AL HAMNIK: Indy memories will outlast Super Bowl XLVI outcome

2013-01-22T18:00:00Z 2013-01-23T16:12:13Z AL HAMNIK: Indy memories will outlast Super Bowl XLVI outcomeAl Hamnik Times Columnist nwitimes.com
January 22, 2013 6:00 pm  • 

Next month's Super Bowl XLVII, affectionately known as the "Bro Bowl'' pitting Jim Harbaugh's 49ers against John Harbaugh's Ravens, will provide the drama of a Hollywood script.

They're already dancing in the streets of New Orleans.

But let me tell you. Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis was no walk to the office water cooler.

The NFL's marquee cage match between the Patriots and Giants was secondary to the strong region influence that popped up on a daily basis.

You had Michigan City native John Parry — and this was really cool — as referee of the seven-man officiating crew, proudly following the footsteps of his late father Dave, who was side judge in the 1983 Super Bowl.

It doesn't get any better than actually being on the field, working professional sports' biggest stage.

"Someone was once quoted as saying there's enough emotion to begin a war and enough to end one," Parry said of the game itself. "Your hair stands up, there's a lump in your throat, butterflies in your stomach ... but the game does settle in and you develop a normal rhythm."

Parry just completed his 13th season as an official, having also worked Super Bowl XLI between the Bears and Colts, and more than a dozen playoff games.

Last year, a TV audience of 111.3 million watched every call his crew made.

The region influence in Indy was everywhere.

You had 1973 Andrean grad Bob Bartolomeo, head coach at the University of Indianapolis, welcoming Tom Coughlin's Giants to the new 68,000-square foot air-supported dome as their practice site.

You had Highland's Ryan Grigson, the new Colts' general manager, constantly being asked about the future of beloved franchise quarterback Peyton Manning.

You had another Highland success story, event services manager Jen Miller, making time in her 15-hour day to talk about Dean White's towering sky-blue JW Marriott — the Taj Mahal of Indianapolis hotels — while catering to celebrities such as Madonna, Michael Irvin, Tim Tebow, Adam Sandler, Snoop Dog, Jimmy Fallon and Aaron Rodgers.

You had Steve Weatherford, the Giants' colorful punter who was born in Crown Point, filling up notepads and tape recorders with his wit during media day at the $720 million Lucas Oil Stadium.

You had 1996 Valparaiso grad Ryan Krcmarich feeding the masses, literally, from his "Tacos Without Borders" food truck on Monument Circle.

You had NFL stars Von Miller of the Broncos and the Bengals' Andy Dalton give a hands-on clinic to excited players from Northern Indiana Pop Warner, many of whom were still smiling weeks later.

You had National Guardsmen Homer Farley of Hobart and Munster's Paul Sabol working security at the downtown Pan Am Plaza StubHub venue and looking like they could take you apart with one arm tied behind their back.

You had the Valparaiso father-son team of Kevin Casey and Jon Kerr freaking out after Jon won two Super Bowl XLVI tickets, a hotel room and car rental from a Wisconsin casino.

The game was great, the memories unforgettable.

Your turn, New Orleans. Now match that.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at al.hamnik@nwi.com

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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