Tom Clyde: Park City should host the Super Bowl
January 30, 2015
My survival strategy for the past week has been avoidance. I can shop in Heber. I’ve skied Deer Valley from the Jordanelle side, and enjoyed almost-vacant slopes without having to deal with the mess in town. That doesn’t always work, and I had to venture into the belly of the beast a couple of times. One morning, while inching along from Highway 40 to the light at Park Avenue, I had a great idea.
The people on the radio station I was listening to were practically overcome with a case of the fantods over "deflate-gate." That’s the scandal ripping professional football apart because it seems that the New England Patriots kicked the butts of the Indianapolis Colts by playing most of the first half with under-inflated footballs. They were properly inflated at halftime, and the Colts still lost the game 45-7. All 7 of the Colts points were scored in the first half, while the Patriots were using the underinflated balls. Once the balls were properly inflated in the second half, the Patriots went 28-0. Under-inflated balls were the least of the Colts’ problems. But it’s a scandal on the magnitude of the missing IRS emails, Benghazi, and Obama’s birth certificate combined.
Even though the alleged cheating tarnishes the essential integrity of the game (and therefore the essential integrity of the illegal gambling associated with it), the Colts lost fair and square. Tom Brady took the accusations so seriously that he dressed like one of the kids from "South Park" while explaining to the deeply troubled nation that he was not a cheater. Or at least he had not personally, knowingly and deliberately underinflated the balls. The fact that 11 of 12 balls used by the Patriots were underinflated to exactly the same pressure is a coincidence. Under-inflation happens. It’s somehow connected to climate change.
Anyway, in the 30 minutes it took to drive a distance of about 3 miles, nearly getting asphyxiated because the exhaust pipe of the SUV limo in front of me was perfectly aligned with the intake of my heater, I had an idea. Ideas born of carbon monoxide poisoning are usually not great, but I think this one has potential: Park City should host the Super Bowl.
Yep, we should host the Super Bowl right there at Dozier Field. It would be perfect.
Now I can hear the naysayers out there questioning such a proposal. The stadium is not big enough. There are nowhere near enough seats. It’s outside and should be covered with snow this time of year. The facility is just inadequate for such an event. The taxpayers would need to build additional capacity. We don’t have enough hotel rooms. The impact of shutting everything else down for the Super Bowl would be terrible for the ski resorts. The retailers in town wouldn’t do any business because the people going to the game wouldn’t be renting skis, buying cold weather gear, and so on. Our streets can’t possibly handle that kind of traffic.
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But it would be great for the food and beverage businesses, and the hotels and condos could charge almost anything they wanted and still fill up for an event of that size.
Just think of the exposure we would get as a community. Millions and millions of people would be watching the game (especially since there wouldn’t be very many physically attending it, given the limited seating). Park City would become famous among people who watch football. That kind of publicity would be worth millions in marketing dollars, attracting people who spend their winters huddled in their basements watching football. Park City would become a holy place to the nacho-eating segments of American society. Two or three percent of them might ski.
I think it’s a great idea. And to those who think hosting the Super Bowl at the height of the ski season with completely inadequate facilities is a stupid idea, I offer only one counter argument: Sundance. If we are willing to put up with Sundance this time of year, we should be willing to put up with the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl would be easy. It’s really only one evening, and a couple of days of pre-game stuff. Maybe we should do Sundance and the Super Bowl simultaneously because the stadium is the only venue not otherwise in use. If we really put our hearts into it, we might get a visit from the Pope at the same time. The traffic couldn’t actually get any worse.
I wonder what happens if they inflate the balls at sea level and then bring them up here for the big game? Would they be over-inflated? Would anybody care? I’ve had bags of potato chips nearly explode under those conditions.
Tom Clyde practiced law in Park City for many years. He lives on a working ranch in Woodland and has been writing this column since 1986.