Golic, national media extol virtues of Indy Super Bowl

February 4, 2011
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It’s a glorious day here in Dallas.

And that's despite the five inches of snow I awoke to this morning, and warnings from Dallas officials that they’ve already spent $460,000 on sand to treat city streets and they intend to wait and let Mother Nature take care of the rest.

For the first time since Tuesday, I am wearing a fresh layer of deodorant, and well, a fresh layer of every article of clothing I typically wear.

I fell to my knees in praise when my lost luggage arrived at my hotel shortly after midnight. Yes, indeed, it’s great to be alive—and feeling fresh as a daisy.

As Lou Holtz would say, we’ve all been putting in half days down here covering the Super Bowl. We only work 12 hours. Actually, it’s been more like 14, but who’s counting?

Despite the long hours, there’s a never-ending supply of energy oozing from the media corps when the free food arrives.

On Thursday, Papa was in the house, or in the Super Bowl media room, such as it was. Not far away from where the big-screen TVs, pool tables and foosball tables are located.

That’s right, Louisville’s own John Schnatter, founder of Papa John’s Pizza, showed up for the festivities. You should have seen the lunacy on the media center’s second floor when the Papa rolled out about 350 pizzas of all types. It was a nice change from the Power Bar and fruit chewy snacks I had the night before for dinner.

But I was almost knocked down by a television cameraman wielding his camera like a battering ram as I made my way to the feed line. The security staff had to warn journalists to allow one space in between each person coming up the escalator from the first floor for the feast so the escalator wouldn’t fail and/or collapse. I am completely serious.

The throng of media folks seemed to double here on Thursday. So it’s no surprise that when the St. Elmo’s shrimp cocktail arrived shortly before noon, Indianapolis 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee members found themselves really steppin’ and fetchin’ to get the starving masses fed. After all, man cannot live on pizza alone.

Like a seal sniffing out a distressed fish, ESPN’s biggest eater, Mike Golic, showed up right on cue at Indy’s booth just inside the media center’s entrance.

Golic wasn’t there just to eat, though. The Notre Dame grad did a host of radio interviews and stopped by to chat  with some of the Hoosiers in town. He actually makes a very nice ambassador for Indianapolis and Indiana.

And the more I hang out here in North Texas, the more good things I hear about Indianapolis. You’d think the contingency of ink-stained wretches and talking heads here would distain the idea of coming to Indianapolis to cover a Super Bowl in February.

But in the four days I’ve been here, I find few journalists who speak negatively about the Circle City. Maybe I’m not looking hard enough.

ESPN’s John Clayton eagerly weaves a tale about coming to Indy to cover the NFL Combine a couple years back with the beginnings of a bad cold. When the hotel receptionist noticed he had a cough, she surprised him less than 10 minutes later by sending chicken soup to his room. And there was no charge, he said, for that bit of Hoosier hospitality.

Sports Illustrated writer and NBC broadcaster Peter King said there are few places he’d rather go to cover a Super Bowl, well, except San Diego. But with the weather we’ve had this year, who can blame him.

And much-respected NFL writer, Rick Gosselin, who pushes a pen for the Dallas Morning News, waxes poetic about the virtues of Indianapolis’ compact downtown, indoor walkways and unmatched services.

Even NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, while holding court with a dozen reporters on Wednesday, stopped to tell 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee member Eddie White how special he thinks next year’s Super Bowl is going to be.

It seems the only thing that will keep the good times from rolling in Indianapolis next February could be NFL team owners’ and players’ inability to hammer out a collective bargaining agreement.

And if you saw any part of Thursday’s press conference held here in Dallas by the NFL Players Association, you know a lockout is an almost certain possibility.

As for the Super Bowl, the general consensus among journalists who cover the NFL regularly is that the 2012 Super Bowl will probably be held.

If it is, it’s a good bet Papa will be in the house.

And it’s an even better bet that I’ll be wearing a fresh change of clothes, a new layer of deodorant and a neatly shaven face—every single day in the week leading up to the big game.

