Dallas Cowboys: Super Bowl XLV

XLV fiasco not on agenda at owner's meetings

December, 14, 2011
IRVING, Texas -- The NFL Owners meetings concluded Wednesday at Four Seasons Resort in Las Colinas, but the seating fiasco that occurred at Super Bowl XLV was not included on the agenda.

Roughly 1,250 fans with tickets were left without seats because the temporary seating was not cleared before kickoff, which resulted in a suit being brought against the league.

“We continue to work through the issues we had here last year, mostly looking forward and trying to make sure when we stage events as the NFL, we do it with a high standard and that fans that attend our game have a great experience,” commissioner Roger Goodell said. “That’s what people expect from the NFL and that’s what we expect from ourselves. We expect to deliver on that promise, starting with Indianapolis.”

The earliest a Super Bowl could return to North Texas would be 2016 for Super Bowl L. The bidding process takes place next May. Goodell has said in the past that Super Bowl L could be held at a new stadium in Los Angeles to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first game, which was played at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

“That’s for the ownership to decide,” Goodell said on the possibility of the game returning. “It’s a great stadium. It’s a great community. I presume they’ll make a bid in the future, and ownership will decide at that point.”

Relative of 1st Packers prez part of seatgate

February, 10, 2011
A granddaughter of the first president of the Green Bay Packers was among the 400 ticketholders who didn't have a seat for Super Bowl XLV in Cowboys Stadium because their seats weren't safe.

In a letter sent to the NFL, which she provided to The Associated Press, Peggy Beisel-McIlwaine said Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones should never be allowed to host another Super Bowl. She called her experience a "total disaster."

For more, click here.

Lawyer explains SB XLV suit vs. Cowboys

February, 10, 2011
Michael J. Avenatti, the lawyer representing the fans displaced at Super Bowl XLV, joins Ben and Skin to discuss the case.

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NFL offers option for fans who missed SB

February, 8, 2011

The NFL on Tuesday announced a second option for the approximately 400 fans who had tickets for Super Bowl XLV but couldn't be seated in Cowboys Stadium because the installation of temporary seating was not complete.

Those fans initially were offered a ticket to next year's Super Bowl plus a refund of $2,400, three times the face value of their tickets. The tickets for next year's games are transferable.

Here's the second offer, according to an NFL release:
One free ticket to a future Super Bowl game of the fan's choice, including next year's if so desired, plus round-trip airfare and hotel accommodations provided by the NFL. This offer will be personalized in the ticketholder's name and is not transferable.

Jerry Jones issues XLV statement

February, 7, 2011
IRVING, Texas -- Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones issued a 378-word statement regarding Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium.

Todd Archer joins AllNight to talk about the prospect of the Super Bowl returning to North Texas in the near future.

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Jones said the temporary seating problem was the result of “manpower and timing issues,” and accepted some responsibility for the issues that led to 400 fans being displaced.

Despite the problems Sunday, Jones believes the Super Bowl will return to North Texas.

Here’s the full text of Jones’ statement:
“Cowboys Stadium was designed with the versatility to be fully capable of accommodating the number of seats that were scheduled to be in place for Super Bowl XLV. The stadium configuration was part of the Host Committee bid that was approved by the NFL owners in 2007. The NFL, the Host Committee, the Cowboys, and the City of Arlington worked closely to ensure as safe and as enjoyable experience for as many fans as possible.

The incomplete installation of temporary seats left a limited number of sections unusable for yesterday's game. Manpower and timing issues caused inconveniences to some fans. At the end of the preparations approximately 400 fans attending the game were not able to watch from those installed seats. We deeply regret their Super Bowl experience was impacted by this error, and we share that responsibility with the NFL.

We will also continue to work closely with the NFL in its complete review of Super Bowl XLV.

At the end of the day, the game on the field, and the stadium where it was played, exceeded the high level of expectation that the Super Bowl presents. It was a great game in a great venue, and it was an experience that will begin the process of bringing future Super Bowls to North Texas.

