Super Bowl Committee Leaves Lasting Impact
By Jason Schott
 

The NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee held a press conference on Monday to inaugurate Super Bowl week in New York City. The committee was created by the owners of the Giants and Jets to raise the funds needed for the big game and plan all the events surrounding it.

This is the realization of a vision that began on May 25, 2010 when Super Bowl XLVIII was awarded to New York City and New Jersey. Since then, the committee has done a lot of work in the community because they want there to be a lasting effect from this Super Bowl for many years to come.

On Monday, the Host Committee announced that their Snowflake Youth Foundation raised more than $11 million for 50 projects to improve after-school facilities in New York and New Jersey. The $11 million sum includes direct donations from team ownership, with each family - the Maras and Tisches of the Giants and the Johnsons of the Jets - contributing $1 million and $3 million in individual donations that are dedicated to specific projects selected independently by the families.

Alfred F. Kelly, Jr., Host Committee President and CEO, said of the fundraising, "As natives and continued residents of this region, Host Committee leadership remains dedicated to providing a positive, lasting legacy to the communities of New York and New Jersey. With our partner organizations, we took great care in researching and selecting diverse projects that will ensure a sustained impact that extends far beyond Super Bowl Sunday, and for many decades to come."

Giants owner Jonathan Tisch said of the upcoming Super Bowl, "Woody (Johnson) and I had the privilege in May of 2010 to represent two storied franchises in the NFL, the New York Giants and the New York Jets, and we articulated a vision to 30 other teams about what a Super Bowl in this region could mean. Commissioner (Roger) Goodell, Eric and his colleagues were there, they heard the presentation also, and I'm sure in their minds they were thinking, 'this is going to be a lot of work in our own backyard,' but the Jets and the Giants made commitments that, as we stand six days out, we feel very confident that all those commitments have been met."

Tisch continued, "Almost more importantly, we committed to the legacy of Super Bowl 48 lasting well beyond when the trophy is raised in the air late Sunday night. Al went through some of the projects we have done through the Snowflake Youth Foundation, whether it's the Shuttle Huddle, the blood drive, the coat drive, planting trees. Only 82,000 people will be able to stand inside Metlife Stadium on Sunday night, and say that they were actually there experiencing Super Bowl 48, but millions of people who live in New York and New Jersey will be able to say 'I felt the presence of this game and all that it represents.'"

Jets owner Woody Johnson said, "Years ago, Jon and I were somewhere, and we looked at each other and we said 'why not New York?' After we said it, we were kind of startled, but here we are, and I want to complement the other 30 owners for giving us the privilege to host this and to break the ice barrier and play it in an environment outside in the weather where every game is played, no reason a Super Bowl can't be played there as well.

"The Super Bowl is a special, special event. I think there's no other event in the world that is more fun... brings people together.When you look at the potential, I asked Roger Goodell how do we increase the viewership of the Super Bowl, and he said you really can't. Everybody watches the Super Bowl. It brings everybody in the same room, and nobody cares about anything else but enjoying that one moment. One of the reasons that I had to buy the New York Jets was the idea that I could bring my family to a game, whether they're teenagers or younger or older, and we could all be focused on something that doesn't have to do with our immediate problems, that we could all yell and scream together, and that's what the Super Bowl does."

New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio could not attend the press conference, so NYC First Deputy Mayor Tony Shorris spoke on behalf of the administration. It was remarkable that, in his remarks, Shorris did not thank former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his administration for the work they did in bringing the game to the area.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was not there either. There was a rumor that he was stuck in a traffic jam.

jayschott19@gmail.com