Monday, February 4, 2013

My Super Bowl Meccas

Last week, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco called hosting the Super Bowl in the open air of the New York metro area a "stupid" idea--he called it something else, but we won't go there right now.

Anyway, I agree with Flacco's sentiment. When I think of Super Bowls, I don't think of places like New Jersey and MetLife stadium, the site of Super Bowl XLVIII, I think of summer touristy places like Miami and Southern California.

I even think of New Orleans and the Superdome. It might not be a tropical paradise on par with Southern Florida, but it's certainly one of the more famous Super Bowl sites in the 47 year history of the event.

If I had to rank my Super Bowl Meccas, I'd go with New Orleans at number three. The city has hosted 10 Super Bowls, with seven coming at the Superdome--site of the just completed Super Bowl XLVII.

My number two Mecca Super Bowl city would be Miami. The City has also hosted 10 Super Bowls. Five of those Super Bowls were played at the old Orange Bowl, with the last one being Super Bowl XIII between the Steelers and Cowboys following the 1978 season. The other five have been played at Sun Life Stadium, the current home of the Miami Dolphins. The most notable Super Bowl played at that stadium was probably Super Bowl XXIII between the 49ers and Bengals. San Francisco won in dramatic fashion when Joe Montana hit John Taylor for a touchdown pass with 34 seconds left. Back then, the venue was known as Joe Robbie Stadium.

My number one Mecca Super Bowl city isn't really a city, but just the venue known as the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. The Rose Bowl has hosted five Super Bowls, and Super Bowl XIV, played on January 20th, 1980, between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles rams was attended by 103,985 fans--a Super Bowl record for attendance that still stands to this day.  Unfortunately, the NFL has a sort of unwritten  policy of not hosting Super Bowls at cities or regions without franchises, and since there hasn't been an NFL team in the Los Angeles metro area since the mid-90's, the last Super Bowl played there was Super Bowl XXVII between the Cowboys and Bills following the '92 season. It's a shame the league doesn't break its policy and hold another Super Bowl at the Rose Bowl. It's simply a gorgeous place to play a football game, and the backdrop, with the mountains in the horizon, is just an awe-inspiring sight.

I've never been to a Super Bowl in any of these cities (or venues), but if I could afford to attend one, these are the three places I'd like to see the Big Game.

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