EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 5, 2012

Indy hosts world's biggest football party

By George Bremer
CNHI News Service

INDIANAPOLIS — A wild and record-setting Super Bowl week was capped Sunday with the New York Giants winning their fourth title game. But the host city of Indianapolis was a winner as well.

More than 250,000 fans packed into the NFL Experience exhibit at the Indiana Convention Center, a record for the 20-year-old event.

And Super Bowl XLVI might be best remembered for the 80-foot high zip line in the Super Bowl Village. The ride was so popular it routinely sold out throughout the week, even when prices increased from $10 to $25.

"Indy deserves an A-plus for the job that they have put on here," Michael Irvin told the crowd of nearly 70,000 during an in-house pregame show on the big screens at Lucas Oil Stadium. "It’s been nothing short of perfect."

It was also star-studded.

Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert of NBC’s "The Voice" performed a stirring rendition of "America the Beautiful" before the game, and former American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson was joined on stage by a children’s choir for the national anthem.

Madonna took center stage at halftime with her first Super Bowl appearance. The Material Girl opened with an ancient Roman theme and

continued with a cheerleading squad and a high-tech laser light show.

She was joined on stage by special guests Nicki Minaj and Cee-Lo Green as she performed a mix of favorites and new material.

But the real action, of course, was on the field. That’s where New England’s Tom Brady and New York’s Eli Manning staged another classic duel.

In the end, the Giants emerged with a 21-17 victory, further cementing his place in NFL history.

The shame now, is that we all have to wait seven months to watch football that counts again.