Our region displayed the type of tremendous commitment of resources, services, enthusiasm and hospitality that validates our community as a most worthy home to this wonderful event in the years to come.

Our collective goals all along were to ensure that more than 103,000 people would be able to have an enjoyable game day experience on Super Bowl Sunday while also being a part of an event that ultimately produced the largest television audience for any program ever.

We are very proud of the collective efforts of all of the North Texas communities that worked tirelessly to present this event in a very successful manner. It was an effort that also involved overcoming some challenges presented by Mother Nature that had an effect on not only our region, but millions of people all over the country. In addition, we cannot say enough about the level of help and cooperation the City of Arlington provided us during our Super Bowl planning and game presentation.”

Host committee back to work Monday

February, 7, 2011

DALLAS -- When North Texas was awarded Super Bowl XLV, the goal was to become part of the NFL’s rotation for the championship game even if there is no official rotation.

President and CEO of the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee Bill Lively said, “What brought the game here the first time will bring it back again. That’s Cowboys Stadium. All of our work was important but there’s no doubt in my mind that what got the game was the stadium.”

The host committee dealt with several tough circumstances mostly because of ice and snow storms and bitter cold that affected most of the country last week. It led to some inconveniences and complaints that were laid at the feet of the committee even if it had no control.

“I think the NFL and the world will forgive North Texas for the weather,” Lively said.

For Lively the work does not stop. He and his staff will go through the process of filing reports of what worked and did not work so well this time around. By the end of March, he and his wife will go on vacation.

“Are you ready for this? We were going to Egypt,” Lively said. “We’ve wanted to go to Egypt for 20 years now and we’re not going to go to Egypt now. We might go to Waxahachie now. I’m not sure where we’ll go.”

Roger Goodell does not blame Jerry Jones

February, 7, 2011

DALLAS -- As the criticism of the seat fiasco continues to roll on the day after Super Bowl XLV, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell absolved Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones of any blame.

“We put on this event,” Goodell said. “This is a responsibility of the NFL.”

Some 1,250 fans were affected by seats that did not pass code in six sections inside Cowboys Stadium. The final installation of railings and tightening of stairs and risers were not able to be completed by the contractor by Sunday afternoon. According to NFL executive vice president Eric Grubman, the league was aware of a possible problem by the middle of last week.

The league moved 850 fans to different seats in similar locations, but the 400 fans that were kept from their seats in the fourth-level of the temporary structure in the west end zone watched the game from a field club area or from a standing room spot.

“We made the judgment that it was the right course of action to bring the fans in rather than to discourage them or create a sense that they wouldn’t have the information necessary,” Grubman said

Those fans will receive tickets to Super Bowl XLVI and were given free food, drink and merchandise Sunday and were allowed on the field after the game. Goodell said he spoke to some of those fans affected and will reach out to more in the future.

“When parties are working together and something goes wrong, everybody has a responsibility,” Grubman said. “We will figure out what the key steps were, which ones were ours, which ones were someone else’s, and we’ll address that.”

Charles Woodson inspires the Packers

February, 6, 2011

ARLINGTON, Texas -- At halftime, Green Bay Packers cornerback Charles Woodson tried to speak with his teammates, but couldn't.

He was in tears and fighting through the pain of a broken collarbone, suffered toward the end of the first half of the Packers Super Bowl XLV victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Charlie Peprah, the Plano native, who is the starting strong safety for the Packers, said the locker room scene was emotional.

"Charles tried to address the team and he could get about five words out," Peprah said. "He was choked up. He was disappointed but also he knew that we could finish it off and he let us know how bad he wanted it. He was like, 'You know how bad I want this guys.' And that's all he could really say. And he got choked up and he couldn't say anymore. And we went out there and tried to get the win for him."

Woodson, who is considered one of the best cornerbacks in the game, walked into the Packers locker room holding the Super Bowl trophy in one hand while his left arm was in a sling.

"I think I let everything out when I found out I couldn't play at halftime," Woodson said. "I'm a little dried up right now. But it's everything I wanted it to be. It's been a long, tough season for us. We fought through a lot and we won in the biggest moment of our lives, so it feels good."

