Super Bowl 2011: Will It Be Remembered As the Debacle in Big D?
Dallas and its sister cities cannot seem to catch a break. Super Bowl XLV brought more international media attention to the city than any other event since President John F. Kennedy came through here in 1963.
We all know how that Kennedy visit turned out.
Thanks to the shaky mental state and the steady trigger finger of Lee Harvey Oswald, Dallas got a big black eye she didn't deserve.
Forty-eight years later, Jerry Jones, the man who some thought of as an assassin himself when he lopped off Tom Landry's head, was all set to redeem the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex. Cowboys Stadium, the $1.4 billion home of America's Team, would be the focal point of the entire world.
The Dallas Cowboys have gone to the Super Bowl eight times. But in a year Dallas could not go to the mountain, Mr. Jones, with the help of superhero Roger Staubach, brought the mountain to Dallas—well, to Arlington and Dallas and Fort Worth and...The Metroplex comprises a host of host cities.
Super Bowl XLV would be redemption for Big D. Finally, that horrible monkey would be lifted from her back. The world would celebrate her and all of her conjoined sisters.
But that was before the official weather report came out. That was before the disaster dominoes began to fall.
Should Arlington get another Super Bowl?
You would have had to be in Egypt during Super Bowl week to find a place having a run of luck worse than Dallas/Fort Worth. In fact, this may as well have been Egypt and Jerry Jones could be Pharaoh.
The plagues were descending.
Maybe there was something to that hole in Texas Stadium and God watching his favorite team play. Maybe the marginally-talented cheap-shot writer Skip Bayless was right when he derisively dubbed Tom Landry "God's Coach" in a book title. (See how I did that? I used my marginal talent to take a cheap shot at Skip, who has never done anything to me except tick me off with that book he wrote.)
Maybe Super Bowl XLV was not redemption for Dallas. Maybe it was Judgment Day for Jerry Jones. I only suggest that because even Jerry Jones and his deep pockets cannot rein in the weather.
To borrow from the wisdom of the late, great Ray Charles, the weather "do what it do, baby."
Or, it does as it is commanded from on high.
It wasn't just that Dallas–Fort Worth was paralyzed by an ice storm of historic proportions for most of Super Bowl week: There were other things going awry, as well.
1. The response to the weather. We already mentioned it, but this was Green Bay-like weather. The Metroplex was stuck in a deep freeze for four days. The roads were iced over. The sand truck crews could not keep up with the demand. Accidents everywhere. Bridges and major highway connectors were impassable at times.
2. The accident at Cowboys Stadium. Ice slid from the roof of the massive domed stadium and landed on seven people, sending them all to the hospital. One man was even listed in critical condition for a while.
3. Twelve hundred temporary seats were not ready in time, so fans who paid massive amounts of money to have a seat in the stadium, didn't have a seat in the stadium.
4. Christina Aguilera. Need I say more? She was supposed to give Whitney Houston a run for her money in the Super Bowl of national anthems. Instead, she focused so much on her vocal runs, that she bungled the words and sounded like a transvestite trying to imitate Christina Aguilera.
Add to these problems the fact that the national media bitched and moaned all week about one thing or another. If it wasn't the weather, it was that the Metroplex is too sprawled out and you have to drive too far to get from one event to another.
Here is a sampling of some of the media whining during Super Bowl week:
Peter King of Sports Illustrated tweeted, "I'm telling you: I-30 between Dallas + Fort Worth is a plow-less, snow-windswept moonscape. This is officially a debacle."
Newsday NFL Columnist Bob Glauber: "NFL owners approved NY/NJ Super Bowl at a meeting last May in ... Dallas. Getting a sneak peak at what is might be like with the snow....We know snow in NY/NJ!! Super Bowl won't be like this one, NY/NJ OWN plows, salt trucks!"
Detroit radio personality Jamie Samuelson said, "I hope some writer writes a column praising Detroit this weekend. We were totally prepared for bad weather. Dallas, clearly, is not."
Jim Rome: "Six inches of snow? Really, Dallas? Good luck getting another Super Bowl."
The best of the complaints was from David Ubben, an ESPN writer: "A foot of snow for All-Star Weekend? Ice and six inches of snow for the Super Bowl? What did Jerry Jones do to Mother Nature's daughter?"
It wasn't Mother Nature's daughter he wronged, Dave. It was God's Coach.
Payback is hell.
The wrath was tempered by mercy, however. The game was actually competitive and remained undecided until the last minute. And, more importantly, the hated Pittsburgh Steelers did not claim their seventh Lombardi trophy in our house.
God is good.
Besides, the Super Bowl XLV debacle will not be remembered as long as that Kennedy thing. This is the age of Twitter and Facebook. News moves at light speed. By the time news makes the news, it is old news. Kids today cannot remember what they had for breakfast. They sure won't remember what happened in Dallas way back in 2011.
Jerry Jones is counting on just that as he begins to put together his bid for Super Bowl L.
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