Dallas Cowboys: Super Bowl XLV

Jerry Jones shares blame for SB mess

February, 25, 2011
INDIANAPOLIS – In his first public comments since the Super Bowl seating fiasco at Cowboys Stadium, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones shared in the responsibility for what happened to hundreds of fans who couldn’t get proper seating at the $1.2 billion facility.

Just hours before the Green Bay Packers took on the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV, the NFL announced that 1,250 temporary seats were deemed unsafe and the league moved 850 people to new seats but 400 fans were forced to watch the game from standing-room only locations around the stadium.

“I do, along with the NFL, take responsibility for the seating issue and some of the things that we would like to improve on regarding the seating issues,” Jones said during in a 30-minute interview with the Cowboys beat reporters on Friday morning. “The informing of the fans that were involved, the NFL and I take responsibility for. You always like to look at areas you can do better, get better. We certainly intend to and will get much better in terms of the seating and how that is handled. I don’t have a lot of details for you relative to specifics there, as to specifically what we would like to improve on. That’s part of the process of the work ahead to do it better.”

The Super Bowl ended a terrible week for the North Texas area which dealt with an ice storm and a snow blizzard in the same week, forcing the closing of schools, several businesses and left the roads unsafe.

Jones, however, said there were many positives surrounding the game and is confident North Texas would get another Super Bowl in the future.

More on this story here.

NFL exec on seatgate: 'We screwed it up'

February, 10, 2011
Seatgate will not go away anytime soon with the class action lawsuit being filed against the league and Jerry Jones. At this stage it's hard to find out who messed this up: The Cowboys, the NFL or the people putting the seats in.

NFL executive vice president Eric Grubman, in an interview with ESPN 970 AM in Pittsburgh, said it best regarding how angry the fans were about the situation: "It was awful. We made the best of it. We screwed it up. I can’t change that. I’m a football fan and, before I worked at the Super Bowl, I took my young sons and my father ... to see the New York Giants, and if that would have happened to me, I would be furious."

The NFL knew about the seating problem days before kickoff but still couldn't get the seats fixed in time. Grubman said it's nearly impossible to get the temporary seats inspected until they're completed. Still, 400 fans didn't get to see the Super Bowl the way they wanted and that's a problem.

"It’s a construction project when you put up these stands, these temporary stands," Grubman said. "You put up the outside of the building and then you’ve got to finish it and there’s a lot of detail work. And you can’t get the inspections until you do the finished detail work. And we just didn’t get that done. Literally, an hour before the game, we thought we were going to have all the seats, and we just didn’t get it done."

The big question concerning all this regards North Texas and whether or not the region will get another chance to host a Super Bowl. The next three Super Bowl sites have been decided and North Texas would like to host Super Bowl L.

"It was a regional approach to the Super Bowl, and they did a great job and were great hosts," he said. "I tell you, I would go back there again. … I don’t think they took themselves out of the running. Do we plan it better next time? You betcha."

Random Thoughts after the Super Bowl

February, 7, 2011

The 2010 season is now over thanks to the Packers win over the Steelers and we got some random thoughts on what we saw on Sunday and throughout the week.

1. Tony Romo gets ripped a lot around here and I think it's unfair. To say Romo is a good quarterback is right. To say he's an elite quarterback isn't right. He's not there yet. Aaron Rodgers showed us at Cowboys Stadium what elite quarterbacks do: Win games in impressive fashion. Romo's injury set him back in 2010. He does have a talented group of players around him and we suspect things will be better for him in 2011. But Romo has to lead his team on a deep playoff run in 2011 if not, more questions will be raised.

2. Blame for the seating fiasco at Cowboys Stadium goes to the NFL and the city of Arlington. All of this should have been taken care of before you opened the doors on Sunday afternoon. We know the ice falling from the stadium on Friday was an important issue, but the lasting impression you gave close to 1,000 of the NFL's customers wasn't good. Roger Goodell did the right thing Monday morning by giving 400 fans tickets to next year's title game. Everything could have been avoided if the league and the city at made sure all the seats were in order.

3. The Packers lost 16 players to injured reserve and two of their best players, Donald Driver and Charles Woodson, to game-ending injuries in the Super Bowl. Still they reached the Super Bowl and eventually won it. Jason Garrett talks all the time about overcoming adversity. You saw a little bit of it in 2010 when the Cowboys overcame a 1-7 start, which lead to the firing of their coach, to finish 6-10. How the Cowboys handle adversity in 2011 will be something to watch.

4. It was a little strange going into the home locker room at Cowboys Stadium and seeing the Packers logo in the middle of the floor. You kept waiting to see Jerry Jones to walk through shaking hands with the players, but all you got was the smiling Packers.
"It was a fun night," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Monday morning. "I can't put into words the experience [in the] postgame locker room. But we had a party back at the hotel."

