Tuesday, January 28, 2014

In which I utter the words "East Rutherford." Hardly anyone else will.

If you know how I feel about Rita Moreno of Arte, and if you know how I feel about my local airport that is named for another city, then you can guess how I feel about things like this:

Everything is bigger in New York, and 2014′s Super Bowl XLVIII is no exception. Already the undisputed king of yearly sporting events, this year’s rendition of the big game will have arguably the largest economic impact of any sporting event held on US soil since the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Oh, and this:

Cassella watched a Verizon FiOS commercial featuring former Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw competing with a little girl for the opportunity to attend the big game in New York. The little girl eventually won out, but Cassella dismissed the dream image of a game and accompanying crowd in New York.

So why would Cassella - his name is Jim Cassella - dismiss Terry Bradshaw's dream image of a New York football game?

That's an easy question to answer. You see, Jim Cassella doesn't live in New York. He lives across the river in a small town in New Jersey. It's a really small town - population 8,900 - and most people haven't heard of it.

Well, die-hard sports fans have heard of it.

Cassella's home town is the borough of East Rutherford, New Jersey. And while many of us will be glued to our TV this Sunday, the town of East Rutherford will be hosting a football game of its own.

Yet on the day of the game, many viewers will not realize that the game that's being played in East Rutherford, New Jersey is the game that they're watching intently.

East Rutherford, home to the sporting complex that is named MetLife Stadium this week, is used to this.

[H]e’s also been denied at the gate of celebrations, most memorably by the Devils. Cassella says he was invited to a Stanley Cup celebration, and showed up to engage with fans.

He was asked for his name, and an attendant informed him that he was not on the guest list.

But Cassella hasn't been ignored by everybody. The Giants have been to the Super Bowl during his time in office - Cassella, by the way, is the mayor of East Rutherford - and he has twice won bets against the AFC team's home town.

The town is Foxborough, Massachusetts. You probably haven't heard of it.

But at least in that case, the home team isn't named for a non-Foxborough area.
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