SUPER CITIES

A.J. Hoffman: Ranking all of the potential host cities for future Super Bowls

And the trophy for best Super Bowl city goes to... New England Patriots website

With this season’s Super Bowl in Minneapolis, and everyone dealing with sub-zero temperatures, I have had some discussion about Minneapolis’ viability as a Super Bowl host city. This discussions led me to make a list of the NFL cities I am most likely and least likely to enjoy my Super Bowl week. To be honest, my rankings are pretty biased to my tastes in the region as far as food, beer, weather and overall ability to host everything it takes to properly host a Super Bowl. Without further ado...

THE “ABSOLUTELY NOT” TIER

 30. Green Bay: Yeah, I know. It’s home to a historic franchise, and this is in no way a knock to the state of  Wisconsin, but outside of Milwaukee (very underrated city) I have no interest in spending multiple days in the backwoods hoping I don’t end up on the next season of Making A Murderer.

29. Buffalo: I love chicken wings as much as the next guy (actually probably way more), but a week in early February in the middle of nowhere with nothing but snow and Niagara Falls to look at sounds pretty miserable. 

28. Baltimore: I’ve seen The Wire plenty of times. Hard pass.

27. Detroit: I know, I know. “It’s better than it used to be.” Detroit had no business hosting the Super Bowl before, and gave no reason why it should get it again. 

26. Charlotte: Please don’t try to tell me how great the BBQ is. I’m from Texas. Y’all ain’t fooling anyone with that stuff. 

25. Jacksonville- Northern Florida is basically an extension of Mississippi and Alabama. Not much more needs to be said.

THE “I’M SURE IT’S NICE, BUT I WILL PASS” TIER

24. Cleveland: The Hall of Fame is nearby, and the Rock and Roll Hall is in town, but let’s be honest, this city barely deserves the NFL, much less a Super Bowl. 

23. Philadelphia: Great city with plenty to do, but having stuff thrown at me or having my rental car set on fire seems extremely unappealing. 

22. Washington, D.C.:  Security would be even more of a nightmare than usual, and I can’t think of any reason why I would want to spend a week in D.C.

21. Boston: Beantown is one of the best sports town in the world. They win at everything, including football, and is home to arguably the best dynasty the NFL has ever seen. That said, it is frigid, and everyone I have met from Boston is an a**hole. 

20. Pittsburgh: This actually seems like a decent road trip. I have heard nothing but good things about the food and beverage scene, but I am too sensitive to cold to have it any higher on the list. 

19. Indianapolis: The trip there was fine, and while everything was conveniently centralized, the weather there is lame and there isn’t a whole lot to do. 

THE “TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT” TIER

18. Cincinnati: Really underrated town, but something tells me this wouldn’t be much different from Indianapolis. Also, God forbid the media hotel is in Kentucky. 

17. Minneapolis: I have never been, and skipping the Super Bowl this year may mean I never go, but I am perfectly fine not dying of frostbite and spending my entire week inside a giant shopping mall. 

16, Atlanta: The game is in Atlanta next year, and I am extremely lukewarm on the prospect. I do think it will score well in the nightlife category, but it is one of my least favorite southern cities. 

15. Dallas: They had their big chance. Massive, shiny, new stadium, and they are in Texas, which gives them a built in advantage. They blew it though, and had the biggest winter storm in history during Super Bowl week. Plus, it’s still Dallas. 

14. Kansas City: Not exactly a booming metropolis, but I feel like the strong food game and an awesome fanbase in an original AFL town might be kind of cool. 

13. Chicago: Chicago has everything going for it, except for the weather. Great food, great beer, friendly people. I have spent a week in Chicago, and you won’t run out of things to do, but it won’t be warm. 

THE “I COULD DEAL WITH THIS EVERY NOW AND AGAIN” TIER

12. Miami: The South Beach thing is fun for a little bit, but not sure I could deal with it for an entire week. It would be nice to spend the week in shorts and flip flops though. 

11. Tampa Bay: Yep, Tampa is ahead of Miami. Great beer town, and they have the good Florida weather without all the Miami pretentiousness (and the $ markup)

10. Houston: I love Houston. I live here. I think it is vastly underrated nationally as a great city. That said, I like seeing new places and trying new things. I can’t do that in Houston. 

9. Denver:  This is another incredible city to visit. It is one of the prettiest cities in the country, the people are friendly and there are PLENTY of pleasures to partake in (cough, cough). As much as I love the Mile High City, I don’t really want to pack a coat. 

8. New York: I love New York, but I don’t like going in the winter. The trip was far from miserable though. Everything was in walking distance, and you will never run out of things to do in New York. The biggest stars show up on radio row, and that helps the cause.

7. Nashville: Nashville isn’t a big city, but as a tourist town they know how to host a party. I think Nashville would do a fine job hosting the Super Bowl, though it seems unlikely unless they build a state of the art stadium. 

