Notes From Phoenix

February 2nd, 2015
Looking at the downtown Phoenix skyline from inside the Phoenix Convention Center, the epicenter of Super Bowl activities.

Looking at the downtown Phoenix skyline from inside the Phoenix Convention Center, the epicenter of Super Bowl activities.

Joe usually does this after he returns from a work trip, give a quick recap of his stay in a strange land. Joe’s notes from Phoenix continue the tradition.

This was the farthest west Joe has ever traveled. Previously, in another life, Joe went to Hutchinson, Kan. — Joe wouldn’t wish that upon his worst enemy —  and Fort Worth, Tex.

Joe was looking forward to seeing the desert mountains. Heard a lot of good things about them. Very unimpressed. Maybe because it was cloudy when Joe landed, the mountains looked like giant mounts of dirt, like there was a monumental construction job underway. Joe is used to lush, green mountains.

Phoenix proper is in a bowl of sorts, a valley between the mountains. Flat as a kitchen table. Not trying to be down on Phoenix in any way, but it wasn’t impressive. A lot like Indianapolis, only much warmer.

* An interesting surprise: When Joe was dropped off near the convention center, the epicenter of Super Bowl activities, the cabbie told Joe as he left the car, “Watch out for the train.” Joe turned around, and there was a light rail train coming. Even Phonix has light rail. And the locals here seem to think charging higher tolls to drive “express lanes” is the answer to choking traffic.

* For Joe, the week in Phoenix was a solid business trip. Joe has written extensively on Media Day. No need to rehash that. However, Tuesday night was a media party with free eats and booze. Of course, Joe was there. So too was Miss Arizona, a very lovely, very petite lass. At one point, she introduced something or other to the crowd and had a sultry, seductive, come-hither voice. You know, sort of like the dirty old man commercials at midnight on cable about lonely hotties wanting someone to call them on a 900-number. If nothing else, this girl could get a gig doing voice-overs.

* The party also featured dancers on high pedestals moving seductively to the music. The girls were outfitted in 19th Century old west, um, er, uh, ladies-of-the-evening attire. No qualms from Joe.

* Joe had never seen the level of talent that was the bartenders. They almost made you want to order a drink (imagine!). It was as if someone in power went to the nearby Arizona State campus, a world-renowned school for lasses, walked in to sorority houses and said, “You, you, you over there, you, you and you. Come. You will be paid $500 just to sling liquor and bottles of beer for two hours.”

* For reasons unknown, the hottie quotient at Media Day itself seemed way down from previous years.

* Radio row was a complete and utter zoo Thursday. For reasons unknown, the NFL decided to let fans from NFL Experience prowl through radio row and it was complete chaos. You had countless NFLers, ex-NFLers, celebrities and their entourages trying to fight through hundreds of fans. It got so bad, cops had to stand guard at various entrances and by various radio remotes because the fans had lost control. Just at the SiriusXM stage, where four channels were broadcasting live, there were three cops constantly shoving folks back. At one point, Joe saw a kid run up to a guy who was broadcasting live and blow a loud whistle in his ear. Then, when others were trying to broadcast, fans would walk up and start hollering at them for no reason. It was a totally out of hand scene.

* Joe simply doesn’t get why some NFLers, ex-NFLers, celebrities need so many handlers on radio row. Frankly, the number of handlers far outnumbered the NFLers, ex-NFLers and celebrities, maybe by five times. Joe saw Mike Greenberg of BSPN roll with five handlers. Why? Joe counted nine folks, including two uniformed cops, in Troy Aikman’s court. Really? What is exactly the purpose for so many bootlickers?

* Security was tighter in Phoenix than the White House. Joe is convinced of that. The entire convention center was ringed with cop trucks and what looked like military vehicles and small tanks. Uniformed cops and state troopers were on foot all over the place outside. Inside the convention center, you were lucky to be able to walk 50 feet without getting your credentials checked. No problem with that at all.

* Joe was cabbing it so he was stuck in downtown, aside from going back and forth from his cheap motel about a mile out (why spring for a $200+ room per night when you are only there to sleep and shower?). A Mexican restaurant with some different fare caught Joe’s attention. Hey, you know, when in Arizona… The dish that stuck out was fried ice cream. Never had it before. Three small scoops “fried” with hot chocolate, caramel and strawberry toppings, each. One word: sinful.

