Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

January 27, 2014

Just where is East Rutherford, N.J.?

By Dick Platt
Corsicana Daily Sun

— I have a little more than just a passing interest in the upcoming Super Bowl XLVIII in that my beloved Denver Broncos have a starring role in it. Along with the tensions that will be building up to game time in our household, there are a few questions about the extravaganza which come to mind.

First of all, why do they call it “Super Bowl XLVIII” instead of “Super Bowl 48?” The only thing I know about Roman Numerals is that I wear T-shirts that are XXXL these days. One has to wonder how the old Romans managed to do even the simplest mathematical equations using this system of hieroglyphs. In line with my usual intent to inform and amaze, I present the following explanation of the use of Roman Numerals.

The system consists of seven symbols and they are: I = 1; V = 5; X = 10; L = 50; C= 100; D = 500; and M = 1,000. There is no symbol for our zero. These symbols are placed from left to right in order of their value. Using this rule, you would think that Super Bowl 48 would be “Super Bowl XXXXVIII” — but no such luck. In order to avoid all that repetition of letters, the good old boys invented a little deviation called “subtractive notation.” Examples: the numeral I in front of V or X equals 4 and 9 respectively; X in front of L or C equals 40 and 90 respectively; and a C in front of D or M equals 400 and 900 respectively. Simple, huh?

Secondly, how could a little burg (in New Jersey they are called boroughs) like East Rutherford, New Jersey (population about 9,000), be the home of the New York Giants, the New York Jets, and the site of this year’s Super Bowl? Even though East Rutherford, nestled in a valley between the Passaic and Hackensack rivers, is only about seven miles west of Midtown Manhattan, it is hard to fathom that it is considered a suburb of New York City when it is in another state.

Even though both team headquarters are located in hotels in New Jersey, most of the hoopla leading up to the big game on Sunday, Feb. 2 will take place across the George Washington Bridge in “The Big Apple.” In fact, the game has been unofficially dubbed the “New York Super Bowl.” This is not surprising. When the Super Bowl was played in “Jerry’s World,” everyone called it the “Dallas Super Bowl,” but at least no state lines were crossed.

Times Square is all abuzz, “A-List” and “Celebrity” bashes are planned, media events are abundant, and room rates in New York and New Jersey have gone through the roof. I saw one quote where a standard room at the “W Hoboken,” which normally goes for $300 to $500  a night is now offered at $852 per night with a three-night minimum stay.

Here’s a really cool offer — the “Sofiter New York” (a boutique hotel) is touting a $100,000 package which provides for 20 guests, 10 double-occupancy luxury suites over the Super Bowl weekend, daily breakfasts, round-trip transport to the stadium on game day, and tickets in Section 300. Wow, let’s all chip in and take advantage of that one!

Lastly, in case no one has noticed, the weather up in that neck of the woods is downright nasty as I write this rant. On this last Wednesday, 1,000 workers removed 13 inches of snow from MetLife Stadium. Current temperatures are running in the teens and 20’s with occasional snow. In case of a really severe turn in the weather, the National Football League has made some contingency plans that include rescheduling the big game anywhere from Friday, Jan. 31, to Monday, Feb. 3. Can you imagine what a nightmare this would be for over 80,000 fans, the thousands of credentialed media representatives, and the thousands of MetLife Stadium employees?

I read somewhere where they will be providing “comfort kits” for the fans which include ear muffs, hats, lip balm, mittens, scarfs, tissues, seat cushions, and wrist-wraps (those fanny-pack looking things the quarterbacks keep their hands in between plays). It’s the least they can do for some New Yorker foolish enough to pay up to $2,000 to sit out in a blizzard to watch two teams from Colorado (yea!) and Washington State (booo!) play a game of football around a half-time show by Bruno Mars and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

As for our plans, The Good Wife and I will be spending our Super Bowl afternoon preparing all manner of snick-snacks and decking ourselves and the family room with all things “Broncos.” The rest of our family will probably be here and we will all enjoy the game, the half-time show, and the goofy commercials in a controlled environment — not like those poor souls out in the elements. Here’s hoping it turns out to be a celebratory and not a “wait until next year!” event.

Also, here’s hoping a certain Governor doesn’t get a wild hair up his nose and close lanes on the George Washington Bridge on game day. I don’t think the NFL has a contingency plan for that.

See ya ... and Go Broncos!

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Dick Platt is a Daily Sun columnist. His column appears on Tuesdays. Want to “Soundoff” on this story? Email: soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com