Matthew Hinton/AP
Matthew Hinton/AP

Back to Bourbon: NOLA Deserves Super Bowl LII

Sorry, Minnesota and Indiana, you'll have to wait your turn. New Orleans, celebrating its 300th birthday in 2018, is the right choice to host the 52nd Big Game. Here's why it should get the nod, plus your mailbag questions

Update: Since the Tuesday mailbag was published, Super Bowl LII has been awarded to Minnesota.

No one is going to get too bent out of shape—outside of Louisiana, Indiana and Minnesota—when the NFL owners, who are meeting in Atlanta, likely will award Super Bowl LII on Tuesday. New Orleans, Indianapolis and Minneapolis are all worthy cities, and each will get a Big Game in the near future. But my vote is for New Orleans. My five reasons why the decision shouldn’t be that hard:

1. This could very well be Tom Benson’s last time appealing for a Super Bowl. Owners are usually empathetic toward one of their veterans making a case for the Super Bowl. In this case, they should realize Benson likely won’t be part of such a host committee again. He’ll be 90 when the game will be played. He hasn’t been in good health; he just had serious leg surgery last week. It’s the humanitarian thing to give a deserving city, and owner, the game. Now, some would say it was Paul Tagliabue, not Benson, who forced the team to stay when Katrina devastated New Orleans eight years ago. Doesn’t matter to me. What matters is what a good owner overall Benson has been, and especially in recent years, what a good man for the city of New Orleans he has been. Witness his $5 million donation to local hero/ALS sufferer Steve Gleason.

2. It’s New Orleans’ 300th birthday in 2018, when the game will be played. This is a city the NFL went to great lengths to support and protect after Katrina. How can the NFL not give New Orleans the game in this historic year? It’s just the right thing to do.

3. New Orleans has one of the best Super Bowl perks in memory planned for its presentation today. The league has been vocal in its support for a safety program at the youth level called “Heads Up Football.” And if New Orleans gets the game in 2018, the local hosts will build a multi-million-dollar Heads Up Football complex adjacent to the Saints’ training complex and offices in suburban Metairie, with four football fields and a complex that would be used, in part, to teach coaches and players safe methods of tackling and playing football. Very smart move by the New Orleanians. Often, Super Bowl host committees do something overly nice for the 31 other owners in the league. But this magnanimous gesture hits the NFL just where Roger Goodell would want: in its future.

4. No one ever doesn’t have a great time in New Orleans for the Super Bowl. Perfect walking city. Perfect partying city. Perfect football city. More hotels in close proximity to its stadium than either other venue in this derby. And football helped save this city after the hurricane and the flooding. It’s fitting that in the biggest celebration in the city’s history will be kicked off by the biggest game in the biggest sport in America.

5. Indianapolis and Minneapolis are both worthy, but there’s no special significance to either getting the game in 2018. The lineup for future Super Bowls could easily be this: 2015 Arizona, 2016 San Francisco, 2017 Houston (all already awarded), and then 2018 New Orleans, 2019 Minneapolis, 2020 Indianapolis, 2021 San Diego if San Diego ever gets its stadium act together. Sounds right to me. Indianapolis and its compact and walkable downtown was a perfect host two-and-a-half years ago. Minneapolis gets a game by virtue of the northern-city-with-a-new-domed-stadium rule. But not in front of New Orleans.

I don’t think it’s much of a contest, personally. But we’ll see how the presentations and the debate goes today. I think there will be a hearty pro-Benson sentiment in the room in Atlanta.

TALK BACK

Got a question for Peter? Send it with your name and hometown to talkback@themmqb.com and it might be included in next Tuesday's mailbag.

Now for your emails this week:

COLD-WEATHER COMPROMISE. There are a lot of northern NFL cities that really have no hope of hosting a February Super Bowl.  Why doesn’t the league consider rotating the NFL draft among those cities that are unlikely to host a Super Bowl?  It would be nice to see a city like Pittsburgh (home of six Lombardi trophies) get to host a marquee NFL event.

—Shawn Pecze, Raleigh, N.C.