THE “THEY COULD HAVE IT HERE EVERY YEAR” TIER

6. Seattle: Maybe my favorite city outside of the great state of Texas, Seattle is one of the coolest places to spend a week. It can be cold, but not the biting cold of the northeast. There is great food, great beverage, and other…. Whatever, there is legal weed there, too. 

5.  San Francisco: I may have enjoyed Northern California more than most, but I found it to be a really nice setup. Everything with the exception of the stadium was centralized in the downtown area. Public transportation was available to take you all over the area, and the weather was beautiful. I would love to go back here again. 

4. Phoenix: One thing you know when the Super Bowl is in Arizona, you won’t need a coat, and it isn’t going to rain. It may be the most ideal climate to spend a week in February, and the food is amazing. Beer could be a little better, but the parties in Phoenix are always strong. 

3. Las Vegas: This is pure speculation, but I think Vegas will be an amazing spot to host Super Bowls. The infrastructure is built in, and if you can’t have fun in Vegas on a work trip, there is probably something wrong with you. 

2. New Orleans: New Orleans has long been the gold standard. No one throws a party like New Orleans, and they are (rightfully) a regular in the Super Bowl rotation. I can go to New Orleans any time of year and have a grand time, and it is hard to beat the food and libations. 

1. Los Angeles: L.A. is going to be a natural fit for the big game. They will soon have a state of the art stadium. It will be a destination city for celebrities and I imagine the parties there during Super Bowl week will be top notch. More food and drink than you can shake a stick at, and the weather will always be strong. I expect Los Angeles to be heavy in the rotation from now on. 

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TEXANS TRAINING CAMP WATCH

11 Texans training camp observations from August 7th

Houston Texans insider dishes on why Derek Stingley Jr was the right pick

The Houston Texans had a “vanilla” day of light work. Here are 11observations from the workout.

1. It was a light day for the Texans. Some would say sluggish, I wouldn’t agree with that. Did it look like a day off was in order? Yes. Did anyone make mental mistakes because of their energy level? Not that I could see. With it being a lighter day, it might be worthwhile to focus on some of the depth on the roster.

2. Isaac Yiadom (pronounced YEAH-dum) has had some moments in training camp. With rookie Derek Stingley having a light day, Yiadom played opposite Steven Nelson. Yiadom has had a few pass breakups and seems to be physical in coverage. He has a little speed to him, or he’s shown the ability to stick with wideouts. He is a top preseason game target to watch.

3. Phillip Dorset had a very nice back-of-the-end zone catch. It might have, likely even, been a sack for the defense in a live rep or team rep, but Davis Mills ripped the ball out as the whistle was starting to sound. Dorset with two feet in the back after juking a defender. He is squarely behind other wideouts having missed time but being a veteran should catch up quickly.

4. Wideout Connor Wedington had a few nice plays on Sunday. He has an uphill battle to make the roster, but Davis Mills’ former teammate might squeeze his way into the conversation. There are opportunities for him with a few other wideouts banged up.

5. Rookie tight end Tegan Quitoriano bodied his way for a touchdown. The rookie hasn’t done much in camp, but his size is clearly an advantage. Game reps and more padded practice will be important for him this preseason.

6. Chris Moore is a veteran taking yet another swing at making this team. If the Texans played tomorrow, I would have him on the roster. Probably even starting at slot wideout. He had a very nice leaping grab today.

7. Versatility for a couple of backup offensive linemen may lead to them making the team. Well, it certainly won’t hurt their case. Justin McCray has played all three interior offensive line spots. The veteran could start if needed, but I have to imagine he is a key backup inside. Scott Quessenberry (yes related to former Texans lineman David and current fullback Paul) played guard on Sunday. He is a factor to be Justin Britt’s backup at center.

8. Charlie Heck was not a pick I was in love with when Bill O’Brien selected him a couple of seasons ago. Heck has grown a lot in his game and physically and is surely the backup tackle for this team. He can play left and right tackle.

9. Tae Davis plays linebacker and wears 19. It is the strangest thing to see a linebacker in that number. It has not been strange to see Davis make a play here or there in practice. The linebacker room is loaded but Davis is making the most of his chances.

10. Ka’imi Fairbairn HAMMERED a ball right down the uprights after Davis Mills had led the team into field goal range on a last-minute drill. Mills easily moved the team down the field without the normal group of linemen or weapons. Good finish to practice.

11. Jonathan Greenard did some pushups after he couldn’t replicate history. Greenard almost had his second interception of Davis Mills, but the ball fell incomplete. Greenard has been a force in training camp.

Bonus Quote of the Day: “I was a fat guy last year” said Pharaoh Brown as he talked about his leaner and quicker frame compared to last year.

Listen to Cody Stoots weekdays afternoons 3-7pm on his show "The Wheelhouse" live on ESPN 97.5 + 92.5 FM or anytime on demand at the podcast here.

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