Dave Barry | I take it all back: I love you, Miami


I want to start with a retraction and an apology. My previous Super Bowl column, which offered tips for visitors to Miami, deeply offended some readers, who informed me that: (a) I am hurting Miami's image; (b) I am an idiot racist piece of lowlife no-talent scum; and (c) they did not mean this in a good way.

OK. Let me first stress to our Super Bowl visitors that in my column I was just ``kidding around'' by attempting to make jokes using ridiculous statements about Miami that are completely untrue. I hereby retract all of those statements. These are the facts:

1. Miami is totally safe.

2. There are taxis galore!

3. The drivers here are courteous and law-abiding.

4. Especially on Interstate 95 and the Palmetto Expressway.

5. Miami's mass-transit system is very convenient, and it is not true that last July 20 during rush hour two men boarded the downtown Metromover carrying a six-foot nurse shark that was still alive.

6. There is plenty of available parking on South Beach, where the clubs feature affordable drinks in an atmosphere of quiet, soothing music.

7. The snakes in the Everglades are petite.

8. As are the Kardashian sisters' butts.

Finally, I want to say to any fellow Miamians whom I offended: I'm sorry, OK? I love Miami! It's the greatest city in the world, with the friendliest people! Please don't kill me.


Now that we've cleared that up, let's move on to today's topic, which is: Super Bowl security. Here, there is good news and bad news:

The good news is, this week Janet Napolitano, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, inspected Sun Life For Now Stadium and declared it looks secure. The bad news is, this is the same Janet Napolitano who declared that ``the system worked'' after a man with known terrorist affiliations managed to get on a U.S.-bound plane with a bomb in his underpants. So with all due respect to Janet, she would not necessarily notice if Osama bin Laden was standing on the 50-yard line with a rocket launcher.

But I'm sure the Super Bowl will be safe. For one thing, if any terrorists did come to South Florida this week, by now they're passed out somewhere around the Clevelander Hotel face-down in a puddle of their own bodily fluids. For another thing, Super Bowl security is very tight.

Q. How tight is it?

A. Yesterday the Air Force shot down the Goodyear Blimp.

So if you're going to the game, be prepared to be subjected to heightened security, as follows:

There will be no tailgating within a 75-mile radius of the stadium. This is in response to intelligence reports of a disturbing new al Qaeda weapon, ``The Kielbasa of Death.''

No objects of any kind will be allowed anywhere; this includes watches, wallets, phones, dentures, pacemakers and artificial limbs. Anyone holding an umbrella will be taken out by snipers.

Nobody will be allowed inside the stadium wearing underpants. This rule will be enforced by a specially trained all-German-shepherd security unit, the Groin Patrol.

Nobody will be allowed to go to the bathroom during the second half.

No congregating of any kind will be permitted; this includes players forming a huddle.


Speaking of players: This year's Super Bowl will feature a total of two teams, the Colts and the Saints. This is one of the nuggets of information I picked up on Media Day, which is when all the players are herded into a confined space to be harassed by several thousand media people, approximately four of whom are legitimate sports journalists. The remainder (I include myself in this group) are there to gawk and eat free food.

Among the things we were gawking at was a woman ``reporter'' from Telemundo, who was wearing wings, a halo and very tight clothing; she was telling players she was a ``saint'' and asking the players suggestive questions. This kind of thing really irks my wife, who as a female sportswriter has fought many battles to be treated as a professional, and thus detests the bimbo-ization of the sports press corps. As we left Media Day, she and I had this conversation:

ME: Did you see the Telemundo woman?

MY WIFE: (disgusted): Yes! She had huge angel wings.

ME: That's not all that was huge.

MY WIFE: Those were NOT real.

Anyway, based on what I learned at Media Day, the Super Bowl looks to be shaping up as an athletic contest featuring hairy men the size of grain silos. But the winner, for my money, will be the great city of Miami and its great and forgiving citizens with their excellent sense of humor who love to be kidded. In conclusion, I retract everything. Thank you.

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