Mat McBriar is punter turned broadcaster

February, 6, 2011

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Mat McBriar had hoped to be playing in Super Bowl XLV when the season started, but the Cowboys’ season went horribly wrong. Still the Pro Bowl punter managed to have a role in the big game.

McBriar served as an analyst for ESPN Australia for the week, doing some features and working the pre-game and post-game shows.

“Oh, it’s easy,” McBriar joked. I tried to enjoy it as much as I could, but it’s not what I do. I’m terrible. I think they only used me because I’m from here and they didn’t have to fly anyone in.”

Frustrated by Green Bay WRs? Drop it

February, 6, 2011

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Green Bay receivers managed to hold on to the Lombardi Trophy.

Their less-than-sure hands made it much harder than it could have been for the Packers to earn the right to hoist that trophy.

The Packers had at least five drops, a few of which killed drives. James Jones and Jordy Nelson let balls go through their hands on plays that could have ended with touchdown celebrations.

“We’ll kill each other Monday morning,” said Donald Driver, the injured elder statesman of the Green Bay receiving corps. “We’ll actually talk about it on the plane ride.

“But those guys made plays when it counted. That’s all that matters.”

Nelson, in particular, made plays. He set franchise Super Bowl records with nine catches for 140 yards.

“If you play this game long enough at this position, you’re going to drop the ball,” Nelson said. “You have to move on.”

That won’t be a problem for the Packers. They won the game, so none of the drops will go down in Super Bowl lore with poor Jackie Smith’s unfortunate moment in the final game of his Hall of Fame career.

Rodgers still threw for 304 yards and three touchdowns. The moments of anger he might have had after the drops is easily forgotten.

“I’m not frustrated anymore,” Rodgers said when about the drops.

Not the ending Flozell Adams wanted

February, 6, 2011

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Flozell Adams’ week started with his Steelers teammates wearing throwback Michigan State jerseys and professing to want to win Super Bowl XLV for the long-time Cowboys left tackle in the stadium he called home.

Unfortunately for Adams, the Steelers could not close out the homecoming.

“You’re never satisfied when you don’t win,” Adams said.

Adams spent the first 12 seasons of his career with the Cowboys, winning one playoff game. He did not sign with the Steelers until late July but was able to start every game at right tackle. He enjoyed the ride with Pittsburgh but is not sure he will continue to play. The talks between the NFL and NFL Players Association regarding a new collective bargaining agreement could play a part in his decision.

“You’ve got to sit back and make the right decision that benefits you,” Adams said.

Big Ben falls far short of QB legends

February, 6, 2011

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Had the Steelers marched 87 yards in less than two minutes, they would have had to make room for a fifth face on the Super Bowl quarterbacks’ Mount Rushmore.

But Ben Roethlisberger and Co. didn’t come close on that drive. That’s fitting, because Roethlisberger doesn’t belong in the company of Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana, Troy Aikman and Tom Brady, who remain the only quarterbacks with three or more Super Bowl rings.

Roethlisberger didn’t perform up to the standards of that exclusive club in the Steelers’ Super Bowl XLV loss to the Packers. He numbers weren’t bad – 263 yards and two touchdowns on 25-of-40 passing with two interceptions – but he missed on several throws, including one that should have been an easy touchdown to Mike Wallace.

“Personally, I feel like I let a lot of people down,” said Roethlisberger, offering a blunt, accurate assessment of his play.

Big Ben would have been the ugly duckling in a group with four of the best quarterbacks of all time anyway. He may well end up being inducted in the Hall of Fame, but his Super Bowl performances pale in comparison to the quarterbacks with three-plus rings.

The Steelers won despite Roethlisberger in Super Bowl XL, when he threw for no touchdowns, two interceptions and had a pitiful passer rating of 22.6. He had a spectacular game-winning series in Super Bowl XLIII, but that was his only touchdown pass of the game.