5. We know Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall had that critical fumble in the fourth quarter that eventually led to a Packers touchdowns was terrible. Prior to that Mendenhall, who finished with 63 yards on 14 carries, gave us a glimpse of what Marion Barber used to be and what the Cowboys need in Felix Jones. A physical back who breaks tackles and can get to the outside and gain yards. It doesn't matter who starts, Jones or Barber, but it needs to have more of a presence in 2011.

Roger Goodell will take care of 400 fans

February, 7, 2011
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Monday morning the 400 fans who were not able to get seats at Cowboys Stadium due to seats not being completed in time will become, "guests of the NFL" for Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis next year.

It was a nice move by Goodell for a league that has taken some major PR hits this week for the bad weather in North Texas followed up by the ticket and seating problems for Sunday's game.

After a limited number of sections in temporary seating areas at Cowboys Stadium were not completed in time, 400 fans were left without seats.

The NFL moved fans to similar or better seats valued at $800. Alternate seating was found for 850 of the 1,250 fans affected. The 400 who were not able to be seated were given a refund of triple face value for $2,400.

There's no telling if the fans paid face value for the tickets or more through a ticket broker.

One thing about Sunday night's game, the 400 fans without seats went on the field postgame and received free merchandise, food and beverage and free tickets to Super Bowl XLVI.

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."

Super Bowl attendance comes up short

February, 6, 2011

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Ice, snow, a taxi strike and stadium seating issues dominated the headlines leading up to Super Bowl XLV.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was hoping for some good news in the form of a Super Bowl attendance record Sunday night, but he'll have to settle for second place.

A total of 103,219 crammed into Cowboys Stadium to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers, missing the record by 766.

The construction of some temporary seating was not completed in time for the game, resulting in the relocation of 850 fans and refunds for 400 who could not be reseated in the stadium.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy confirmed the seats lost just hours before the game were the reason the record wasn't set.

Sunday's total is the second largest for a Super Bowl and second largest for an NFL game in Cowboys Stadium, which opened in 2009.

Sunday's attendance included 91,060 fans -- including 3,000 who bought tickets to watch the game on HD screens outside the stadium -- and 12,159 credentialed personnel (league and team officials and media).

The previous record of 103,985 came at Super Bowl XIV between the Steelers and Los Angeles Rams on Jan. 20, 1980, at the Rose Bowl.

The largest crowd for any NFL game was when the Dallas Cowboys played the Houston Oilers in front of 112,376 fans in a preseason game in 1994 at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.

Jones was hopeful his $1.2 billion jewel of a stadium would set the all-time attendance record. Jones and the NFL filled the end zone open areas, normally sold as standing-room only tickets, with bleachers.

Erik Walden is inactive for Super Bowl XLV

February, 6, 2011
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Among the notable inactives for Super Bowl XLV is right outside linebacker Erik Walden.

Walden was the Cowboys' sixth-round pick in 2008 and was released in training camp.

But he caught on with the Green Bay Packers and emerged as a starter this season. But an ankle injury will keep him out of the Super Bowl.

Frank Zombo will replace him in the starting lineup.

Seat problems at Cowboys Stadium

February, 6, 2011
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The NFL issued a statement saying there are a limited number of sections in temporary seating areas that have not been completed.

The league said its working to solve the issue by game time and if they fail to do so, they will move fans to other sections of the stadium, most likely the party plaza area that is covered up with bleachers.

But if fans are not accommodated with new seats they will receive a refund of triple the cost of the face value of their ticket.

Update: The NFL said incomplete installation of temporary seats in a limited number of sections made the seats unusable.

Fans in about 850 seats with tickets in four different sections were affected and were relocated to similar or better seats. And 400 fans in two more sects were not able to be accommodated with seats inside the stadium. Those fans will receive a refund for triple the costs of the face value of their ticket. The face value of those tickets are $900.

TMS jet dryers put to use in Arlington

February, 6, 2011
Texas Motor Speedway's two jet dryer trucks were in Arlington on Saturday to assist the North Texas Super Bowl Committee in preparing neighboring parking lots for Sunday's Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium.

The modified Chevrolet pick-up trucks are equipped with a Learjet engine and are used to dry or blow debris from TMS' high-banked oval. They were used to melt and blow ice and snow from the parking lots at The Ballpark in Arlington that will be used Sunday.

The trucks were contracted by the committee months ago as a precaution in the event of inclement weather. The area has been dealing with icy conditions throughout the week.

What will Deion's bust look like?

February, 5, 2011
Now comes the hard part for Deion Sanders.

Deion Sanders
Allen Steele/AllsportWill the Hall immortalize the 'do of a younger Deion Sanders?
Over the next couple of days he will speak with Hall of Fame officials about a variety of topics. The main one concerns his Hall of Fame bust.

Sanders had many different hair styles, from the Jheri Curl to his current look -- bald.

