by Ryan Meehan
On Tuesday, the NFL selected the cities that will host Super Bowls 50 and 51. (Or for those of you in Italy, L and LI since they love American football so much)
On Monday night, I had read a link on the NFL Network’s Facebook page regarding how Miami was doing a bit of complaining with regards to whether or not they would get to host one of these games. Here’s a link to the article…
There are several issues that I have with this, and I’m not really sure where to even start. So these will not be in any particular order and this piece is going to be in a bit of a rant format. The main point here is that Miami has no business complaining about any of this at all. Miami has had more than enough opportunities to host the Super Bowl, so let’s begin there.
1. Miami has hosted plenty of Super Bowls
Let me just clarify that in no way do I mean that this immediately disqualify Miami or any city from getting the big game in the future. But everything that I’m hearing out of their camp suggests that they are deserving of being selected based on the way that things have been done in the past. But check out their history: Three of the first five Super Bowls were at the Orange Bowl, and if you’re familiar with that establishment you’d know that it was never really a safe place to park your car outside of or a structure that could hold a Super Bowl. (I typed “the orange bowl was a shithole” into Google and 190 million results came up in a third of a second. I’m not going to go any further on that swamp pit because as you can see – it’s been written about…)
But that was the early days of the Super Bowl, right? Surely if Miami is so upset it must be due to the fact that they haven’t had any from 6 to 47, correct? Nope…Get this – Miami also hosted 6 of the first 13 Super Bowls, all at the site that I mentioned above. Hmmm…
So perhaps it’s due to the fact that there have no recent Super Bowls there, specifically in the past decade? Nope, Super Bowls 41 and 44 were both held there so that can’t be it either. In fact, the big game has been hosted at the current facility five times even though it doesn’t exactly compare with some of the other structures that have been fighting for the Super Bowl. So that transitions nicely into my next point…
2. Let’s face it, the new facility in Santa Clara (host site of SB L) and Reliant Stadium (host site of Super Bowl LI) are both much nicer than Sun Life Stadium
If you haven’t seen the new facility the 49ers franchise is constructing in Santa Clara, then you may not realize just how the NFL does business. The new facility is a state of the art building that will hopefully house several Super Bowls in the future. Here’s what it looks like:
Now, the way that Tuesday was setup was that whichever site did not get to host 50 (but let’s be honest, that had already been decided) would go head to head with Reliant Stadium in Houston. While we’re discussing state of the art facilities, nobody is more deserving of a Super Bowl than the people who were responsible for building that place in Houston. In case you need your memory to be refreshed, here’s what that stadium looks like.
Complete with a retractable roof and enough old man oil money to last for thousands of years to come, it’s no small wonder why Reliant Stadium would be a much better site to host LI. And keep in mind Houston supposedly did a fantastic job with Super Bowl 39, so I would assume they need to make very few adjustments. (If any) They could probably get away with powering the lights every week by burning the bones of the homeless if they wanted too – Somebody down there would be able to cover it up.
SunLife Stadium on the other hand is a building that has changed over the years. I should know because in the nineties, I went there. I attended a preseason Cowboys-Dolphins game at the place when it was called Joe Robbie Stadium, and it was super posh. They had carpeted areas of the atriums and wine vendors – it was a very unfootball like atmosphere. But the reviews that I have read lately are not good. Renovations are desperately needed from years of abuse, and for the record THEY’VE HELD FIVE SUPER BOWLS THERE. (XXIII, XXIX, XXXIII, XLI and XLIV) Two of those most recent Super Bowls were held within three years of each other, and with as many locations that want to host the game, that should be considered pretty impressive. Speaking of which…
3. It took the largest market in the league 48 years to get the Super Bowl
It took the NFL forty-eight years to hold the Super Bowl in a cold-weather location that isn’t inside a dome. All truth be told, I don’t know why it took that long because footbal is a cold weather sport. Most of these teams earn their way into the playoffs playing in frigid temperatures, and if you ask me we should have been having Super Bowls in these cities for years. Sure, at the beginning you needed to use warm weather climates to attract people – but the Super Bowl isn’t ever going to be fighting to sell tickets. They could put the Super Bowl in Juneau, Alaska and people would be crawling all over StubHub to get tickets.
Where was I? Ah, yes…New York. The Super Bowl this year will be in the new MetLife stadium, which is technically in the New Jersey Meadowlands area. In all fairness, that area is probably more deserving of a Super Bowl than any other market in the NFL, and I’m not just saying that because I’m a Giants fan. And to prove that they were ready to handle all of the issues that come with hosting such a big game, they built a new stadium that was worthy of the Super Bowl.
