HOUSTON — Awaiting my ride from Bush International to downtown, my driver texted to say, “Police have all the traffic stopped for a funeral. All Uber drivers are delayed.” When finally he arrived, I said, “I’m pretty sure that wasn’t a funeral. That was the Falcons.”
(They’d landed at Bush 15 minutes before my plane did. They posed for pictures and got a police escort. I sat on the curb and waited for Uber.)
If you’re into omens, feel free to make hay of that one: “Falcons arrive at Super Bowl, are mistaken for funeral.” I’m not into omens. I’m actually — and don’t hold me to this, because my moods can be fleeting — in fine spirits. Flight was on time. Uber ride was fine. Hotel had my reservation.
Speaking of which: I’m on the 22nd floor of a rather nice place. (Way nicer than where I stayed for the Final Four here 10 months ago.) I have a view of Minute Maid Park, which is where tomorrow’s Opening Night will be staged. I also have a view of a Westin, but not the Westin where Atlanta’s team is staying. That’s in Memorial City, which is west of downtown.
The weather’s nice. Lots of people are walking around. The NFL Experience is ongoing. (I saw people in Broncos and Steelers and Texans regalia, but no Falcons stuff yet.) Traffic’s not great. (Houston traffic is a bit better than ours, but only a bit.) I’m here and I’m unpacked, and it’s only 25 hours until the first actual event — and exactly one week until they play the game.