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The final countdown!

Sun shines on Fort Worth with Super Bowl now just hours away

Dallas Diary - Paul Higham @SkySportsPaulH Posted 6th February 2011 view comments

As the snow finally started to melt away and the sun finally shone in North Texas, it seemed as though the party really started to get into full swing - and just in time given the Super Bowl is now just hours away!

Picking up your game passes is always a special feeling at events like these, and to celebrate this and the sun being out I took the trip to Forth Worth, which now seemed a lot closer given trains were running on time and roads were driveable.

Wonder which team these are backing?

Wonder which team these are backing?

It could have been because everyone had been locked away inside or because it was the eve of the big game but the atmosphere was incredible, and this place finally gave us all the taste of the cowboy life we had all been looking for.

The stockyard area has everything - rodeos, steak houses by the bucket load and plenty of beer on sale - what else could you need! And I'm glad to say from experience the steak was out of this world.

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Sundance Square in downtown Forth Worth is the outdoor broadcast hub for all the major and local TV networks in town - and this was heaving with fans, including the Green Bay Packer RV pictured!

This was in stark contrast to the media centre back in Dallas which has now all-but closed down for another year.

The media centre was its busiest yet just a day earlier, with Super Bowl regular Adam Sandler doing the rounds on Radio Row again. I think he's been around for all three years I've been attending now, so he's less of a novelty than he seemed to be to the mass throng of media surrounding him.

Media pie

Sandler even took a larger chunk of the media pie than New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez - the fact that Happy Gilmore gets more attention than the man who has come within a game of the Super Bowl in his first two seasons in the NFL highlights the anomaly that is this week.

Even more so given the attention Mike 'The Situation' from the MTV Jersey Shore got as he strode into the media centre in his sunglasses, despite it being cloudy and full of snow outside.

Classic media centre ents came with some spicy shrimp courtesy of the Indianapolis host committee, and some great Texas meaty treats from the Forth Worth posse, who also dished out some free golf balls.

Dallas has lost points with many journalists and fans I've spoken to because of their inability to handle weather conditions, and it may be unfair to judge but Forth Worth gets my nod in my own experience - and I'm expecting to see fans with heavy heads in just a few hours time at Cowboys Stadium.

Melting snow and ice from the roof of Cowboys Stadium injured several people outside the facility and forced officials to close all-but one entrance to the building, that seriously needs to be sported out ahead of the big game Sunday.

Security

Security concerns are also high on the agenda this week, with officials worried the 100,000-plus attendance at the biggest event in American sports could be a real target, and as a result security has been beefed-up Texan style.

Police and homeland security are in great supply around Dallas, Fort Worth and Arlington, there will be a 30-mile no-fly zone around the ground on Sunday, while Jerry Jones himself said that his stadium has purpose-built good positions for housing police marksmen!

"We recommend that fans travel early to the game and carry only minimal items," said NFL security chief Milt Ahlerich about fans heading to the ground.

Despite that, the game is now finally on the horizon, and I for one am ecstatic, as will be the NFL and North Texas officials who have been fending off questions on organisation and weather all week long.

It's been a long week, a cold week, but nobody here would want to be anywhere else, and you just get the feeling that something special could be on the cards on Super Bowl Sunday to cap off a week none of us will ever forget!

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