But all the while, New York remained patient about the whole thing. Think about it…Do you remember getting the Super Bowl being a big part of Mayor Bloomberg or Governor Christie’s re-election plan? Of course, you don’t because they weren’t. New York calmly realized that they had other larger problems to deal with, and knew that as soon as the NFL finally got their head out of their ass and decided that this would work they’d be first in line. And they eventually were rewarded with Super Bowl 48 just like they should have been.
You know who I’ve noticed hasn’t really raised a stink about their inability to host a Super Bowl? Minneapolis, Minnesota. They haven’t hosted one in 22 fucking years, and a few years back we found out why. But even before they realized that it probably wasn’t the best idea to host an Olympic caliber sporting event inside of a balloon, they weren’t in the conversation every year throwing a goddamned fit. Minneapolis is a very progressive metropolitan area, and although having the Super Bowl would be nice they know that they have other things to work on.
4. The definition of what it means to host a Super Bowl is changing and has changed over the past few decades
It used to be that due to the limited amount of domed stadiums available in cold weather cities (and in general) the Super Bowl was rotated amongst cities in Texas, California, Louisiana, and Florida. Of the first fifteen Super Bowls, thirteen were played in the same six arenas. That’s the way it used to be, and that’s great.
That’s not the case now. In the age where there are retractable roofs and domed stadiums everywhere (combined with the game now being held in cold weather areas) the definition of what it means to be the host city has changed. I seem to be feeling this sense of entitlement on the part of the Dolphins that wants everybody to feel sorry for them because they don’t get to host the Super Bowl every year, and additionally…
5. I’m getting a little bit exhausted with this idea that the NFL owes Miami and the Dolphins something
Let’s get this straight – the NFL doesn’t owe the Dolphins dick squat. As mentioned previously, Miami has hosted plenty of Super Bowls. The Dolphins haven’t been anywhere near good since the Marino era and that is getting further and further away every year. But that’s not all, for some reason the Dolphins think that the league owes them more than they own the league – simply not true. If we’re going to sit here and tally what the Dolphins have done for the NFL, it’s going to be very apparent by the first few points into the argument that if anything Dolphins executives should be washing the feet of the league’s lowly interns. Don’t forget boys and girls – the Dolphins have only been around since 1966, and have suffered a very public struggle with filling seats within the past decade or so. If they didn’t have that period in the early seventies where they were able to establish some sort of history, I’m not sure they’d have any fanbase at all. Not that ownership seems to be concerned with the team itself, which leads me to point six…
6. Miami Super Bowl Host committee chairman Rodney Barreto and Dolphins CEO Mike Dee said a couple things over the past few weeks (mentioned in the article above) that I wouldn’t have mentioned out loud
Here are the two quotes, according to NFL.com:
“This would have been the main entry”, said Barreto referring to a hypothetical Super Bowl Park that
Sun Life Stadium would have been renovated to look like.
“This is not the stadium that we hoped we could include in the bid”, said Dee.
OK, let’s start with the first one. “This would have been the main entry”. This tells me a couple things, but it’s not me that they have to worry about. This isn’t a court of law, you can’t simply have your remarks stricken from the record when future Super Bowl bids come up. So the first thing that should be a red flag about this is that this asshole wasted the NFL’s time presenting a picture of a stadium that he can’t get the residents of his area to raise the money for. So if I am on the NFL’s Super Bowl committee, I’m a little bit offended by the fact that he sat there showing me an artist’s rendition of something as real as the Death Star. Especially during a presentation regarding where to put the world’s largest sporting event. In relation to that point, I may sound redundant here but by showing what the main entry would have been, you’re not showing what the main entry is which is what you’re supposed to be presenting to the NFL. Imagine if somebody was trying to sell you a car, and the whole time they were having you test drive a car that was nothing like it, all the while telling you about the features of the car that you are driving but aren’t eligible to buy.
The next statement is a different version of the first one, but it bothers me from a franchise perspective. This is your CEO saying “This is not the stadium we had hoped to include in the bid”. So let me get this straight: You’re saying to the citizens of Dade County (that already voted against providing the Dolphins with more money for the stadium renovations) “Look, this is not the stadium that you didn’t let us build to hold a game that there is an astronomically low chance of us even playing in!” Look, I get that having a Super Bowl is important to a city but selling season tickets should also be a high priority. Would you buy season tickets to a stadium after the CEO of your favorite team said something like this?
Miami is a tourist destination. It’s a fairweather sports town, where games are attended primarily by tourists. As for Dolphins fans? I don’t have a whole lot of evidence that would lead me to believe they are amongst the upper half of the rack when it comes to being educated about who’s on their roster. But that’s not really the overall issue I have here – Miami will get plenty of opportunities to host future Super Bowls. I don’t in any way, shape or form feel bad for them for losing either of these two bids. Not one bit. In the meantime, let’s focus on the cities that have made the necessary renovations first and then if there are any Super Bowls left over then we can discuss Miami. Hey, at least it ain’t Buffalo…