That is an interesting idea. I believe that the NFL will more likely seek out cities to hold the draft that make it financially wise for the NFL to put the draft there. I think it’s probably more likely that some bigger cities, such as Chicago, will step to the plate with better financial packages to host the draft than Pittsburgh would. That is just a guess on my part but I am hearing Chicago is very aggressive to try to woo the draft there.

MY MISTAKE. I opened MMQB absolutely knowing you would say something about how the Saints signed Devon Walker, who was paralyzed for the remainder of his life when he collided with a teammate on the field in his senior year at Tulane. The Saints did the right thing by giving this honorable young man, who graduated from Tulane the day he was “signed” by the Saints, a contract that was, of course, only temporary.  Given how you always look at the human side of football, I was disappointed you did not mention it.

—Chuck

I am glad that you did. That certainly was a mistake on my part, because Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton deserve credit for a wonderful humanitarian gesture. Thank you for pointing it out.

Mike Tannenbaum was fired as Jets GM after the 2012 season. (Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP)
Mike Tannenbaum was fired as Jets GM after the 2012 season. (Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP)

MIKE T’S MISTAKES. I was not aware that Mike Tannenbaum was now a sports agent. While I always thought he had incredible talent for negotiating, drafting and trading for players, I also believe that each Mike Tannenbaum success story ends very badly. I think each ending has to do with ego. Your thoughts?

—Jim S., San Diego

I don’t believe Tannenbaum’s ego got in the way. I believe, for instance, that in the case of Brett Favre, he saw the possibility of Favre playing a couple more years at a higher level than the quarterbacks the Jets employed at the time, and so he went all out to get Favre. You’re right; in the end it doesn’t seem like such a great deal. But before Favre was hurt that year, the Jets were one of the hottest teams in football, and Favre passed them to a Thursday night win at New England. The man made some mistakes, but that is not very different from every general manager who has ever worked in the NFL.

THE NFL’S MISTAKES? The NFL drug policy is odd.  Regarding Robert Mathis, it seems clear that Clomid is a performance enhancing drug (based on WDA recommendations). Josh Gordon may be suspended for marijuana, which most everyone considers to not be a performance enhancing drug (if not performance detracting).  Also, every NFL player is prescribed narcotics to help with pain management. Why does the NFL test for non-performance enhancing drugs regularly?  If I look for an analogy in daily life, corporations test once before you are hired, and then never again unless for cause.  I understand the NFL is conservative, but if they don’t look for it, and the players don’t do something foolish, nobody will know.

—Dennis 

I believe the NFL is in the process of re-thinking how it deals with players who test positive for marijuana. At the very least, it is under consideration. But the fact is, the current rule mandates that players be disciplined after a second positive marijuana test. We can argue about how smart it is to make the discipline for marijuana similar to the discipline for much harder drugs. But it’s on the books that players will be hit hard with multiple marijuana positives. It doesn’t matter whether you or I agree with that, because it’s a rule. It might not be a rule for long, but it is now. 

A POEM OFFER. I run a project at the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, MA in which we invite poets to write in Emily Dickinson’s bedroom, the creative space where she wrote over 1,800 poems. As you grew up in Springfield, only about half an hour from here, we’d love to have you write a haiku as part of this project. Love the MMQB!

—Michael, Amherst, Mass.

Wow. Michael, Believe me when I say I am not worthy. If you really want me to do this, I would be honored. I do not believe that Ms. Dickinson ever Haiku’d. But I should certainly try to honor her memory with a Dickinsonian Haiku.

mmqb-end-slug-square

115 comments
GT500456
GT500456

Wow.......did Peter King actually make it through an entire article  without a single slurp towards Tom Brady, Michael Sam, or the New England Patriots?


The world may indeed be coming to an end.....

Joe10
Joe10

Having live in the New Orleans area for 26 years let me address the points being made by the haters – people who have either only visited New Orleans one time or who have never been there and just regurgitate stories they have heard.

1.The city is not an open-air toilet and they do arrest people who decided that they can’t wait to find a toilet. But, I will admit that I have seen drunk tourist peeing in doorways during Mardi Gras.

2.The Superdome is not a dump and there are no obstructions to viewing the action on the field. Never have been. I have viewed Saints games, High School games and other sporting and entertainment events and never had a problem seeing what was happening.

