Enjoyed lunch today rubbing elbows with Pro Football Hall of Famers and pretending to be all casual and comfortable at the well-to-do Fort Worth Club. Reason?
Don't know if you've heard, but Super Bowl XLV is coming to North Texas. According to the countown clock I was given, in fact, it arrives in 709 days, 20 days and 30 minutes.
I sat at a table across from Roger Staubach, just down from Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief and right next to The Ticket's Craig Miller.
What'd I learn?
*Although the game will be played at Arlington's Jonestown Coliseum on Feb. 6, 2011, the AFC team will call Fort Worth home and the NFC team will have its headquarters in downtown Dallas.
*For the first time in Super Bowl history, a host committee will stage a full year's worth of kickoff events, concerts and galas - starting in March 2010.
*In watching Roger eat his pecan-crusted chicken, I have developed an unsightly, unmannerly flying right elbow when raising fork to mouth.
*Former Cowboys Daryl Johnston, Russell Maryland, Charlie Waters, Cliff Harris and Rayfield Wright are on the committee's "action team."
*While Moncrief and Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck were on hand, Tom Leppert was apparently too busy. (Maybe an emergency meeting about a river and a road with the Corps of Engineers?) Dwaine Caraway sat in his place, which just happened to be next to Troy Aikman.
*Host committee president/CEO Bill Lively isn't expecting the crappy economy to keep XLV from being the biggest, best-funded in Super Bowl history: "We're not immune to the calamity, but we're in a stable region. If you're going to weather the storm, this is the right place." The committee has already raised $9 million.
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SHOW ME HOW
*Aikman can be a funny dude. "I'm not being paid and I don't think anybody's making any money off this," he said, pausing and slowly glaring at ... wait for it ... Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. "At least I don't think so."
*Staubach too has a sense of humor. "I just wrote my check to Jerry for my box at the new stadium, and it was painful," Roger said. "But he said he was going to frame it, so I'm hoping that he means he won't cash it."
*Jerry is bustin'-buttons proud of his new stadium, in which he says 1,700 workers a day are entering the "finish out" mode. "You know what," Jerry said, "it's even bigger than I thought it would be."
With all this star power behind it, something tells me we're going to be saying the same thing about XLV.