What exactly are we celebrating?

Watching a few thousand people explode with joy as the news of the Super Bowl landing in NY/New Jersey in 2014 spread, two things immediately came to mind:

1) The response was predictable and 2) it was utterly misleading.

Predictable in the sense–and this is nothing new–a camera crew and a few reporters always means one thing:

“Yooooooooooo! What up Brooklyn…I’m representin’, go Yanks, yeah yeah, what up!!” 

People act very weird when the red light is on, always have, always will.

Hell, I remember basically doing a “Michael Jackson-moonwalk”/”Hulk Hogan-flex” hybrid when my goofy 9-year old mug flashed on the real time camera outside of Space Mountain in 1983.  “Whoa, there I am, Mom, check it out, this is cooooool!”

It happens.

Misleading? Yes.

Why, exactly, were people cheering? Because there’s no chance they’ll actually be inside the stadium, watching the game.

None.

But you better believe they will be re-routed on their commute home and shoved off trains and buses all week.

This too, is pretty predictable.

(Cue the soothing, reassuring voice)

“Ladies and gentleman, please be advised, there’s another train right behind this one…”

(Cue the annoying noise doors make when everyone ignores the announcement and instead, jams together like a rugby scrum, forcing the doors to open and close an additional five times)

This one’s inevitable, as it’s now time to cue the vigilante conductor, summoning his inner-most New York ‘tude…

“People! This train ain’t movin’ until you either step off, or get on! I’m runnin’ the show, now Let’s GO!!”

When you enter your mid-30’s, something changes inside. Not your morals or your values or your true beliefs, but when it comes to work, two questions set the pace:

A) How much do I stand to make and B) How much will I be inconvenienced if I agree to Task A

I don’t know about you, but I’m not making a dime off the Super Bowl. Sure, I’ll get invited to a few parties, and I’ll get to hang at some hot spots, but as soon as I leave, the inconvenience begins.

Getting a taxi will be next to impossible, and if one of the parties runs late, and I want to crash at a hotel, I’ll be completely shut out; unless of course, I get a reservation 18 months in advance.

Quick transition: Growing up in Brooklyn forces you to walk with a certain pace and converse with a certain edge. It’s fast and it’s direct., and I loved it. Attending High School in lower Manhattan exposed me to a different grit, a different side of our city and finally, living on the Upper West Side for six years exposed me to the culture and heart of our metropolis–Central Park.

I’ve also seen the city grow more and more crowded, where every developer’s answer to another building is well, vertical.

“Let’s keep building toward the sky, and stuff ’em in like sardines!”

Cha-ching.

“And while we’re at it,” chimes in the landlord, “we’ll nail ’em for  $3000 a month for 672 sq feet of space.”

Together: “Suckers!”

Cha-ching.

You know what? We are suckers, I admit it. We fail to capitalize on the beautiful country we all have at our finger-tips, and instead, settle into the greatest/most crowded/dirtiest/most expensive city in the United States–minus the great climate.

And we do that for a multitude of reasons, each one unique.

This city is tough, it always has been and it always will be. Why make it tougher?

Ask yourself, will YOU really benefit from the Super Bowl in 2014? Even when the Jets and Giants squeeze $500 million dollars out of a company for naming rights, will you get reimbursed for the PSL check you recently wrote?

Sure, the city will benefit economically, but once again, it feels like another situation where the rich get richer, and we get shoved aside.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never really enjoyed being shoved aside.

See you at the game! 

I mean…bar.

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1 Comment

  1. Here is the problem with your piece, it routes everything through New York City. I know its a common mistake for nearly 95% of the media to understand the idea that the Super Bowl will not be played in New York but rather in Jersey. It will not be New York where people will be going to attend the Super Bowl, it will be New Jersey. New Jersey has plenty of hotels and attractions. Sure some people will want to go to the City since it is so close but there is no reason why they need to stay there. The Meadowlands area has plenty of hotels and if you need more hotels, there are more in the surrounding area. If you are looking for attractions, New Jersey has those too. So to the out-of-towner who comes to see the Super Bowl, save yourself a whole lot of aggravation and stay in New Jersey in the days coming up, on, and after the Super Bowl. What New York can’t handle/tolerate (i.e. transportation) New Jersey has had under control for years now.

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