3.IF you ask any of the working people living in the New Orleans area, the majority of them would tell you that they would rather not hear anymore about Katrina or the BP oil spill. Frankly the only people who keep bringing it up are national reporters, politicians and the people looking to get something without working for it.

4.There are plenty of capable electricians in the New Orleans area. You sir, are talking out of your anal opening. So, a piece of equipment malfunctioned.  Yes. It happened but equipment failures happen all the time in every city in this country. So what. It was fixed.

5.Yes, Louisiana ranks high in crime statistics per  capita. I’m glad the city you live in has absolutely no crime. New York has a higher number of murders each year, but since it has more people living in the New York area they rate lower. There are still more murders up there.

Yes, other parts of this country get hit by natural disasters. But again, I point out that with the exception of reporters, politicians and those looking for a handout, we just want to stop hearing about it.

HoppinBill
HoppinBill

I don't think the NFL could look past the lights out moment nor the recent bounty fiasco and award N.O. another super bowl.  The owner has had more than his share of Super Bowls already so the sentimental thing is out the window. 


I for one am looking forward to a declining Adrian Peterson and Teddy Bridgewater in his prime being co-MVP's of the first team to win the Super Bowl on their home turf.

WarrenLudford
WarrenLudford

Peter-

Your arguments for New Orleans landing yet another Super Bowl don't measure up.  Here's why:

1.  Is the NFL going to award a Super Bowl to every owner on their way out?  No.

2.  Is the NFL going to award a Super Bowl to every city celebrating a major anniversary?  No.

3.  While I can agree with New Orleans is a good time party town, it has also hosted 10 Super Bowls already and last time the lights went out.


On the other hand, is the NFL going to award a Super Bowl to every city that spends $1 billion on a new stadium?  Yes.


More than that, I think the trend is for the NFL to get away from long-standing incumbents when it comes to hosting key events in favor of spreading the wealth around the country.   The Super Bowl is a TV event more than anything else, and when the lights go out that is an embarrassment that doesn't go unnoticed.  And when Radio City decides to book something else during the normal NFL draft slot, that doesn't go unnoticed either.


Good bye New Orleans.  

Good bye New York.

Lots of other venues out there willing to do what it takes to host an NFL event- and do it right.

weir6
weir6

Peter, 


Anyone who has ever been to New Orleans knows that  the town is a dump.  But let me give you the 10 second tour: The food is great, but people stay up all night getting wasted and committing crimes.  The Superdome is an outdated pile of crap that reeks of cat pi$$.  The people of new Orleans like to loot, be so careful where you park.  That stench in the air is the Saints' fanbase.  This city has had too many Superbowls, and it's time to quit talking about Katrina.  Billions of dollars were given to the city.  As a result, the sale of gold 22" rims skyrocketed.  That's really all you need to know




Paul Diguardi
Paul Diguardi

Peter King proves once again what a hack he is. He's that guy that all the players feel sorry for, which is the only reason they talk to him. Clearly the owners don't talk to him.

Oh I'm sorry the armpit, otherwise known as New Orleans, didn't get the Super Bowl. I forgot, we still have to send all major sporting events to New Orleans to make them feel better after Katrina...

BrianOlson
BrianOlson

Who gives a rat's a@@ about Benson, the 300th anniversary or the cheating, head hunting Saints?  Minnesota is the right place for this Super Bowl.   I was born in St. Paul and attended games as a kid in Met Stadium.  You don't know cold unless you've done that but we rented hotel rooms across the street to thaw out at half time.  The Vikings used a type of flame thrower to thaw the field between quarters.  It was magnificent.  Football the way it was but now we have two sure things:  1)  The Cities know how to deal with cold, and 2) the game is indoors in the most advanced stadium in the world.  I predict the Vikings will win their second Super Bowl in four years on that date, at home.

TeddyBloomquist
TeddyBloomquist

If an NFL owner gave MY friend a $5M donation, it'd be classless of me to throw support behind anybody else's Super Bowl bid. . . 


That being said, this was still a really, really, really, really, really, really, really dumb article. 

MarkPost
MarkPost

How'd that prediction work out for you?

