So I’m at a kids basketball game Sunday, and I had to leave at halftime because I had to get to La Guardia. And all the parents are telling me, “Oooh. You’re so lucky. You get to go to the Super Bowl.”
Yeah. So lucky. This is so glamorous.
Let’s see. It took 12 hours to get to Phoenix. Change and delay in Atlanta. Headwinds of 140 mph, according to the pilot, that made the Atlanta-Phoenix leg about an hour longer than scheduled. Get to come back a week from Monday on a flight that’s already booked, and we’ve been warned to arrive more than three hours before your flight because the security lines are going to be the size of the Great Wall of China. Arrived to an absolute downpour at about 12:30 a.m., which is 2:30 a.m. Eastern time, or half a day after I left.
Drove through a putrid city between the airport and downtown, with dreadful construction ongoing — nice timing, with the Super Bowl and the FBR Open both in town this week. Downtown Phoenix is like a military zone. All the roads around the hotel are blocked off by police trucks: “Why do you want to get to the Hyatt, sir?”
“Uh, because I’m staying there?”
Police crawling all over the hotel. Imagine the overtime they’re spending on this week. No interaction with the public. They’re not allowed near the hotels. So it’s a virtual ghost town except for those staying in the area … if they can get in.
The Hyatt is a dump. A $240 a night dump (special media rate negotiated by the NFL; most hotels are in the $400 range, especially on the coming weekend). That’s not steep enough, but they jacked up the parking around the hotel, they’re charging $12 (plus tax) a day for internet service, and a liter of water in the room is going for $5.25. Good thing it’s not my money.
I can only imagine how violated the actual fans feel, the way the NFL makes it impossible for them to get tickets (a) legitmately or (b) at anything less than 700 percent of their face value. That’s why they get a stadium packed with people who aren’t really fans.
Well, you say, at least there’s the weather? Yeah, it’s warm here. In the 60s. But it’s raining on and off, and supposed to do so all week. There are clouds. My hotel room window overlooks a brick wall and a parking lot and a skyscraper. The sun came out for a while this morning and yet I needed to have every light on in my room in order to see. Then I spent about $23 on breakfast that was probably worth $4.
Today I get to talk to the players. Of course, you have to drive about an hour each way to talk to the Giants. Most events you get herded around on buses, like cattle going to slaughter.
Tomorrow’s Media Day, the mother of all sporting event circuses. There will be clowns with media credentials, bimbos with media credentials, kids with media credentials, celebs with media credentials. And for those of us who actually have to do some work, these other idiots will get the athletes in a bad mood with their idiotic questions: “If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?”
So, yeah, I get to go to the Super Bowl. Whoopeee! Get a boxed lunch, too. Yee-hah!