to absorb 200,000 extra people for the big race each year, it's got a lot of hotel space.

      •  I heard LOTS of positive reviews on Indy.... (0+ / 0-)

        .....and the weather turned out great. There's something about these smaller market northern cities hosting the Super Bowl - they try harder to make it really good, while at the same time many of the corporate types who frequent Super Bowls tend to skip it, leaving more game and event tickets floating around for us "normal fans" to pick up on. There were (relative) bargains on game tix through brokers the last couple of days before the game in Indy.

        South Florida, San Diego, Tampa, and Arizona often are the toughest tickets because the corporate types want to play golf or put the boats in the water, and those big corporate dollars drive up prices on EVERYTHING associated with game week. So while I love being able to attend the game in shorts and short sleeves, there is an allure for me with respect to northern cities hosting Super Bowls. Indy, Detroit, and Minneapolis all did a good job hosting the game - and they all have indoor stadia to make the game itself more comfortable to watch, with downtowns set up well for the gameweek parties :-)

        "Because only three percent of you read books - and only fifteen percent of you read newspapers - but right now there is a whole and entire generation that didn't know anything that didn't come out of this tube." - Howard Beale

        by Audible Nectar on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 12:12:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

      I especially like your point about how NYC sucks up the party. The communal sense of camaraderie is one of the great things about attending a Super Bowl that transcends rivalries. That's not going to happen here.

  •  I am looking forward to it. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MJ via Chicago

    In fact, this is the first superbowl in a long, long time that I am really looking forward to.

    Too bad it's predicted to be so warm.

    It's about time the NFL had the game in a northern non-dome city.  Good football weather.  

    Hopefully I can watch it.

  •  Apparently a lot of people agree with you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    as there are reports that ticket prices are dropping fast on the secondary market. (Unclear how many of those are disappointed Patriots fans who bought tickets too early.)

    I don't understand why anyone would pay that kind of money to sit in the frozen stands, when you can see better and get the play-by-play explanations and close-ups and replays on the big screen at the sports bar down the street from your house. I guess I'm not a true fan (true enough; I'd much rather watch baseball).

    •  Prices are actually up $200 from Sunday..... (0+ / 0-)

      Prices started at $2500 the day after the conference championships, dropping to $1500 this past Monday, then edging up $200 since then. Brokers are selling some tix to NYC area locals - a huge market with $$$ to spend, who may take the opportunity to see a Super Bowl since it is local. Also helping keep prices somewhat stable is that the weather is forecast to be more moderate with not much chance of precip, which will help to sell some tix.

      This is what I would call an "average" year for Super Bowl tix, though, as some high demand years run $2500 each for get ins - low demand years run about $1000 for "get in" seats. If the buyers run out the prices will drop quick over the next three days - if they keep buying prices will stay stable. Still 4000 tix on Stubhub - quite a few considering we are 96 hours before gametime.

      "Because only three percent of you read books - and only fifteen percent of you read newspapers - but right now there is a whole and entire generation that didn't know anything that didn't come out of this tube." - Howard Beale

      by Audible Nectar on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 12:52:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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