Location, Location, Location
Some Places are Simply Better for Super Bowls Than Others
I walked out of the stadium tunnel and gazed in amazement at the scene before me. The field was bright green, the sky bright blue, the palm trees swayed in the subtle breeze. I made some sort of guttural sound indicating that I approved of this spectacular scene. The guy standing next to me in the end zone said, “they ought to play the Super Bowl here every year.” I turned to my right and saw that it was the national anthem singer at Super Bowl XXVII standing next to me, it was Garth Brooks. I have never been a huge fan of his music but I was completely on board with Garth’s opinion.
I mentioned in a previous column that Super Bowl XXVII is still my favorite but since it was my first, maybe it was not fair of me to agree so wholeheartedly with Garth. Since then though, I have covered a dozen more Super Bowls, 13 in all and if you made me choose one place where the game should be played every year, I would still pick the Rose Bowl. I would not pick New York, Minnesota, Chicago or even my beloved motherland-Detroit. I have nothing against any of those cities and in fact love visiting all of them in the summer.
Super Bowl XL in Detroit is among those that I have covered. I have great memories of the week. I was working for a Fox Show called Totally Football, and because Michael Irvin was up for Hall of Fame vote, and because I know Michael so well, I was looking good to my bosses in LA all week. I was able to get Michael to do a couple of interviews that others on my crew would not have been able to secure.
This was also the first Super Bowl where I covered the press conference for the half-time entertainment. Remember who performed that year? THE ROLLING STONES! The presser is best remembered for Corby Davidson of the Ticket asking Keith Richards what he would do if after a nuclear holocaust all that was left was him and the cock roaches. Without missing a beat Keith said, “well I’d eat them.” I had a six-response back and forth with Mick Jagger during the press conference and I have bragged almost every day since that I have had a conversation with Mick Jagger.
All that said, it was winter in Michigan. I don’t remember the sun shining all week long. I do remember a couple of snow storms. One hit just about the time the media party ended so it made driving back to hotel treacherous. The other hit on Friday night when a group of us had walked 15 blocks for dinner. Walking back to the media center was bone chilling. The only thing I want that is that cold during Super Bowl week is a beer.
So let’s rank them, after all everyone likes lists right?
13 – Atlanta (I covered two here, this was the Patriots/Rams and Georgia had snow and cold that week)
12 – Jacksonville (weather way better than Atlanta, but not great and the area was overwhelmed)
11 – Detroit (loved so much about the week, but every time we went outside it was a beating)
10 – Phoenix/Glendale (I like the stadium because it is not too far from Surprise – not much else though)
9 – Phoenix (even though the Cowboys won this one, Super Bowl XXX, the week was too spread out)
8 – Tampa (weather was good for this one, but the area seemed too small to accommodate the crowd)
7 – Atlanta (the Cowboys won Super Bowl XXVIII but the city just does not thrill me)
6 – Houston (I know they just got another one. Some of the best SB parties ever in that town)
5 – Dallas (I would rather go away for the game, and the weather?!? Still hope we get another one)
4 – New Orleans (this place knows how to party, they should be in the regular rotation)
3 – Miami (this place is so much fun. I loved it for the NBA Finals in 06 too. Another rotation city)
2 – San Diego (one of those SoCal cities that people forget about, great pace there and great weather)
1- Pasadena (call me a sentimental fool, it was my first, but I think they should go back again and again)