Joe10
Joe10

All the New Orleans haters - including IdDoHannahStorm and Roger Goodell are celebrating. 

dawnsblood
dawnsblood

New Orleans just had one in 2013. I think it is a good idea to wait a few before they get another one.

pilluelo53
pilluelo53

Well Peter looks like they didn't read your column.

IdDoHannahStorm
IdDoHannahStorm

Five reasons New Orleans didn't deserve to get the Super Bowl:

1. The city is basically an open-air toilet

2. The Superdome is dump and has lousy lines of sight.

3. They've milked Katrina long enough for pity

4. There's not a capable electrician in a 100 mile radius

5. It consistently ranks high in just about every crime category.

Louisiana is basically run like a third-world country and all these writers have to open their eyes and realize that other parts of the US get hit with natural disasters and don't spend the next two decades crying about it. 

Marchoir
Marchoir

In your face Peter. It's going to be in Minnesota, in a brand new stadium. And for the record Peter, New Orleans is not all that. It's relatively filthy and decadent city, and looks really bad in the light of day. The hotels are sub par and long in the tooth. And the SuperDome is a dump. Geez, give it up already. Peter sounds like Ray Nagin, complaining about not getting his Greyhounds. Of course, at the end of the day, you can always chalk it up to blatant racism by the NFL. That's right, may as well find some way to play "the card". If we wait long enough it will inevitably come out. Better yet, blame it all on George W. Bush. The dumbass decision to allow NY to host a Super Bowl changed everything. Can't wait to see Super Bowl at Soldier Field in late January.

KyleThomas
KyleThomas

Proof that Peter King knows only as much--if not less--about the NFL than anyone else.

Michael39
Michael39

Sorry, Peter.  We all know the owners favor the new and shiny over anything else.


Minneapolis is a good choice.  Now let us fight to get the NFL to remove the next Super Bowl from the racist cesspool that is Arizona.

Buck2185
Buck2185

@GT500456 Don't worry, he actually wrote this article with Sam hitting him from behind with a mouthful of Brady at the same time....

Mike26
Mike26

Joe, it's not uncommon for folks that have constant exposure to a situation to eventually accept it as a normal environment and assume it's similar in other places. Tourists are sometimes the best people to let natives of a city/country know that there ARE better places out there for living, working and visiting. You can call them haters all you want, but it doesn't change what many, many people have observed and experienced. Personally, I enjoyed the outlying areas perhaps more than the city itself.

So again, it's unlikely that others that have had negative experiences there - some of them multiple times because of business and personal commitments have required multiple visits - are the only ones seeing many of the activities described that are less-than-flattering about the city. That includes the cavernous old Dome, which has been remodeled more than once on the NFL's dime yet still is at the bottom of the league in terms of quality. Throw in the constant Katrina issues (some nationally by reporters, some by Louisiana's own folks) and people are ready to move onto different cities for a SB experience. Some may end up being worse, but that's what some of these corporate types want - something new and less odiferous.

Mike26
Mike26

@HoppinBill  Bountygate had nothing to do with it - or else they wouldn't have had it in 2013.  It was the lights things - and the fact a new stadium SHOULD have a shot at at least one SB.

CBOD14
CBOD14

@WarrenLudford Uh since when has either city not done something right? The lights out matter at The Super Bowl was a once in a lifetime matter. The city has hosted Final Fours, The Sugar Bowl, The National Championship games and Super Bowls. It is a wonderful city and I know of no one that has gone there and not had a wonderful time. As for NY and the draft, the only reason this has become an issues is because of the availability of Radio City Music Hall. The owners of the building played games with the league when they could've moved it to The Barclays Center or MSG. As someone who works for the league and meets alot of the draftees all of them were excited to be in NY and see the city for the first time. In case you forgot the city hosted The Super Bowl and Everyone involved said it went smoothly and people had a great time. Keep your personal biases to yourself.

gegrad
gegrad

+1. And I will stress that the food in NO is awesome. From the Quarter to Magazine St to off the quarter to Metairie, there are all kinds of awesome places to dine around the city, many of which are better than the famous places. But the rest of it... yeah, pretty much like you described.

VanHayhow
VanHayhow

@Paul Diguardi  Wow, what a dumb post. How did he work his way up from a small college, through small newspapers to the position he is in if he is a hack?

