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NY/NJ set 'incredibly high standard' for Super Bowls to come

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NYC Mayor Bill

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio chat in Times Square on Saturday after the handoff ceremony to the organizers of Super Bowl 2014. Credit: Nick Klopsis

The governors of New York, New Jersey and Arizona, the mayor of New York and representatives of the Giants, Jets and Cardinals gathered in Times Square on Saturday for a handoff ceremony to the organizers of Super Bowl XLIX.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell also appeared, telling the New York/New Jersey Host Committee it had "set an incredibly high standard" for Arizona to match when it hosts its third Super Bowl next year in Glendale.

The officials spoke on a stage in front of the oversized Roman numerals XLVIII set up on 43rd Street in the heart of Super Bowl Boulevard.

Curious onlookers amid the crowds that have packed Broadway since Wednesday were reserved in their receptions of the speakers, but there were boos for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie when he was introduced and when he offered brief remarks.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo received a warmer reception from the audience and yelled, "Are we fired up? Are we ready for the Super Bowl?"

He predicted the Giants, Jets and/or Bills will be in next year's Super Bowl and asked Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to "give us some good seats, Governor, because we'll be seeing you."

Jets owner Woody Johnson, a co-chair of the Host Committee, said, "It's the first time in 48 years we're playing in the right weather -- cold weather." He paused and added, "It's actually not that cold."

Both Johnson and co-chair Jonathan Tisch said they hope this will not be the last Super Bowl in the region. "It's with that sentiment that when we turn over the Super Bowl trophy, the Lombardi Trophy, I'd like to loan the trophy rather than give it," Johnson said.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told the crowd, "If you have not been on the toboggan [run] yet, you haven't lived. Get in line. It's amazing. I went on the toboggan three times. I don't know if I'll ever recover, but it was a great life experience."

He also encouraged people to try the field-goal-kicking attraction, but because of the extremely long lines, only the most persistent and patient of Super Bowl Boulevard visitors have been able to experience such activities.

After the official ceremony was over, Giants president John Mara said the week had "gone just the way we expected it to go."

Would he have preferred a bit of snow for Sunday's game?

"What I would have preferred was to be playing in the game," he said. "But I'm happy with the weather right now. I don't want to tempt fate."


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