Thursday, February 3, 2011

Super Bowl XLV: Media, Fans Facing Treacherous Conditions Just Days Before The Big Game

From all the complaining that has gone on throughout this week, you'd think there was going to be a boycott of Super Bowl XLV here in Arlington, Texas. You would have thought the out of town media members were going to pack up their things and go home, if the game wasn't moved to a city where they wouldn't have to wear parkas and gloves just to stay warm.

But we here in north Texas wanted to make the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers feel right at home. Apparently Mother Nature is a football fan and loves these two teams. Why else would the weather, and the temperatures, absolutely suck over the last four days and counting?

On Tuesday, the Dallas/Ft Worth metro-plex had an arctic storm system blow through that brought sleet, driving snow, and below freezing temperatures. Mix those together and you have icy streets that are hard to walk on let alone drive on, not to mention below zero wind chills.

That set off a firestorm of complaints from the media members that traveled here from out of town. I will grant them that this isn't exactly the kind of weather any of us want to see for the big game either, but we didn't flip a switch and make sure it was nice and cold for the game's arrival.

While most us that live in this area don't understand the complaints from those that get to stay in nice hotels and have nice accomodations, you may not know the whole story. Reporters are having to deal with icy streets which make it hard for them to walk where they need to go. Not only that, but according to a source I spoke to, there have already been injuries to a few different media members that have required medical attention.

This is the information you won't hear and this is why we've heard so many complaints about the weather since the out of town media began arriving sometime on Monday night into Tuesday when this storm first rolled through.

At Pittsburgh Steelers' team hotel in Fort Worth, this same source told me the hotel would either lose power or have brownouts every 15 minutes. That would make it difficult to almost impossible for cell phones to remain charged as well as laptops running for stories that needed to be filed for local newspapers.

No one is going to tell this story because most publications know they're not going to get any sympathy from fans because they may not believe that these nice hotels are having these kind of problems.

To add insult to injury, six inches of snow on Thursday night into Friday made for an even more dangerous situation for those trying to make their way to radio row at Cowboys Stadium.

Conditions on every freeway and every side street has made commuting around the metroplex almost impossible. Cars are getting stuck and having to be pulled out, even police cars and emergency vehicles are finding it difficult to go where they're needed.

For those that wonder why there are so many complaints coming from the media here in the Dallas/Ft Worth metroplex, you'll understand why these aren't the best working conditions around.

The ice is still hanging around and even though there is more than six inches of fluffy snow on the ground, underneath that is the same dangerous layer of ice that's been hanging around since early Tuesday morning.

Having the Super Bowl in Dallas, or Arlington as it were, is looking a lot worse as the days go on. Schools have been closed for four days straight and the roadways haven't been treated the way they should be because Texas Department of Transportation won't use salt to melt the ice because, as one spokesperson told the local news, "it's bad for the evironment."

So before we start taking shots at the media for complaining even though they get to cover the biggest game of the NFL season, you might want to remember the conditions they're having to deal with just leaving their hotel rooms.

This isn't the most thankful job around and some might call it a "cush job," but it's a job none the less. With the conditions outside, it's making that job even more difficult.

If the NFL is hesitant to give Dallas another Super Bowl, you'll understand why this weather and the road conditions would lead them to that conclusion.

Unless the ice and snow melts between Friday afternoon and Saturday, it could make the drive, and walk, to Cowboys Stadium, an event in itself. The game might not be the biggest story on Super Bowl Sunday, it very well could be the weather and lack of readiness by the city crews.

Jerry Jones doesn't want to be knows as having the Super Bowl in his stadium during some of the worst conditions that's ever been seen a week before the big game. Unfortunately, it's something he may not be able to get away from.

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