The Super Bowl: Dave Barry's view - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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The Super Bowl: Dave Barry's view

For those of us who are DB fans...this is a new column, not a reprint of an old one. Oh, and before I forget: Go Bears!


Confuse the Midwesterners: Be on your best behavior


It's here, South Florida -- Super Bowl Roman Numeral 41, the biggest sporting event in the world, unless you include other parts of the world. Tens of thousands of visitors are coming to South Florida for the big game, and we hope they all enjoy -- to quote our new tourism slogan -- "Hospitality, But Without The Hospital.''

But to make that dream a reality, we, the citizens of South Florida, must be on our best behavior.

Q. What do you mean, "on our best behavior?''

A. I mean that, no matter how festive we are feeling, we should not shoot our guns into the air.

Q. What if Fidel dies?

A. That is different.

It's very important that our visitors feel welcome, because they're bringing tremendous economic benefits to our community in the form of money. According to the South Florida host committee's official website, the economic impact of the Super Bowl here will be ''more than $350 million.'' What does that mean, in layperson's terms? It means the host committee has been smoking crack.

No, seriously, it means that we, as a community, are about to receive a ''financial shot in the arm'' totaling more than $350 million, which will be spent as follows:

• The maitre d' at Joe's Stone Crab: $182 million;

• Lavish parties you cannot get into: $123 million;

• Strippers: $42 million;

• Prince: $3 million;

• Slightly increased attendance at Monkey Jungle caused by Super Bowl visitors who have mistaken it for a nightclub: $93.

So, OK, perhaps you, personally, will not benefit financially from the Super Bowl. But this is not just about money. This is about our image, as a community. Too many people still think of Miami as the crazy, violent place that was depicted in the old TV crime show Miami Vice. But Miami has come a long way since then, as reflected in the newer TV crime show CSI: Miami, not to mention the movie version of Miami Vice.

That's why this week we all need to be ''goodwill ambassadors'' for South Florida. Let's welcome our Super Bowl visitors with open arms. Let's kiss them on the lips while inserting a little goodwill tongue. Above all, let's keep them out of trouble. Remember that many of this year's Super Bowl visitors are coming from the Midwest, which is often called ''the nation's heartland,'' because it is covered with sleet. Midwesterners tend to be friendly, polite, honest and trusting, so down here they are dead meat. We need to keep an eye on them. If you see a visitor who looks confused, don't hesitate to offer help:

YOU: Hello! I see you are from the Midwest.

VISITORS: Why, yes we are! How could you tell?

YOU: By your non-taut, yogurt-colored bodies. Do you need directions?

VISITORS: Yes, thanks! We want to go to the beach.

YOU: Like that?


YOU: We have no beach.

See? By going a just little out of your way to help, you have averted what could have been an unfortunate situation. If we all do our part, we can make this Super Bowl a wonderful experience for our visitors, one that will rank up there with some of the unforgettable Super Bowls of the past, such as XXLVII, XCCXIX, XXVLXXI, VMCLKX, and

of course MMLVIXMXI.

Here at The Miami Herald we will be doing our part by publishing, every day, a minimum of 275 Super-Bowl-related articles (``Septic-Tank Pumpers Expecting Super Busy Weekend''). This is a big effort for us, so if you see an actual news event -- say, a mushroom cloud rising over the Port of Miami -- please do not call us, unless you have reason to believe it is a Super-Bowl-related mushroom cloud. Thank you.

NEED TICKETS FOR THE GAME? As you know, tickets for the Super Bowl are very hard to come by, but we have learned that a limited number of them are still available, at face value, from congressman Tom Tancredo of Colorado. Give him a call! This information must be true, because it is being printed in a newspaper.

Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy; its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. (Winston Churchill)
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