Super Bowl XLVI - is great, but it won't guarantee another - Ingles

The following message is addressed to the 32 NFL owners in attendance here at Super Bowl XLVI (so if you're not an NFL owner, you can pass right over this next paragraph):

When considering Indianapolis as a future Super Bowl host city, please know that our February weather is like this every year. Actually, it's usually a bit warmer than this. Thank you.

Ordinary readers are now welcome back to this column.

With just one day to go before Super Bowl XLVI between the New England Patriots and New York Giants, it's safe to suggest that Indianapolis already has won this Super Bowl.

In a blowout.

• SUPER COVERAGE: Read more stories about the teams, fans, concerts, parties, with photos and video.

How good has it been so far? It has been this good:

Reporters aren't complaining.

Except maybe about some sketchy wireless service in the media room. But reporters -- and I am at the front of the line -- are notorious complainers. We can show you Olympic gold medals for complaining, most of them from the 1996 Games in Atlanta.

"The last three or four years, I've been on Radio Row at Super Bowls, telling people how great our Super Bowl was going to be in Indianapolis," Mayor Greg Ballard said. "Now, I go by Radio Row, and those same people are telling me how great it's been."

The biggest complaint I've heard from my brethren so far is, "You people are too nice."

I respond to this complaint by cursing them out, because I want them to feel like they're back home in New York or Boston.

I don't know if Indianapolis will ever get another Super Bowl. When I addressed NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell about it Friday, he lauded Indy but gave a rather tepid response, noting how it's only the fourth quarter of Indy's Super Bowl experience.

Asked if Indy is a viable option in future years, he said, "Sure it is. We're here and they're doing a fantastic job. We've got a weekend still to go and a game to put on. I know everybody in Indianapolis is focused on the future. But we want to make sure this week turns out to be what everyone has worked so hard for."

Even if the NFL looks at Indianapolis once again, I don't know if there's enough corporate money to go around a second time. Remember, this thing has been put together with roughly $28 million in corporate dollars, with as few tax dollars as humanly possible.

That said, Indianapolis has done nothing to take itself out of the equation for future Super Bowls. This has been a bravura performance, from the leaders to the volunteers, from the big shows to the little details.

True, it has been elbow-to-elbow crowded in some places, prices are through the roof and it's a challenge to get a dinner reservation, but having done about 25 of these, I'm telling you, that's normal in Miami, New Orleans and everywhere else this event is held. The host committee has done a good job tweaking things on a daily basis, especially opening up the streets around the Super Bowl Village to ease congestion.

This hasn't just been the best northern Super Bowl, this has been one of the best Super Bowls, period.

And yes, the weather has helped.

Owners, the previous sentence was a mistake. As I said, it's always like this in early February. Always. Don't let those tanning salons fool you.

The only thing that might mitigate against a Super Bowl return, besides corporate Indy's possible reluctance to do this again, would be the smallish, 68,000-seat capacity at Lucas Oil Stadium, the fourth-smallest in Super Bowl history.

As bad as Dallas was, JerryWorld accommodated more than 100,000 fannies, even if some of the seats were constructed out of Legos and unusable by anybody weighing more than 16 pounds.

If the owners are concerned solely about the bottom-line dollars from game day, they will never come back to Indy. But if they're truly concerned about the quality of the fan experience, they will look hard at coming back here a second time and beyond.

There has been only one blemish on the Indianapolis Super Bowl: the continuing melodrama involving Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, which took another turn Thursday with the news he has been cleared by doctors to play. Soon thereafter, Colts owner Jim Irsay tweeted that Manning hasn't been cleared to play by the team, followed by a Friday statement reiterating that fact.

My question is, if Manning wanted to get that news out (and you know it came from his camp), why not either, A) send out a statement through the team or, B) wait until Monday to drop that little bombshell rather than steal the Super Bowl headlines?

It was wrong for Irsay to call Manning a "politician" and overreact to Manning's Star interview, and it was wrong for the Manning camp to leak this story on Thursday of Super Bowl week.

The host committee prepared for every conceivable weather event this week; it never imagined it would be hit with a plague of Peyton Manning stories.

It reached the point that a reporter specifically asked Goodell if he was concerned that all this Manning news has overwhelmed the Super Bowl.

Goodell, a brilliant politician like his father, naturally said no.

Like most politicians, he wasn't quite telling the truth.

The league doesn't like this and shouldn't like this.

Ultimately, this latest news changes nothing; the Colts are still going to move on with quarterback Andrew Luck, the likely No. 1 overall draft pick. But it puts even more public pressure on Irsay to find a way to bring back Manning.

This is not ending well, and won't end well. And it's a damned shame.

(See? This was supposed to be a column on the Indy Super Bowl performance, and it morphed into Manning talk.)

But back to the original column, and another entreaty meant for the NFL owners' eyes only:

Next time, bring your golf clubs. But leave the Speedos at home.

(source Indianapolis Star)

Posted by Necesitamos Mas Football on 08:12. Filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0

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