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Saturday, February 1, 2014
1 Day: Snow Bowl fears melt at MetLife

By Jane McManus



Each day until Feb. 2, ESPNNewYork.com has been taking you inside the challenge of staging the most unpredictable NFL title game ever. There is 1 day until the Super Bowl.

NEW YORK -- When NFL commissioner Roger Goodell approached the podium Friday, he could have just as easily done a victory lap around the seats in the Rose Theater.

The weather Sunday is projected to be in the low 50s, so, even though the New York/New Jersey Super Bowl put a snowflake on the logo, it looks as if it won’t be getting much of the real stuff.

The possibility of snow was real, but it won’t hamper any of the MetLife Stadium festivities.

“There has been a tremendous amount of energy and excitement about this Super Bowl,” Goodell said. “This is the No. 1 market and a great stage for this Super Bowl matchup, and the world will be watching.”

This is a home game for the NFL, which has offices on Park Avenue, and many of the people who work at those headquarters are homegrown locals. Goodell himself went to Bronxville High School, in an exclusive Westchester suburb just north of the Bronx borough line.

There are still potential snags. The first Mass Transit Super Bowl still has to get 80,000 fans to and from the Super Bowl.

It hasn’t been perfect. The cold earlier in the week put a damper on outdoor experiences such as Super Bowl Boulevard, and New York and New Jersey have not been equally happy about the amount of attention their states have gotten. Still, the NFL has pulled off Super Bowl week.

Now it just has to pull off the game.

Slurs and mascots: On Friday, a reporter asked Goodell about the Washington nickname, asking whether he would call a Native American person a “redskin” to his face. Goodell said the Washington name honored Native Americans.

“But if you look at the numbers, including in Native American communities, in a Native American community poll, nine out of 10 supported the name. Eight out of 10 Americans in the general population would not like us to change the name.”

The National Congress of American Indians published a position paper in October on the brutal legacy of the name and has produced a powerful PSA (see above) that includes all the names used to honor the history of Native Americans on this land, and the one term that does not.

Taste of the NFL: There will be a ton of parties Saturday night: the MVP Party, Sailgate, NFL Honors, DirecTV, Leather and Laces, etc., but the granddaddy of them all starts everything off when the Taste of the NFL hits Brooklyn. With glitz and names the focus of so many others, Taste of the NFL looks to raise $1 million Saturday night to alleviate hunger in NFL cities. Organizer Wayne Kostroski has turned this into a labor of love. Thirty-two chefs prepare 32 specialty dishes, plus there will be music at Brooklyn Cruise Terminal at Pier 12. Individual tickets might still be available at TasteoftheNFL.com.

Last Day for Super Bowl Boulevard: Get out while you can to see this tribute to the NFL’s over-the-top way of celebrating the New York/New Jersey Super Bowl. Could more have been in New Jersey? East Rutherford mayor James Cassella was cutting in his remarks Friday. “The NFL quite frankly probably doesn’t know that we exist over here,” Cassella said.

Super safety: If anyone needed to be reminded that the Super Bowl is a target, Friday's delivery of white powder to local New Jersey hotels did it. Luckily, testing revealed that it was a harmless substance.

Have a nice day: The NFL is getting the best possible day out of a Meadowlands winter tomorrow -- with AccuWeather reporting a high of 51 degrees and the possibility of an afternoon shower. The mystery here is whether kickoff will be below 39 degrees, the record low for a Super Bowl start.

Tickets: StubHub.com still had 1,741 Super Bowl tickets available Saturday morning. The starting price was $1,725 for an upper bowl seat. At Seatgeek.com, tickets start at $1,425. Tickets for the Leather and Laces Party on Saturday night are starting at $3,000. The NFL’s security team has warned that there are people selling fake tickets to all Super Bowl-related events, so be careful.

Come back daily for more on the issues, logistics and personalities surrounding Super Bowl XLVIII.