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ARLINGTON By noon Monday, Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck had left his day job at a hospital and was in his office to begin a long day of post-Super Bowl interviews.

He knew most of them would focus on what role the city played regarding hundreds of temporary seats at Cowboys Stadium that weren't ready for fans who had paid for them.

Cluck said he knew by mid-week that time was running out.

It was clear to all of us we were short of time, and didn't have a contractor, he said.

On Sunday, Cluck realized his city was about to take a big public relations punch in the nose and that there was nothing he could do about it.

I was angry to be put into that situation, he said. At the end of the day, the contractor let everyone down.

The mayor said the city does not deserve blame for the seat fiasco. He praises fire officials for refusing to sign off on the installation because temporary stairwells did not have proper guardrails.

Think about what would have happened if someone had been hurt, Cluck said. Talk about criticism.

Mayor Cluck also marveled at the shear guts of firefighters who climbed onto the stadium's roof to try to remove built-up ice and snow.

Once again, I take you back to our heroic fire department, he said. You saw them on the roof shoveling snow off. I wouldn't do that.

Cluck admits it's still early, but so far, fans have not turned their anger on him or City Hall. In fact, at least one out-of-town fan called the mayor to offer congratulations... which took some real effort, since he had come down from Pittsburgh.

E-mail jdouglas@wfaa.com

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