This Sunday is Super Sunday in Phoenix. The 49th Super Bowl will be kicking off at 4 p.m. at the University of Phoenix Stadium. Which is in Glendale, Arizona. There are about a dozen cities that make up the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan area. I think there are people who think there are differences. I would not be one of them. The only way to tell is occasionally you might see a “welcome to” sign. The pavement doesn’t change, it goes on until it doesn’t. Then you’re back in the dirt.
One of our nicknames for the Phoenix area is “The Slab.” This is a reference to the majority of this Sonoran desert valley being paved over. The weather people on TV call it a “heat island.” Once the summer starts around the middle of April, the Slab heats up. At night the stored heat is released. This keeps the temperature on the slab north of 90F throughout the evening.
But no national events happen during the time the heat island is doing its thing. We are just a red spot on the weather maps. Another high temperature to be noted. Another joke about being crazy to live here. We get a run of stupid politicians too. Stupid enough to make the national news. On a regular basis.
You get used to the heat. Or at least get used to staying out of it. With no snow and no natural disasters, we have a steady influx of new residents. Eventually the stupid laws get overturned too.
This Sunday, along with the Super Bowl, we’re also hosting the final day of the Phoenix Open. The Open is usually good for a half-million visitors on its own.
Now Phoenix has its chance to shine. To show off the mild winters; to show of the light rail; to show off the Tempe and Scottsdale nightlife; to show off the city-center urban living.
But the town lives in the shadow of L.A. and Las Vegas, like the forgotten middle child. The one with so much potential. The one who decides it’s better to screw up.
The one that decides two national events need four days of rain.