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Snow, ice not part of Super Bowl vision in Texas
The leadup to Sunday’s game wasn’t supposed to be like this.
A long, cold week in North Texas took an even worse turn Friday when six people were injured after being struck by ice and snow falling off the domed roof of cavernous Cowboys Stadium in nearby Arlington. None of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening, but the accident added to the general sense of frustration with cold weather in the Dallas-Fort Worth area this week.
The injured were private contractors hired by the NFL to prepare the stadium for the game. One man was hit in the head, another in the shoulder.
It was a jarring incident, coming two days before the game at the end of the season that saw the Vikings displaced _ twice _ after the roof of the Metrodome collapsed under heavy snow. No one was hurt.
The accident Friday wasn’t the first involving icy conditions at Cowboys Stadium.
In December 2009, two workers doing maintenance on the icy roof were injured when they slipped and tumbled at least 50 feet. They didn’t fall off the roof because they were stopped by what is basically a huge rain gutter. One of the workers broke a leg and suffered other injuries, and the other had a back injury.
This NFL season started fresh for Jones, who wanted his Cowboys to become the first team to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium. Those hopes were dashed with a 1-7 start, but the Super Bowl was still coming to Arlington and once Green Bay and Pittsburgh sealed their trips to the big game, Jones was happy to host them.
“Great tradition, outstanding teams,” Jones said at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. “With what the Packers are about and what the Steelers are about, it makes a great game. If you’re in my shoes right now as far as Cowboys Stadium is concerned, I’m really proud that they’re going to be there. I’m proud for North Texas.”
Yet the wintry blast has challenged everyone.
Temperatures were below freezing for the fourth consecutive day Friday, when more snow fell three days after an ice storm. Most Super Bowl events have gone on as planned despite uncertainty that visitors won’t be able to get to Dallas or might cancel their stays.
After Super Bowl media day Tuesday, Jones used some of his business background to address the snowy start of the week _ and his hopes after that.
“In sales, you set expectations at one point, then you stop and you close with a big pot you bang at the end,” Jones said then. “So I’ll start with these icy streets and end with beautiful days at the end of the week.”
Most stadium entrances were closed as a precaution and officials raised the temperature inside the arena in an attempt to melt any remaining ice. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said workers were checking the roof for areas where there could be more issues.
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
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