I don't really follow pro football like I used to, but as you might have heard, the Indianapolis area had a tiny NFL event this past weekend. I speculated a bit last week on what sort of exposure the Super Bowl might bring IndyCar, and it did not disappoint. From the IndyCars decked out in NFL franchise colors and logos drawing a crowd down on the circle before being dispersed throughout sites in the region, to last Tuesday evening's apparently killer media party at IMS, Super Bowl week began well in terms of INDYCAR links, and it continued through to the big game itself.
There was Jimmy Fallon's comedy segment with Marco Andretti, and Graham Rahal driving up in his DW12 to make a delivery to ESPN's NFL Countdown crew. Dan Patrick covered IMS nicely for his show. The pregame mentioned the "storied" Indianapolis Motor Speedway. During the broadcast itself, we saw Dario Franchitti in a spot for NBC Sports between shots of IndyCars, and heard other mentions from the broadcast crew. Networks covering Super Bowl Sunday ensured IMS was captured in several aerial camera shots. In an event that couldn't be more major, the IZOD IndyCar Series did a fine job of looking major league.
I'm going to slip into my "Proud Hoosier" persona here for a minute, and just say I'm proud of the way Indianapolis pulled off this event. There were a lot of pundits who thought a Super Bowl in Indy would be a dull, chilly mess. Instead, with a little bit of cooperating weather, they found a friendly, well-organized, entertaining, accessible city that showed it knew how to put on a major sporting event. Then again, we have this little race you might have heard of each May that probably helps with that just a bit. Those of us who attend the 500 Mile Race from both around this area (and all those fans that become honorary Hoosiers each May) know what Indy can do, and what Indy means. My hope is that some of the folks who visited or tuned into Indianapolis this week check back in a few months--to watch the largest single-day sporting event in the world. It was a good week for the Super Bowl, a good week for Indianapolis, and a good week in terms of publicity for the Indy 500 and INDYCAR as a whole.
Take a bow, Indy, but rest up. It's only 96 days until Opening Day.