Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Super Bowl Show Comes, Leaves Many Unchanged

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Super Bowl Show Comes, Leaves Many Unchanged

Article excerpt

Byline: Bill Longenecker, Shorelines columnist

The Queen of the Beaches' Homeless sat in her Buddha squat position, her back against the cold north wind. Covered by a blanket, she used the warmth of her cigarette to help start her day that Monday after the Super Bowl.

She was sitting across from the site of the Sports Illustrated party. I have seen her many times on my travels near the Quality Inn. She may well symbolize how that historic event affects most of us average people. I was on my bike and checking the surf on my way to substitute teach.

Little has changed for her or me.

About 8:15 a.m. on Feb. 5, the Philadelphia Eagles' cheerleaders bus passed me as I walked over the bridge on Butler Boulevard. A few minutes later, the team sealed its fate. Their buses passed me. It was then, as the sun helped me see through the tinted windows, I realized the buses were empty. None of them was aboard to cheer my journey.

That is as close as I came to being in the action. Had those buses not passed me, the Eagles would have won the game. My bad Super Bowl karma seeped into the buses. I should have made a bet after I saw them.

Later that morning as I crept east over the Atlantic Boulevard Bridge, a group of true athletes really impressed me. About a dozen road bikers climbed up the bridge on that cold windy morning. All were "older" bicycle riders including a man with many touches of gray in his beard and a lady who is likely over 40. They were doing it for the love of it.

My only personal enrichment came from the $200 I charged myself to stay in my beach home. I gave myself a discount for multiple nights. (Actually, I did put $200 into savings in honor of the game.)

The Friday night before the game, after leaving Shands Jacksonville, I chose to drive around behind downtown on Interstate 95. When I crossed the Fuller Warren Bridge, the vibrance of the downtown festivities even impressed me, much to my surprise. The lights were quite spectacular.

My work on Super Bowl Sunday put me in the neighborhood and I chose to drive right past the game after leaving the emergency room at 7:15 p. …

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