The fans who lined up Wednesday to kick extra points at the goal posts set up on Super Bowl Boulevard (better known as Broadway) were serenaded with heckles and trash talk when their attempts missed the mark.
After a man wearing a Patriots logo dribbled the foam ball underneath the crossbar, someone yelled, ”That’s why y’all lost the game!” – a reference to New England’s defeat in the AFC championship game.
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Another guy, decked out in a New Jersey Devils stocking cap, also failed to put it through the uprights.
”This ain’t hockey,” someone screamed, drawing chuckles from several onlookers on a sunny but frigid afternoon, shortly after the opening of Super Bowl Boulevard.
A 13-block stretch of Broadway through Times Square is shut down during Super Bowl week, allowing the NFL to set up its fan experience in an iconic location. The most popular attraction on opening day appeared to be the 60-foot-long toboggan ride, which had a lengthy line of people waiting to slide down.
”That was so much fun!” a young girl exclaimed after getting to the bottom. ”I want to go again.”
KEEPING IT SECURE: The officials in charge of Super Bowl security held their annual briefing, where they encouraged fans to be on the lookout for suspicious activity and released a list of items that won’t be allowed in MetLife Stadium.
That includes everything from alcoholic beverages to beach balls to horns, not to mention strollers, tripods and umbrellas.
At the end of the list were three things that should’ve been rather obvious.
Yep, weapons, knives and explosives are also banned.
Of course, this is serious business, especially in a city that one of the main targets on 9/11, and given the recent terrorist bombings in Russia, which have raised security concerns ahead of another major sporting event, next month’s Winter Olympics.
”We don’t want people to be fearful. We don’t want them to be afraid,” said William J. Bratton, commissioner of the New York Police Department. ”But in the society we live in today, you have to be prepared.”
ASPIRING REPORTER: If football doesn’t work out for Phil Bates, he might have another career option.
Seattle’s rookie receiver was being interviewed by the local CBS affiliate when he suddenly grabbed the microphone and took over the questioning. He worked the room for about 10 minutes, asking several teammates what they would do if they weren’t an athlete (cornerback Walter Thurmond wants to be a filmmaker; receiver Percy Harvin went with fisherman).
Bates finished up by verbally sparring with outspoken cornerback Richard Sherman.
”If it wasn’t football, what would you be doing?” Bates asked.
”That’s a great question,” Sherman replied. ”I’d probably be trying to find you a better job. I’d be trying to find you a much better-fitting hat.”
”Can you tell me how many times you beat me in Madden?” Bates countered, not even waiting for the answer. ”You can’t, because you didn’t.”
THE FORECAST: After a light dusting of snow overnight, the sky turned sunny over Manhattan on Wednesday.
It didn’t do much to warm things up.
The temperature climbed to only 25 degrees, with an increasing wind that made it feel even colder. The low in the evening was expected to be around 12.
That said, the forecast for Sunday’s game continued to be very promising.
The high is now expected to approach 40 degrees during the afternoon, before dipping back into the upper 20s after nightfall – much better conditions than New Yorkers have experienced through much of this frigid winter.
Still, don’t get the idea that MetLife Stadium will feel like South Florida.
”It’s going to be cold out there,” said Jeffrey Miller, the NFL’s chief security officer. ”Make sure you wear layers. Lots of layers.”
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