"In terms of getting your bust and making sure you have it the way that you want it," said Emmitt Smith, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame last year, "you have to spend time with the guys. He has to figure out whether he wants to go in with a bald head or if he wants to go in with a curl. Either way it goes, he's going in."

Deion skips reporters to coach football

February, 5, 2011
When the Hall of Fame voting was going on, Deion Sanders was coaching one of his youth football teams, The Truth, against a team coached by rap star Snoop Dogg.

It was a day-long event that Sanders didn't want to leave.

But when he got the call from the Hall of Fame committee he had to leave one of the games and drive to a Dallas hotel to talk with NFL Network, who he works for.

After the announcement show was over, other inductees spoke with reporters who were present.

Sanders did not.

He spoke with one reporter in the green room then jogged out of the hotel to get back to his youth football game as reporters chased him down.

There is a reason why Sanders felt compelled to return for the rest of the games.

"Deion is a pretty private guy," former teammate Michael Irvin said. "I've always said that most of us can bring forth great promise out of our great pain. Deion didn't have a father. His father wasn’t there. He becomes a father for so many not just his [own kids] but for so many. When you ask me the importance of what he does, I'm telling you it's deeper than you know."

Sanders' biological and step father were in and out of his life growing up in Fort Myers, Fla., and that made a deep impact in his life.

"He doesn’t want those kids to go through some of the things he went through with a father not being there," Irvin said. "I tell him all the time, share that. People will understand it more if you share that. So I hope he doesn't mind that I did."

Sanders was joined at the announcement by his wife, mom, son among others.

Super Bowl fan will miss for first time

February, 5, 2011
You've seen that credit card company commercial talking about the four men who have attended every Super Bowl.

Well, family members of Robert Cook of Brown Deer, Wis., say he will not attend Sunday's Super Bowl at Cowboys Stadium.

Cook, 79, is in the hospital and sent his two daughters to the game.

"We were packed and ready to go," Cook's wife Sarah told Associated Press.

Colt McCoy on the Super Bowl and more

February, 4, 2011

Cleveland Browns quarterback and former Longhorn Colt McCoy gives his take on the Super Bowl teams, playing college and high school football in Texas and the player he wanted to be like when he was growing up (hint: he wore a star on his helmet).

Daniel Snyder supports Super Bowl returning

February, 4, 2011
Despite the bad weather this week, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said he supports the Super Bowl returning to North Texas and he's not alone.

Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder said he also would like to see the game return.

"Yes, I love it here in Fargo," Snyder said while smiling.

After doing some interviews along radio row on Friday, Snyder spoke to reporters for about 15 minutes about a variety of issues.

Snyder said he's hopeful the issues the team has with quarterback Donovan McNabb and Albert Haynesworth can be resolved and he's thinking of moving he Redskins practice facility from Virginia to either Washington, D.C. or Maryland. Snyder like most owners is in favor of a 18-game season but is mindful of player safety. He's demanding an apology from a Washington, D.C. newspaper that made some disparaging remarks about him and his wife.

Inclement weather impacts TMS, too

February, 4, 2011
From TMS:

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Texas Motor Speedway, like numerous business establishments throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, was expecting to reap the regional economic benefits of Sunday’s Super Bowl XLV in Arlington, but the continued inclement weather has iced those plans.

Texas Motor Speedway had been targeted this weekend as a major destination for companies seeking a unique entertainment option for their Super Bowl guests and clients, but ice and snow throughout the week have led to the cancellation of the busiest, single-day track rental date in the speedway’s 15-year history on Saturday as well as one of its more lucrative on-track rental weekends.

With the track surface covered with roughly two inches of ice in addition to three to four inches of fresh snow today, Texas Motor Speedway was forced to cancel three days of on-track activity -- beginning today -- that involved six visiting companies and more than 300 guests and clients. The companies were planning to treat their guests to a variety of driving schools available at Texas Motor Speedway -- the Team Texas High Performance Driving School and Texas Driving Experience that are based here as well as the World Class Driving School that was arriving from out of town just for the weekend’s special events. Team Texas features NASCAR stock cars, TDE utilizes high-performance Chevrolet Corvettes and the World Class Driving School showcases exotic cars such as Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Bentleys.

Texas Motor Speedway was expecting a “six-figure” windfall from its Super Bowl-related events, but the surface conditions and freezing temperatures were too much to overcome to prepare both the high-banked, 1.5-mile oval and the infield road course for the scheduled events.

“It has been an extremely disappointing week for not only Texas Motor Speedway but all the businesses big and small that were looking forward to enjoying the major economic impact that the Super Bowl brings to a region, especially the first time,” Texas Motor Speedway Vice President of Media Relations Mike Zizzo said. “This also was going to be an opportunity for us to showcase our venue to some companies and guests that have never seen one of the premier motorsports facilities. It’s unfortunate, but we are all aware how unpredictable the weather can be in North Texas at this time of year.”