* Joe thought the folks in Indianapolis were nice. The townsfolk of Phoenix may have set a new standard. Everyone was so polite and helpful. Combined with the temperate weather, Joe can see why Phoenix is in the Super Bowl rotation.

* On the recommendation of former Bucs quarterback Shaun King, one of but three quarterbacks to lead the Bucs to an NFC title game, Joe tried “Lolo’s Chicken and Waffles.” What a fantastic recommendation. Shaun’s advice was spot on. Do yourself a favor when in Phoenix and drop by this place.

* Interesting: The staff of Hooters in downtown Phoenix wears beige shorts. Yes, Joe is quick to notice such things.

* Phoenix gets, what, six days of rain a year? And three of those days were last week. Just Joe’s luck. Then again, he was working inside so it really didn’t matter.

14 Responses to “Notes From Phoenix”

  1. ddneast Says:

    LOL. I got a lot of heat last week from posters who usually post from the far right about how I was being a sexist for noting that a large majority of female “journalists” got their jobs only because they looked good in a tight fitting skirt or blouse.
    Now, as it turns out, Joe notes the abundance of good looking girls on hand whose main reason for getting a SB gig was because they were “hotties.”
    Thanks for confirming my beliefs, Joe.

  2. ddneast Says:

    Joe, I was shocked that you revealed Shaun King ate at an actual restaurant that didn’t feature a buffet.
    BTW, I think if you asked most fans, they would tell you King had as much credibility talking about what would make a good QB’s as Reidel Anthony would talking about what makes a great WR.

  3. Dick2111 Says:

    Have a gut feeling that you knew this was coming Joe …

    ‘My guess is that Shaun King has spent a lot of time at Lolo’s Chicken and Waffles.’

  4. Fort Myers Dave Says:

    Joe makes a good point about the lasses who go to Az State. I understand that they are of the same mold as USC/UCLA girls but even more of the partying type.

  5. Robert 9 Says:

    can’t believe edelman was not the MVP. the guy left it all on the field and if not for him they never come close to having an offense. why brady?

  6. 87ForJameisNOMariota Says:

    I’ve never had chicken & waffles. Then again I try to stay out the hood as much as possible.

  7. 87ForJameisNOMariota Says:

    robert…perhaps because he set a SB record for completions.

  8. jo_mama Says:

    Wow what a game last night.

    That was real football. Something which has not been seen in Tampa for 13 Years.

  9. Iknowmorethanlovie Says:

    Still waiting for Joe to tell us about how not drafting Manziel was a mistake…

  10. Iknowmorethanlovie Says:

    Shaun King led the Bucs as much as much as Dilfer lead the Ravens. King was dragged, carried and propped up by a great D. Let’s stop trying to validate his analysis cus he QB in a NFC title game where he couldn’t score 1 TD.

  11. Buccfan37 Says:

    The TV shots of the stadium made it look like a giant plastic blow up structure. I agree Edelman or the rookie who made the pick to seal the win would have been a better pick for MVP. That red truck Brady won was ho hum, a pittance compared to his probable fleet and assured status. As far as mass transit, Scott ended that much needed upgrade for Floridians. Obvious oil interests steered that decision, like the power companies who block solar power expansion here in the sunshine state.

  12. Pickgrin Says:

    Joe – you need to spend some time out West driving around. Everyone should. The scenery out west is so amazing and very different from what we here in the east are used to.
    Too bad you didn’t take advantage of where you were and rent a car and hang out for an extra 3 days or so. If you had headed north from where you were up to Sedona – and then on to the Grand Canyon – you would have seen natural sights that are simply awe-inspiring.

    Fried Ice Cream Rocks!! Next time try a Sopapilla – that is a pretty kick ass Mexican desert as well.

    A restaurant recommendation is one of the few things I would accept Shaun Kings advice about – but the man obviously does know where to get some good eats – LOL

  13. 87ForJameisNOMariota Says:

    Buccfan37…drill baby drill. That woman was called an idiot 6 years ago and now gas is under $2.00 a gallon, and the economy is rolling. It could have happened sooner, yet Obama believes in $8.00 a gallon to force americans to go green.

    Keep drilling!

  14. ddneast Says:

    I can only guess you get your swill from one propaganda source, 87forJameis and your comment about staying out of the “hood” certainly reflects yor white sheet thinking.
    As for rail, Scott is only against federal money for Orlando to Tampa. When it comes to the state and the Florida taxpayer shelling out money for light rail that one of his buddies he’s involved with, he ‘s all for it.