  • Correction
    Hey, I'm pretty sure Peter King still writes for SI....
    • Oops
      Sorry, and thanks for noticing. We corrected it.
    • Super Bowl

      I just wanted to comment that you have written some excellent pieces on your Dallas coverage. Superb effort!!!

      Makes us Hoosiers even more excited to think about next year.
    • what did he say?
      you know a lock out is...get this..."an almost certain possibility"

      "an almost certain possibility": really.
      what the hell did he say?
    • Escalators
      You got lucky! When I was there on Sunday we had to wait 4 or 5 steps between passengers on the escalator. He wasn't kidding folks!

      I agree - great pieces on this year and next. You hit the nail on the head earlier in the week and I for one can't wait for Indy to charm our guests when they come next year. Nothing like a little traveling to remind you how special Hoosier hospitality really is!
    • he said
      DeMaurice Smith said that, on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the likeliest that a work stoppage/lockout would happen, the current labor negotiations were a "14". He said the owners have taken steps to make sure a lockout will happen. That nothing has changed in the discussion since they started talking 2 years ago. Some of it is posturing, but if Smith gives in, how long does he keep his job. The owners want the players to take a paycut and play more games because they are supposedly hurting, the players claim the owners are cooking the books. DeMaurice Smith and Roger Goodell had to appease the extreme portions of their constituency to get their jobs. People like Jerry Jones don't want to revenue share, and the players are not going to give up their share, they want more. I think a lockout is inevitable and it is pretty obvious. The NFL is the deal right now...the Pro Bowl drew a huge rating number, and it is even worse than the NBA All Star game as far as entertainment value...the players and the owners both know that they can go through a protracted disagreement and we will all come back like salivating dogs when they finally do start playing football again. Till players start missing game checks, and owners start losing millions of dollars in revenue by not playing, this won't be settled, most likely. It should be, but it won't because it is all about money, and not about the fans...as if you did not know that already. So that is what "he said", baiscally.
    • Fun blogs
      The blog posts from Dallas have been fun and give insight that most of us wouldn't get to experience. Driving to work downtown the past two days I have speculated as to what it will be like a year from now. It will be an experience and I truly think Indy will be ready - bring on the fans, media and the like.

    • Fun blogs
      The blog posts from Dallas have been fun and give insight that most of us wouldn't get to experience. Driving to work downtown the past two days I have speculated as to what it will be like a year from now. It will be an experience and I truly think Indy will be ready - bring on the fans, media and the like.

    • Labor fight madness
      Hazel, thanks for your comment. I am trying to give some unique insight into the craziness surrounding the Super Bowl. If anyone has any questions, leave a comment and I'll try to answer. Jim, and the rest of you interested in the labor deal ... the NFLPA and NFL officials' press conferences have been markedly different. Oddly, Roger Goodell and his right hand man seem most pliable in this thing. D. Smith and the NFLPA played this "Let us play" video inimating the owners were entirely to blame for this situation, but Smight seemed like he was really spoiling for a fight with owners. One of the wacky things at Goodell's press conference is that Chad Ochocinco popped up and started asking questions. He's wacky, but I think Ochocinco is a lot smarter than most give him credit for. Anyway, from Dallas, thanks for reading ... and keep the questions coming.
    • more freebies?
      Anthony, what's the happ's down there in Texas today? Any more freebies and craziness in the media center?
    • Yes and yes!
      Hello John Paul. It's super crowded in here today as the press continues to roll in. It seems like only half the people in the media center are speaking English, which kinda surprises me. The St. Elmo folks are out again today, but the Dallas hospitality booth attracted an even more massive line with pulled pork sandwiches or some such thing. The Reebok deal served up some shell fish looking dish. I'll make a quick round here in a while to see what else is going on. Radio row is pretty crazy. Indy's mayor was making the rounds, but most of the big hub-bub is due to the likes of Ochocinco, Troy Aikman, etc. Thanks for reading.
    • Adam Sandler
      I heard Adam Sandler from media room's radion row today. He's hillarious.

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