Now, this ain’t right.
The Mayor of the actual Super Bowl sight, Jim Casella of East Rutherford, New Jersey, doesn’t have tickets to the game. The tale is made all the more sad given his passionate love for the sport of football. “Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that the Super Bowl would be down the block,”
The NY Daily News chronicled the woes of the ‘forgotten’ mayor and a forgotten town as a whole:
Cassella, 67, plans to watch Super Bowl XLVIII from the comfort of his recliner; after all, he is without a ticket to the big game in his town. He shrugs at the situation, having predicted little appreciation for the host town (pop.: 8,900) since the Super Bowl bid by the Giants and Jets was won four years ago. He holds season tickets for the Giants, paying $10,000 in Personal Seat Licenses for two seats, but did not win the team’s lottery. He received a rejection email like many other entrants last week, and he does not know any East Rutherford resident with a ticket to the game. Before he heads home for kickoff, he will attend a tailgate at The Blarney Station, a popular bar and restaurant by the New Jersey Transit railroad tracks on the edge of town.
“There will probably be more true football fans at our party anyway,” Cassella says. “I’m not angry or anything. That’s just the way it is. The NFL could not care less. There’s a certain arrogance.”
Across the street from Cassella’s office, a Bud Light sign in the window at New Town Liquors proclaims, “The Road to the Super Bowl Starts Here,” but there is no mention that it ends down the street.
Banners emblazoned with Super Bowl logos, Roman numerals and all, hang from lampposts throughout midtown Manhattan. New Jersey Transit buses, riding back and forth inside the Lincoln Tunnel, are decorated with Pepsi advertisements about the game. No such banners hang in East Rutherford.
One of the more impactful statements made by Casella was this one.
“If you landed from another planet, you wouldn’t know there was a game going on here,”
So it is the harsh reality of a side you don’t hear about when caught up in the hoopla of the big game. While New York City opens up it’s giant doors to let in a massive wave of tourists, East Rutherford–where the stadium is, goes on as usual far from the spotlight.
The NFL really can’t swing this guy a couple of tickets? Cold world.