Super Bowling

Super Bowl Week

I am a college football guy. My interest in the Pro game ebbs and flows with the Steelers performance. When the Steelers win, I happily follow the NFL. If the Steelers lose, I go into an NFL blackout until they play again. As you might guess, with the Steelers’ demise in the playoffs, I have only a mild interest in the Super Bowl this weekend. However since I currently live in the suburbs of Houston, I can’t avoid it. We are inundated with ads about the “Big Game” and the associated attractions. The local media hype machine is in full gear with desperate reporters grabbing anyone remotely famous for comments about how great the city is. Houston is improving, but I still would not call it a Tier 1 city.

The highlights and low-lights as I see them:

Highlights

Discovery Green Concert Series: Discovery Green is the focal point of the Super Bowl and for this week, Downtown Houston. There are two stages of free music every night with some questionable daytime entertainment. I don’t recognize many acts with the exception of ZZ Top on Saturday.  The band is a decent choice given the locale. On the downside, if you know one ZZ Top song, you know them all.

Future Flights: It’s a tie in to the biggest tourist attraction in Houston which is NASA. The free amusement park ride is a free fall combined with virtual reality. The downside is the wait starts at about an hour and gets longer from there.

Just Okay:

NFL Experience: $25 – $35 per person to do basically everything you can do at your local school’s field. To be fair, it is a little better than that. If you have kids, it is pretty fun. What’s discouraging is the price. $25 for a kid? Really NFL? One would think the NFL could charge a lot less.

Bruno Mars and Taylor Swift Concerts at Club Nomadic. A temporary venue built in 60 days – what could go wrong?!? Still some Taylor Swift tickets available on Stub Hub, only $2,000. Bruno Mars is a bargain at $200.

The Parties:

Lots of parties but most of them are either by invitation only or very expensive – tickets usually start at $100 and go up from there. And buyer beware because Houston is a very spread out city. If you aren’t careful, you could end up at a venue miles from downtown surrounded by strip malls and highways.

Some of the worst:

The BIG TEXAS Party – ugh the name says it all. Besides, everyone knows the Rodeo is the real Texas party.

The “Extravaganza of Stars – $1500 to hang out with a lot of old folks and old money – yawn…

Five Days of Super Bowl Parties at the Mansion – Guests will enjoy 14 hours per day inside an exclusive/gated location with also an outside enclosed tent providing music, open bar and VIP areas. The “Property” is located on 1.5 acres (address listed on your confirmation after ticket purchase.) – You and a bunch of other donks hanging out in the sticks. Caveat Emptor on this one.

Other events include a “celebrity” bowling tournament and a NFL flag football tournament featuring Doug Flutie and… Kirk Cousins? Just imagine if Cousins blows out his knee playing flag football. Dagger to the Skins fans and a week’s worth of material for the Junkies.

My criticisms aside, I am pretty sure I will head down to check everything out. The last time Houston had hosted a Super Bowl, a lot of fans treated like Mardi Gras. Yes, it was beads and boobs from the downtown hotel balconies. I do not anticipate a repeat of that but you never know. One thing I do know is that I won’t be checking out the “Texas Size Super Bowl Party with Special Guest Morris Chestnut.” Really – Morris Chestnut is a draw?