Johnson: N.Y. will leave Super Bowl imprint

Johnson: N.Y. will leave Super Bowl imprint
May 20, 2013, 3:00 pm
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Woody Johnson says Super Bowl XLVIII will be big. Even by Super Bowl standards.

(USA Today Sports Images)

BOSTON -- Nine months from now, Super Bowl XLVIII will have packed up and left New York (slash New Jersey).
 
By then, New York will either be aglow with civic pride or awash in nationwide schadenfreude. If it goes off without a hitch, the Big Apple proving plenty big enough to swallow up America’s biggest sporting event and the fanfare around it, the gloating will never stop.

If the snow and the traffic and the agita intervene in the first Super Bowl played outdoors in a cold-weather city, we’ll all hear, “Whaddya, whaddya . . .” and the gloating will still never stop.

Monday in Boston, Jets owner Woody Johnson said there will be a flourish accompanying this event.

“You can count on that,” Johnson told me at the Hyatt Harborside where the NFL’s 2013 Spring Meeting is being held. “I’m not gonna go into it. New York has a way of imprinting everything it does. We just had Worldwide Wrestling . . . Wrestlemania and they said it was the biggest, best most dramatic thing they’d ever done.”

Wrestlemania? OK. 

Even though Johnson probably could have found a more apt parallel, his point stands. New York is going to try to do it up big. The groundwork is long since established, said Johnson, and work is proceeding under the supervision of Al Kelly, CEO of the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host committee.

Johnson acknowledged there’s not a lot of counsel other cities can provide NY/NJ with, however.

“Not really,” was Johnson’s reply when asked if any other municipalities had similar preparations to make to NY/NJ. “You can look at Atlanta. They had snow. Look at Miami. They had two inches of rain on the field and it wasn’t draining. So the weather-related things. Dealing with two municipalities is unique. You deal with the weather and the natural landscape."

On Tuesday, Super Bowls XL and XLI (2017 and 2018) will be awarded. Houston, San Francisco and South Florida are in the mix. How well things go in nine months may determine whether Super Bowls in the 2020s will revert to the warmth.