Quick note: Mike Lebischak will be filling in for me on The Blitz today. He is a really good dude and does a great job for ESPN 97.5. He will be terrific today.
It is moving day for me and I will be completely out of pocket. I freaking hate moving (This is now my fifth since 2007) but as a good friend pointed out to me last night, “If that’s your biggest problem in life, you must be doing pretty well.” She is correct, but I can still vent. Regardless, if I do not respond to your tweets or comments in a timely fashion, that is why…Now on with the show.
Over the next week you will read many stories ranking the Super Bowl cities. Some people will troll and rank Houston last on general principle. The same people do the same thing every year in every city. Sports On Earth did its rankings and Houston wound up right in the middle.
It comes down to personal preference. For me, Houston would be ahead of Arizona, Indy and Atlanta. But also behind San Diego, New Orleans, Tampa and maybe even Jacksonville.
It’s hard for me to actually judge Houston. I live here. I know all the cool places. I’m happy the game is here, so all my friends with businesses can make money. And we might not see another one for a long, long time.
But I also like getting out of town for a week.
What makes a great Super Bowl city for me is the bars, parties, night life and the ability to get around the city easily. Spread out cities are usually a disaster. Can you walk from the hotel to radio row and to the stadium? Or hop on a train? Is there fun stuff to do? Are there enough bars where you can actually get a seat at one during Super Bowl week? Can you avoid ever getting in a car?
The stadium being nearby is a big deal for people who have to cover the teams. On those fronts, Houston stacks up pretty well. The MetroRail has linked NRG and downtown. The bar scene has exploded to the point where there is more than enough of them to go around. In my rankings, even being a little biased, Houston would come in at No. 5. Not having a casino or a poker room to go to Super Bowl week is a negative for me.
The top five Super Bowl cities I have been to in my life*:
*-One of these has not had a Super Bowl yet. But when it does…Oh man, it will be all kinds of awesome.
- New Orleans. It has everything outlined above, and the stadium is right in the middle of everything. The ultimate party city where there is something to do 24/7. If the Super Bowl were there every year, I would never complain. No. 1 on this list for life.
- Las Vegas. My home away from home. Hell yes, this is going to happen. No city in the world puts on a big event like Vegas. Should become a permanent part of the rotation. No, I have not yet been to a Super Bowl in Vegas since it has not happened, so this is pure speculation (remember this little thing *?). The NFL always rewards new stadiums, so you can start planning ahead. I have been to everything else there. It will be a win, win, win.
- Miami. The stadium is not close, but everything else is perfectly set up. This city needs to get back into the rotation and soon.
- San Francisco. If you had to go to the stadium for any reason, it was a nightmare. But everything else was set up perfectly, with everything in walking distance and plenty to do. Would have it just ahead of Houston, probably because when you travel for Super Bowl, cities hide their warts, and I have seen all of Houston’s. The only negative I saw was they did nothing to police their homeless, many of whom were borderline violent.
- Houston. H Town would not have sniffed the top 10 in 2004. But with so much growth in the area, it is actually a pretty cool place for big events. The Final Four was a massive win, and the Super Bowl has a chance to do even better. Of course, the week will play out, but I think Houston stacks up well. However, if you are NOT staying downtown or near the rail line, you are absolutely screwed. The traffic here sucks. The drivers are the worst this side of Singapore. But there are enough hotels in the downtown area where you should not have to be staying out 59.
The worst? Atlanta and Dallas** in no particular order. Both suffered from awful weather, but the events were simply too far apart. Underrated? Jacksonville, Tampa and looking forward to Minneapolis next year. Even though it will be colder than death, it is a nice city.
San Diego would be No. 2 on my list, but since it is dead to the NFL…
So there you go. These are my favorites based on my criteria. Everyone else’s list will be different, but for what I want out of a Super Bowl host city, those are the best.
**-Before you say I am just a Houston guy banging on Dallas, let me say I would trade our entire sports landscape for yours in a half second. And I would throw in a draft pick and Galveston as well. And I really like your sports teams. But as a city? Your freeway system was designed by village idiots. Deep Ellum is OK, but almost every major city has a better party spot. The coolest thing to do there is go to the grassy knoll drunk at 3 a.m. and get a view of where the real killer was. Now, Ft. Worth is a different animal. If that city ever hosted a Super Bowl, it would be top five. But Dallas as a city? It has the soul of a paper weight. We now resume our regularly scheduled programming…
Cause for concern? The Rockets are starting to look a lot like last year’s Rockets. They melted down late again in a loss to Boston. It is too early to panic, but they look nothing like the team that was a buzzsaw last month.
Never too early to look at UH quarterbacks: And Joseph Duarte does just that.
Finally, more Florida sex stuff: Where were these women when I was a teen? Hey daughter, get your friends to come over so I can bang them. All FIVE of them. Thanks. Yeah the mug shot is not flattering, but when you are a teen-age dude any score is a win, especially a mom.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
— Walt Disney
HOTTIE OF THE DAY