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Pro Bowl
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:26 AM   #1
A Son of Martha

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Default Ready for the lunacy

NFL from the sidelines
After hobnobbing around the NFL in the press boxes and sidelines, sports reporter Dale Lolley will let you know the insider scoop. Dale can also be heard on Tuesday nights throughout the season from 7 to 9 p.m. on WBGG 970-AM.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Ready for the lunacy

I started packing my bags tonight, getting ready for the trip to Dallas - Fort Worth, actually.

This will be the fourth Super Bowl that I've covered, the first coming in 1995 in Tempe, Arizona.

Of the previous three that I've been to, I probably had the best time in Tempe. We stayed in Scottdale and, while we worked all day, we went at it hard at night in Old Scottdale.

My favorite memory from that trip was watching Thor Tolo almost get the crap kicked out of him at a place called the Sugar Shack after he accidentally spilled a beer on a guy and his date.

That was also the first time I met Mike Bires from the Beaver County Times. Mike wasn't on the beat yet and made the trip down as secondary coverage for Mike Prisuta.

It was 10 years before the Steelers went back. There were near-trips in 1997, 2001 and 2004.

The 2001 game was particularly memorable because Bill Belechick made a big deal about the Steelers making plans to leave after the game. We all had our bags packed.

You had to. Because of 9/11, there was only one week between the championship games and the Super Bowl. We were leaving the next morning.

New England had its plans in place as well, but Belechick being Belechick, he used that as a motivating factor.

Of course, when the Steelers finally did go back to the Super Bowl, it came in Detroit. We stayed in Pontiac, making it a bit of a hike to get around.

It also snowed like hell the night before the game. That's the thing I'll always remember about that trip. The only day I had off was basically one where you couldn't go anywhere.

Then came Tampa. Tampa had a great layout for a Super Bowl city. It was easy to get around and everything was close. We hung out at a place called the Green Iguana next to our hotel all week, though we did hit a couple of parties at night as well.

The best was the media party in Ybor City at the old Havana Club. They had guys rolling cigars in the place and were giving them away. Of course, the food and drinks were flowing freely as well.

We went out back and .38 Special was playing a live concert. I'm a child of the 80s, but I had forgotten how many hits that band had. Of course, they all sounded alike, so it's understandable.

What will the Super Bowl in Dallas bring? We'll see.

But check in on the blog daily for little nuggets I'll pass along throughout the week.

ESPN 970-AM has added a pre-game show to the pre-game show from 2 to 4:30 p.m. that will feature yours truly and Joe Bendel.

We'll give you all the updates heading into the big game.
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