Seattle-Tacoma rivalry? Try New York-New Jersey

Staff writerJanuary 31, 2014 

— New Jersey, Tacoma knows how you feel.

Super Bowl XLVIII will be played in New Jersey but often the game is referred to as New York’s Super Bowl.

Sounds like the Seattle-Tacoma rivalry. Or Tacoma-Seattle rivalry, if you prefer.

And soon, University Place will have a chance to be dissed as Tacoma and New Jersey have been. The incorporated community – just outside Tacoma – will host its first major sporting event when the U.S. Open comes to Chambers Bay in 2015. National media have already said the premiere golf tournament will be held “just outside Seattle.”

Yes, the metropolitan-blue-collar dichotomy rings true if you are referring to Seattle and Tacoma or New York and New Jersey.

The Super Bowl host committee, sensitive to the issue, has tried to emphasize the “balanced” approach to events and activities leading up to Sunday’s game.

“The Super Bowl wouldn’t be here without both states,” committee president Al Kelly said at a press conference Monday. “I think there’s a pretty darn good balance, and I think the league and the host committee are proud of that.”

Locals aren’t buying it.

New Jersey native Steve Politi, a sports columnist for the Star-Ledger in Newark, points out that the teams haven’t stepped foot in New York City. They are practicing, playing and staying in New Jersey.

But Super Bowl Boulevard, thousands of credentialed reporters and photographers, and a majority of the non-team press conferences are centrally located in Times Square.

“It’s not at all balanced,” Politi said. “We have gotten the shaft in a lot of ways.”

Despite the apparent New York bias, Politi said the cross-state “grand rift” won’t deepen from the Super Bowl festivities.

“It’s part of life in New Jersey,” he said.

Sound familiar?

Kari Plog

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