This whole Super Bowl in NY/NJ is obviously new to all of us New Yorkers. We didn’t know what to expect and we had nothing to compare it to.
Let me just tell you, the entire Super Bowl week, and especially Super Bowl Eve, had brought a buzz to the city that we have never seen. It’s incredible.
From Times Square, where the Vince Lombardi Trophy had been on display all week and live sportscasts took place in temporary studios, to Herald Square where they projected football videos on to Macy’s exterior, to all the parties and gatherings that have happened all week, here we are: ready for the main event.
One of the many parties, the Inaugural MVP Party, took place Saturday February 1, 2014 at Roseland Ballroom in NYC. This historic event featured all four Super Bowl MVPs from NY (Joe Namath, OJ Anderson, Phil Simms and Eli Manning,) honoring 4 wounded warriors in support of Operation Warrior Call.
While fellow New Yorkers arrived for the event, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Dukes and the Doobie Brothers shook up the stage as musical guests.
Joe Namath arrived first; he was also the first to become MVP of a Super Bowl (SB III). Making his way down the red carpet, stopping for every single fan that wanted a picture, I was able to ask him how he felt that all four guys finally were going to be in the same place, under the same roof.
“Well I know the guys, and it’s always a treat to be with them, but I’ll tell you what. I am so happy that Mr. Lane has brought us together to share this! It’s kind of a first time happening here in NY. For Jersey people and New York people to have the four of us in the same room, at the same time, celebrating the Super Bowl, so this is special,” Namath said.
Next to arrive was Ottis “OJ” Anderson who won two Super Bowl titles with the New York Giants, the first being Super Bowl XXV where he was awarded MVP. Unlike the other three NY MVPS, Anderson was a running back. Speaking of the event, he said “It should be fun. You got the best. You got the best of the best in NY and that’s what makes it fun!” I brought up how Ottis was, in a way, the odd man out, seeing as the other three in the group share the quarterback position. As he chuckled, he said “I’m the better looking out of all of them.” I knew from that response we were all in for a treat when all four took the stage at 10PM for a quick Q&A followed by the ceremony to honor the four wounded NY military vets.
As the clock drew closer to 10, we were informed that Eli Manning would be heading straight to the stage. He was the final arrival just in time.
Phil Simms showed up slightly before Eli, making time to greet fans and media. Simms was MVP in Super Bowl XXI where the New York Giants beat the Denver Broncos. Speaking about the week leading up to this season’s big game, he said “Just the feeling I’ve got, walking around NY, I have been here all week, is that it’s going to be perceived well, and I think there will be another one here! It is New York right?! I think fans have found out its not as big and as bad of a city as they all think it is. It’s a pretty cool place! I am happy the way it has come off.”
I agree with Simms; the vibe in the area is buzzing right now. I say we make it through this time around, and take it from there! With enormous support from the football legends of the city, the Super Bowl could very likely come back!