506 Traffic and the Super Bowl
Stupor Bowl Sunday is the best day of the year to travel, especially on the the highway. It's better than any real holiday. Better than Christmas, New Year's, Thanksgiving Day, any day.
All the football crazies are off the road, watching the game. You can get from here to there in record time.
Notice that the various internet map sites specify time-spent along with mileage. That figure is invalid -- or at least inaccurate -- on any other day of the year. It doesn't account for accidents, crowding or stupidity. On Super Bowl Sunday, it's perfect. No one else is on the road.
You can't speed and you don't have to. The traffic cops have their radios tuned to the game. And they resent that they have to work and can't see it. Go two MPH over the limit and you're ticket bait. That's the bad news. The good news is you don't HAVE to go over the limit. You'll get there fast, no matter where "there" is. A stroll -- or a roll -- through the park.
In Los Angeles, the freeways are clear. In New York, even the Cross Bronx is open and moving well.
Stupor Bowl Sunday is a motorist's dream. And this is not a new phenomenon. It's been going on for 43 years.
It's also a pedestrian's dream.
Ask Giselle the cop.
She's been pounding a beat on the west side of midtown-south for 15 years.
"Ive got nothing to do during the game," she says. "There isn't a soul outside, no matter what the weather." A tough night? "Nah. A few drunks at a few sports bars, the rest of it's 'try to keep awake.'"
Giselle the cop is walking west on 37th street. She spots a fight outside an all night coffee shop. She cops up to the fighters and says "you guys break it up. It's the Super Bowl, be nice." They aren't nice. Giselle the cop yanks each guy by his collar, pulls their heads apart, slams 'em together.
They collapse to the ground.
"My job is to serve and protect," she says. "The streets of Midtown South are safe for democracy and football. And for my book."
Super Bowl Shrapnel:
--NBC got some last minute sales. So that means all the Super Bowl ads were filled. But can you remember a time in the past 43 years they weren't all taken months before the game?
--You'd better believe NBC spent plenty for the game. There are TV rights, the cost of the broadcast and who knows what-all else. The $206 million in ad revenue should ease that pain a bit, as long as everyone pays.
--The local university is looking for a "writing coach" to tutor budding scientists in the use of the English language. A noble effort. But how will they know when they've found someone who can do it?
I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.®
© WJR 2009