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Super-Sized Road Trip: Postscript

February 4th, 2017 · No Comments · Football, NFL, Road trip, Sports Journalism

Over the previous seven days I posted a preview and six on-the-road reports from a 2,431-mile drive across the continent on Interstate 10, from Ontario to Jacksonville, site of the 2005 Super Bowl.

Some thoughts, after retyping on this blog those newspaper submissions from 12 years ago.

–We did another drive on Saturday, the day before the game, going up to Savannah, in Georgia. Loved the city, and thought of my grandmother, a native of the city. Taking that extra drive after six days behind the wheel … seems excessive.

I have no idea what sort of car we drove. It was a rental, of course, and it gave us no problems, but other than that … I sometimes get attached to rentals. No, really.

–We tended to stay in places with a free breakfast, and we would load up for the drive and try to bang out most of our daily miles before lunch.

–I remember the road trip far more clearly than the game. It ended New England Patriots 24, Philadelphia Eagles 21 but it was not as interesting as the score suggests. The Eagles scored late and never got the ball back. I never really got into the game, perhaps because I wasn’t in Jacksonville for the buildup.

It was New England’s third championship in four years, and 12 years later the Patriots are going for their fifth in 16 years. It is amazing that Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have been there for all of it.

–The submission about New Orleans came less than seven months before Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on the city and its environs.

In the piece, I advocated that the Super Bowl should be played more often in New Orleans, but the city was in no condition to host the event for years after Katrina. One factor was damage done to the Superdome; the NFL Saints played their home games out of town in 2005, while the stadium was being refurbished.

Also, the nice, big houses we saw along the coast, in Gulfport, etc., were mostly destroyed. It was sobering to think of them, after the hurricane hit the area.

New Orleans got its 10th Super Bowl in 2013: Baltimore 34, San Francisco 31. Safe to say the city has bounced back from Katrina.

–In 2005, walking over the bridge from El Paso to Ciudad Juarez might make an American think twice. Even then, we didn’t go over the border to the Mexican city until we had arranged for an American cabbie to take us over and wait for us until we were ready to go back.

Twelve years later, things have deteriorated, and typical counsel is to stay on the U.S. side of the border, and I wonder how much damage that did to the guys at the central market.

–We made the drive despite my daughter not bringing her driver’s license. We found out about this when she was pulled over for speeding in Texas. I drove the rest of the way, about a thousand miles in 2.5 days. Doubt I could do that now … but I did something similar in March of 2005, which I may get around to soon.


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