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Arctic Explorer

Snow way the Dallas weather stops our man Paul Higham from adding to his Dallas Diary.

Dallas Diary - Paul Higham @SkySportsPaulH Posted 4th February 2011 view comments

A flurry of overnight snow engulfed Dallas, but it was not enough to stop your intrepid Super Bowl hack from getting out to see NFL commissioner Roger Goodell fill us in on how the snow is affecting preparations for Super Bowl XLV.

I woke up this morning and glanced out of the window to see a white blanket of snow covering the highway outside the hotel, and turning on the TV to hear the news 'the roads are just a mess' hardly eased any sense of fear about venturing out.

The Arctic Explorer

The Arctic Explorer

A local official said that with 19,000 miles of roadways in the area to try and clear it was impossible to get everywhere safe to drive on, resulting in 50 accidents on the road already on the freeways, and this was only at 7am!

More help was being brought in to help clear up the roads, but with the expected warmer temperatures now not expected at all, this could become a huge headache for Super Bowl officials who will be relying on using the roads to get everyone safely to Arlington on game day.

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If the snow freezes overnight without being cleared then the roads are an accident waiting to happen, and the last thing Jerry Jones would want would be crash after crash after crash surrounding his wonderful new stadium on the biggest day of its short life to date.

Hearing the words 'the NFL won't be back to Dallas after this' on TV, in any bar with fans in or in increasing numbers around the media centre will not go down well with Jones or anyone associated with bringing the Super Bowl to North Texas.

Arctic explorer

Intrepid as always, I decided to brave the conditions, although only in a limited fashion with just a hair-raising five-minute drive to the nearest Dart rail station to get the train downtown to the media centre.

Commissioner Roger Goodell gives his annual address on the Friday before Super Bowl and this one was eagerly anticipated, with the ever-increasing likelihood of a lockout next season with the CBA talks over a new deal between players and owners still not nearing a conclusion.

Basically, it's a battle between owners and players, or billionaires v millionaires as some fans call it, about who gets what share of the revenue, whilst there is also huge posturing surrounding two extra regular season games replacing two meaningless friendlies.

A defiant Goodell also praised the local authorities and North Texas hosting committee for coping with the ice and snow storm. He obviously has not been reading about my troubles on the Lydon B Johnson Freeway 10 miles north of Dallas!

Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco also gave Goodell a grilling on the CBA on his own TV network he is now famous for - which lifted the commissioner's mood as he obviously grew tired of the incessant CBA talk.

Indy worry

It is all relevant though, with Indianapolis organisers very worried about missing out on a Super Bowl next year. 'Plan as normal' said Goodell, who added every NFL event around Dallas was all systems go despite the conditions. Whether (weather?) or not fans can, or will, make the trek to get to them is another matter.

Goodell eased many worries around here that the weather could result in Dallas not holding a Super Bowl again, and also believed that Indianapolis next year and New York in 2014 will be a success, even though the Big Apple will be a cold-weather Super Bowl in an open-air field! Now that would be interesting in the current conditions at the Meadowlands!

At least the NFL Experience in the Dallas Convention Centre is held indoors away from the elements, and fans who are close enough to downtown to get in easily have packed that place out, as will local kids with most of the schools in the area closed for a snow day.

No snow days for us hard-working members of the press though, who plough on (literally in this snow) regardless, to document what in now so many different ways will be an historic and memorable Super Bowl XLV.

'Weather Watch' has replaced 'Super Bowl watch' on TV and in the newspapers, which may help the players who are strangely being overshadowed by Mother Nature this week.

My planned trip to Southfork Ranch made famous by the Dallas TV show is now off due to weather, but hopefully I can still get out to Fort Worth to check out their Stockyard area and rodeo entertainment before Sunday's big game! Yee-haa!

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