Super Bowl Colors: Red, White, Blue

Workers hang a Super Bowl XXXVI sign outside the Louisiana Superdome Thursday, Jan. 24, 2002, in New Orleans. The Super Bowl is scheduled to be played in the Superdome Sunday, Feb. 3. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) AP

Maybe it's fitting that the Patriots are one of the teams playing in this year's Super Bowl.

After Sept. 11, the biggest football game of the year is awash in national pride.

A copy of the Declaration of Independence will be on display at the Superdome. Game ceremonies will include a reading of the Bill of Rights by former NFL players.

In videos, four former presidents and former first lady Nancy Reagan will be reading Abraham Lincoln's words.

The NFL's official logo for the game features an outline of the United States represented as an American flag, with the words “Super Bowl XXXVI” emblazoned across it.

Even the league's banners at the convention center proclaim: “United We Stand.”

“There's been a remarkable outpouring of people that want to show their feelings for the country,” said Jim Steeg, the NFL senior vice president who is planning his 23rd Super Bowl.

Fox, which will televise the game between New England and St. Louis, will cut frequently to live shots of U.S. troops overseas, and the network hopes to have New York fire and police officers play a role as well.

Mariah Carey will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the game, and she has said it would be the only national anthem she'll ever do.

Because a weekend of games was postponed after the September terrorist attacks, the Super Bowl was pushed back a week. That forced the NFL to swap weekends with the National Automobile Dealers Association, which was planning its convention in New Orleans for the same time.

The NFL gave the car dealers $7.5 million, plus $500,000 to an NADA charity, and will pay for an estimated $5 million for public service announcements about the group.

The league also paid 11 groups to reschedule their Mardi Gras parades for another weekend.

Steeg said he still hears from people complaining about the switch, such as a woman who planned a flea market in Sacramento, Calif., for Sunday.

“She says she normally gets 60,000 people but the game will ruin it,” Steeg said.

Steeg has also had to deal with things such as installing new fences around the Superdome. The price when he started looking was $1.50 a linear foot. When they bought it was $14.50 a linear foot.

“Putting the game together is always hectic,” Steeg said. “This year has been on a completely new level.”

A monster truck show scheduled for the Superdome and a minor league hockey game scheduled for the adjoining arena had to be moved. The state high school wrestling championship, also scheduled for the weekend, complained that it couldn't find hotel rooms.

Buses were hard to come by because they had been promised to the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.

The rescheduling also hurt those planning parties.

“We have heard from a lot of people that didn't want to commit until they found out which teams were coming, or until they were sure of what their people wanted, things like tat,” said Sylvia Alfortish, general planner of Mike Ditka's, the former coach's New Orleans restaurant.

The commissioner's party had to be canceled because the car dealers couldn't clear space in time. Instead, there will be a “tailgate party” for 10,000.

Scalpers normally sell tickets for thousands more than the face value of $400, but brokers were selling for as low as $900 the weekend before the game.



Written By MARY FOSTER © MMII The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed
  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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