Roethlisberger has thrown three touchdowns and five interceptions in his three Super Bowl appearances. That ratio looks ridiculous compared to Montana (11-to-0), Bradshaw (9-to-4), Aikman (5-to-1) and Brady (7-to-1).

Roethlisberger’s Super Bowl passer rating is 70.9. That’s quite a long shot from the legends – Montana’s 127.8, Bradshaw’s 112.8, Aikman’s 111.9 and Brady’s 95.1.

Aikman said this week that Roethlisberger is a quarterback who can’t be judged by his statistics. The numbers make it clear, however, that Roethlisberger is a few rungs below the four quarterbacks who have more rings than him.

Packers' rings already sized up

February, 6, 2011

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Mike McCarthy made a somewhat unusual step on Saturday when he had his players fitted for their championship rings on Saturday night.

“That kind of made it real,” center Scott Wells said.

The Packers had only two players with Super Bowl experience entering the game and thought it was mostly a matter of NFL protocol.

For veteran wide receiver Donald Driver, whose game was cut short because of an ankle injury, the ring size will mean even more to him once he gets the ring.

“I picked the biggest finger that had been broken for all these years and it’ll have to go over the knuckle,” Driver said. “I’m getting a 14.5 ring. It’s going to be big and it’s going to be gorgeous.”

No record crowd, but stadium was loud

February, 6, 2011

ARLINGTON, Texas -- While there was some local disappointment that Super Bowl XLV did not set the game’s attendance record, the size of the crowd impressed some of the Packers.

Linebacker A.J. Hawk played in front of some big crowds at Ohio State and said there was a noticeable feel to Cowboys Stadium on Sunday.

“It got pretty loud,” Hawk said. “Both the Steelers and the Packers have a pretty strong following with their fan bases and I knew it was going to be a little different. Until the game started you knew you were playing on a pretty big stage.”

Earlier in the week, Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy showed his players the movie Hoosiers to make sure they did not get in awe of the $1.2 billion stadium.

“Once you’re on the football field, football becomes football,” wide receiver Greg Jennings said. “The football doesn’t get any bigger. The field doesn’t get any longer. Now the JumboTron is rather huge, but that was about it. Football is football no matter where you play.”

Packers feel veterans' pain, persevere

February, 6, 2011

ARLINGTON, Texas – Green Bay’s two oldest veterans, players who had done so much to put the Packers in position, had their seasons end during the second quarter.

Receiver Donald Driver, a 12-year veteran who suffered a high ankle sprain, said he ran out of tears at halftime. Cornerback Charles Woodson, a 13-year veteran who broke his collarbone, also got choked up.

The two old heads, men who had worked their entire career for these opportunities, delivered passionate speeches in the Green Bay locker room at halftime. They essentially implored their teammates to protect the Packers’ lead and put championship rings on their fingers.

“I’m going to tell you, at halftime, it got very emotional,” receiver Greg Jennings said. “I had to walk out a couple of times. They put so much work into putting us in a game like this. To not be able to finish …

“I told them, ‘Don’t even worry about it, because at the end of the day, you’re going to be able to hoist that trophy.’”

The Packers delivered on that promise, managing to withstand a ferocious Pittsburgh comeback attempt. The Packers never lost their lead, bringing the Lombardi Trophy back to Green Bay.

Driver and Woodson didn’t easily accept that they couldn’t come back after their injuries. Woodson participated in another play, his left arm dangling by his side, after he broke the collarbone. The team doctor made the decision on Driver after watching the receiver fail when trying to cut with his left foot.

“I broke down,” Driver said. “The doc came over there and told me that I’ve got to be the strong one and rally those guys.”

Jordy Nelson had the game of his career with Driver on the sideline, catching nine passes for 140 yards and a touchdown. The Green Bay secondary managed to survive despite nickel corner Sam Shields also missing some time due to injury.

The Packers’ perseverance, of course, shouldn’t come as any surprise. Several starters are among the 15 photogenic players that Green Bay put on injured reserve this season.

“Just like all season, somebody stepped in and they stepped up,” Woodson said. “That’s what this Green Bay Packer team is all about.”