Arizona will keep the Super Bowl, but that's the 2nd prize
Remember the old days, when the most controversial part of a Super Bowl host city was whether or not snow would impact play in a cold-weather market? You know, 24 days ago?
Gov. Brewer made the only right choice for Arizona Senate Bill 1062 - one of the most divisive and downright idiotic pieces of would-be law in the 102-year history of the Arizona Legislature - when she vetoed the bill Wednesday evening.
Hours earlier, the NFL hinted publicly that it could move the 2015 Super Bowl from Glendale should the bill become law. If that had happened, that would have made Arizona the only site to have a Super Bowl yanked - twice! - for what the NFL perceived as detrimental examples of civil rights (see: Super Bowl XXVII & MLK holiday vote). That's a Super Bowl history of futility even the Buffalo Bills couldn't touch.
So, in the end, Arizona has its Super Bowl. Oh, the Legislature still has a few months to screw up again and hijack Arizona's economy, good name and efforts to champion liberty for all. I would expect the odds of them doing just that to be on Vegas' Super Bowl board by sometime tonight.
But keeping the Super Bowl in Arizona is hardly the prize in all this. The big game will stay, our state's economy won't take hits from businesses pulling business, and residents and tourists alike won't have to put up with segregated shops. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton summed it up best in a post-veto tweet: "Every person is welcome in Phoenix."
But keeping the Super Bowl in Arizona is big also. The 2008 Super Bowl in Glendale had an economic impact of $500 million, according to Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee CEO Jay Parry. Wednesday's veto keeps open the state's potential to host future big-business opportunities, in the sports world and beyond.
It's a win for equality, whether a football game is on the line or not.
But now that the game is here to stay, it wouldn't at all be a bad thing to see Michael Sam's future NFL team playing for the trophy under an Arizona sunset next February. That, too, would mean more than just a football game.