Icy streets have turned the national media cold on North Texas during Super Bowl week.
Even the NFL's Mr. Nice Guy, Kurt Warner, called the region "unprepared" to handle the nation's biggest sporting event during a winter storm.
"When you drive around here right now, there's nothing going on," he said. "It's like the city is dead, which you don't expect Super Bowl week."
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was a bit more diplomatic about it. "We have a few challenges that we didn't expect, weather-wise," he said.
At an event in Arlington, with cameras from across the country, Goodell and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones were smiling. They refused to acknowledge the bitter backlash — nor did they want to discuss the lack of salt on ice-covered roads.
- "This week, Dallas has failed to respond to the presence of a coating of ice on every horizontal surface in the city." - Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk
"Any time you put on event like this, there are going to be challenges," Goodell said. "There's some things you should be prepared for, and we are prepared for."
- "...the entire week hasn't been much of a Super Bowl experience for folks laying out big bucks." - Editorial in Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel
Jones put the best light he could on the situation. "I'm really proud of our area and how we've gotten the streets and everything ready to go," he said.
- "All things considered, a cold-weather Super Bowl just isn’t smart business." - Gene Frenette, Jacksonville Times-Union
Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck gave the most direct response to critical out-of-towners. He called their chilly assessment of North Texas a Super Bowl-sized case of sour grapes.
"They're probably jealous," Cluck said. "It's going to be the biggest. It's going to be the best. Everybody is going to able get in and out easily. So I don't pay any attention to that."
Goodell assured reporters that the weather event would not hurt the chances for another Super Bowl in North Texas.
But if he approves another cold-climate site in the future, Goodell may get a lot more questions and criticism from the national media.