Saturday, February 17, 2018
Sports

Indianapolis prepares for anything

INDIANAPOLIS — From pickpockets and prostitutes to dirty bombs and exploding manhole covers, authorities are bracing for whatever threat the first Super Bowl in downtown Indianapolis might bring.

Though Indianapolis has ample experience hosting large sporting events — the Indianapolis 500 attracts more than 200,000 fans each year, and the NCAA's men's Final Four basketball tournament has been held there six times since 1980— the city's first Super Bowl poses unique challenges.

Unlike the Final Four, which is one weekend, the Super Bowl offers logistical challenges over 10 days. And unlike the 500, where events are largely at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway — about 7 miles from Lucas Oil Stadium — the NFL's showcase event will consume 44 blocks in the heart of the city.

"This is clearly bigger in terms of the amount of people who will be downtown over an extended period of time," city Public Safety Director Frank Straub said.

Under a security risk rating system used by the federal government, the Super Bowl ranks just below national security events involving the president and the Secret Service, said Indianapolis Chief of Homeland Security Gary Coons.

COME AS YOU ARE: Unlike four years ago when they dressed in black suits as a symbol of unity before facing the undefeated Patriots, the Giants returned to the Super Bowl this time with no sartorial gimmicks.

Arriving in town a day after the Patriots, the Giants are confident. They believe in themselves as much as they did in 2008 when they ruined New England's perfect season with a stunning 17-14 win in Arizona.

"We had no doubt," G Chris Snee said Monday, referring to the Giants' feelings four years ago. "You have to be a confident team when you get on the plane. You reach this game for a reason. It's not by chance. You have to be confident coming out here."

The other reason for not doing the all-black getup again?

"(The season in) '07 and this year, it has its similarities, but what we did in '07 will not help us one iota come Sunday," Giants DE Justin Tuck said.

IN DAD'S FOOTSTEPS: Patriots WR Matt Slater knows better than to take a Super Bowl trip for granted.

His father, Jackie Slater, was an offensive lineman for the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl XIV in January 1980. The Rams lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Slater never went back to a Super Bowl in a Hall of Fame career that lasted until 1995.

"I think that was one of the biggest things that he kind of missed on his career is he never won a world championship," Matt Slater said. "I knew how much that meant to him because he was a huge team guy."

Dad has offered son some advice about handling the pressure leading up to the game.

"He told me just to do everything I can to prepare myself for the game on Sunday so that I can live with no regrets," the fourth-year player from UCLA said.

POPULAR: Giants coach Tom Coughlin said he "would think Indianapolis fans will become Giants fans" this week. That's partly because Colts fans are used to cheering for a quarterback named Manning, and Peyton's brother Eli has become a star for New York. Buy mostly it's because the Colts and Patriots have been fierce rivals, especially in the past decade.

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