Fans living it up in harmony outside stadium

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. –- Now less than two hours to kickoff and there are still only a handful (maybe 10 percent) of fans inside the stadium. And no wonder.

Having circulated outside, there is just a mind-boggling array of entertainment out there, and it all serves to underline my main point earlier this week: Who needs a game?

The array of live music, bands, NFL Experience and sheer exuberant atmosphere truly makes this a party unlike any other. I am forever struggling to try to equate this to anything comparable back ‘home’ but I think it is finally time to give up and admit that, like James Bond, nobody does it better.

One thing, though; by British standards there was a remarkably restrained and well-behaved air from the mixed gathering (it still looks about at least 60 percent Colts fans to 40 percent Saints, by the way), to the point of it almost having a tea-party ambiance.

Alcohol is obviously in evidence, but it is far from a dominant theme (which might not necessarily be the case if you translated events about 4,500 miles east). From what I have seen to date, this is an immensely friendly and social-oriented gathering.

Full credit to the NFL for fostering such a general feeling of bonhomie; long may it continue!

– Simon Veness

(U.S.-based British writer Simon Veness has infiltrated the ranks of NFL.com for Super Bowl week with his transatlantic take on events.)

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