The NFL is "expected to formally invite Denver to bid for the Super Bowl" in '18, '19 or '20, perhaps as soon as "owners meetings in March," according to a front-page piece by Mike Klis of the DENVER POST. Once it receives Denver's bid, the league will "consider whether to place its annual spectacle in a city where there's a possibility of a blizzard or a temperature near zero at game time." Pro Football HOFer Marshall Faulk said, "If some idiot decided a Super Bowl in New York can happen, I don't see why it can't happen in Denver. The weather in Denver is more reliable than what it is in New York. Not to mention it's a great stadium." Klis reports before Denver is "seriously considered, the league will evaluate its first cold-weather Super Bowl," to be held next year at MetLife Stadium in N.J. With Denver's bid there are "issues." One is Sports Authority Field, which will be "nearly 17 years old" by February '18. The NFL "prefers to award Super Bowls to newer venues," but New Orleans, Miami and Tampa have "relatively antiquated stadiums and they've long been in the Super Bowl rotation." NFL Network's Steve Mariucci said, "Ratings would be higher in inclement weather" (DENVER POST, 1/31).
STAYING DOWN DURING THE WEEK: ESPN’s Trey Wingo noted when he arrived in New Orleans, he had to drive around a Mardi Gras parade to get to his hotel and he saw "several ‘colorful’ signs with Roger Goodell’s likeness and some words that I can’t say on television describing it.” ESPN’s Mark Schlereth said “fans are upset" with Goodell following the Saints' bounty scandal, and they are "going to voice their opinions and they have the right to voice their opinions.” ESPN’s Ron Jaworski: “The people of New Orleans aren’t happy about what he did to the Saints last year. But you look at post-Katrina, what the commissioner did by bringing ‘Monday Night Football’ down here, putting money back into New Orleans, renovating the stadium like it needed to be done. I think you look at the full body of work of the commissioner in regards to New Orleans and it’s a positive” (“NFL Live,” ESPN, 1/30). ESPN's Adam Schefter noted Goodell was scheduled to arrive in New Orleans late last night and said, "The NFL has got his schedule locked and sealed. Basically, Roger Goodell is going to go to Tom Benson’s private owner party on Thursday night, he’s going to go to the private commissioner’s party on Friday night and then Saturday night is the NFL awards party. I don’t think you’re going to see Roger Goodell strolling through the French Quarter interacting with very many Saints fans” (“PTI,” ESPN, 1/30).