Translucent
Translucent

@BrianOlson  Congratulations! The whole country is excited to experience a Super Bowl in the Dakotas! 

Mike26
Mike26

@BrianOlson  You had SUCH a good post - right up until that last sentence....

IdDoHannahStorm
IdDoHannahStorm

@Joe10 Me and my good pal Roger?  First,I'd say I'm in pretty company and second, if you read the rest of these posts, its more than just us two.

jjazznola
jjazznola

Really? an open-air toilet? I was just there for Jazz Fest and had a great time. Maybe you are talking about Bourbon St at 3am. That street is for dopey tourists. Try The Marigny, Uptown, CBD etc..NOLA has a lot to offer but if you think La is a run like "a third-world country" please just stay away. BTW, what wonderful place are you from?

jnbug74
jnbug74

@Michael39  Yes, the owners favor the new and shiny.  


I was in Arizona for six months a few years ago.  Based on meeting the people in Arizona, I can assure you the people are not racist.  However, politicians and media incorrectly and unfairly portray it that way.   Kinda happy to see Phoenix host in 2015, at least the weather is predictable, warm, and the people are nice.  

IdDoHannahStorm
IdDoHannahStorm

@Michael39 Racist cesspool that is Arizona?  And what; give it to the racist cesspool of New Orleans?  The "chocolate City" as little Ray-Ray Nagin likes to call it/

HoppinBill
HoppinBill

@Mike26 @HoppinBill The 2013 Super Bowl was awarded in 2009.  The NFL didn't announce anything final regarding Bountygate until early 2012.  Not likely that they would change SB venues that close to the event.  So not that it definitely had anything to do with it, but it certainly could have.

Buck2185
Buck2185

@Mike26 @HoppinBill It is very comforting knowing we have Mike26 to tell everyone why they are wrong. Mike, perhaps you should take over for Peter. All you have to do is like gays, and everything Patriot. Shouldn't take you long to become a Patriot fan, should it??......

IdDoHannahStorm
IdDoHannahStorm

@jjazznola Considering that I lived there for five years, I think I know a bit more about the city than someone who "was just there for Jazzfest".  Maybe? 

Mike26
Mike26

@jjazznola  Perhaps tourists keep to touristy places so that they don't have to wear kevlar and/or put their lives/possessions at risk?  Perhaps folks don't care for the defacate-where-you-please "culture" of the city?  There's so many more negatives to NOLA right now than positives that it NEEDS folks like PK to invent reasons to get the SB there.

blynder
blynder

@jnbug74 @Michael39  

The weather is AZ is way to hot. :)  And the people are like people in every state, some are nice, some are not, some are every spectrum.  We're all just a little bit racist anyway.  


That's a line from a song I think....

MoeLarryAndJesus
MoeLarryAndJesus

@IdDoHannahStorm @Michael39 The difference is that Arizona is run by racists and passes racist laws.  New Orleans is not a racist city, whatever else you may say about it.  Joe Arpaio would not be elected to office there these days.

Mike26
Mike26

@HoppinBill @Mike26  Good call.  Thought it started in 2008.


Considering they've allowed Gregg Williams to return to the league, I'd say Bountygate won't be a factor anymore.

BigSchtick
BigSchtick

@Mike26

I think you are seeing the best Buck has to deliver. Not a very happy poster that Buck is...

Mike26
Mike26

@Buck2185 So do you have substantive or on-topic Buck, or is this it?

Mike26
Mike26

Not many - but I was responding to jazznola.

jnbug74
jnbug74

@Mike26 @blynder @jnbug74 @Michael39  I am even handed about cities, not sports.  Ha! Yes, Arizona is way too hot right now...  scorpions are out, and there's probably a fire somewhere.    Hope no scorpions are hiding in the stadium.  That's my insult, if it helps!  ha!  

blynder
blynder

@Mike26 @blynder @jnbug74 @Michael39  

NO! YOUR MOTHER WAS A HAMSTER AND YOUR FATHER SMELT OF ELEDEBERRIES!  I SHAKE MY HAND AT YOU IN AN INSULTING WAY... I FART IN YOUR GENERAL DIRECTION!



Better? LOL



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