Greg Cote: Lavish welcome for Super Bowl’s biggest stars — the Roman numerals

Super Bowl With a Smirk marvels that sports now keep statistics and records for everything, even for stuff you never imagined, and the NFL is becoming as bad as baseball. For example, we’re only in the middle of it. but this Super Bowl Week already has shattered the old record in the category: Most References, Deer Antler Extract.

Now on to our regularly scheduled offering:

Maybe it was 9/11, or the struggling economy, or natural disasters like hurricanes and floods, but the NFL has made a concerted effort to reduce the over-the-top, bombastic extravagance, cost and excess associated with its Super Bowls.

I never said that concerted effort succeeded.

The latest evidence to the contrary is to arrive by barge Thursday evening on the Mississippi River, set to music, a light show and a rain of exploding fireworks.

And what arrival is receiving such fanfare?

The arrival of the Roman numerals!

The five letters in the Super Bowl XLVII logo stand 30 feet high and more than 100 feet wide and will be received with the royal welcome so richly deserved as thousands cheer the barge’s arrival. A police escort will then shepherd the famed numerals to their home in New Orleans’ Woldenberg Park, where the league’s regal icon will be defaced overnight by graffiti. (OK I made up that last part but not the rest of it).

No word yet whether the arrival of the Roman numerals will be simulcast live in Rome.