The Superdome began as a public referendum in 1966, and shines today as New Orleans gets ready to celebrate Super Bowl XLVII.
Built atop the bulldozed Back o' Town neighborhood, the Superdome is the site of ecstasy and tragedy, of countless celebrations and memories, historical agonies and post-K clichés. The Dome is a temple to our Saints and our city, and — love it or hate it — you can't ignore it.
Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 9:53 am
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 2:07 pm
The Superdome in New Orleans has hosted heavyweight fights, papal visits, and — after this weekend — seven Super Bowls, an NFL record. But no event looms larger in the dome's history than Hurricane Katrina, the 2005 storm that turned the stadium into a teeming shelter of last resort.
During the storm, reporters spared no hyperbole when describing scenes of human suffering. The Superdome, in particular, was described as a "hellhole" and "apocalyptic," and it was sort of true.
Deep inside the Convention Center, well away from the throngs of journalists that have descended on the city and behind a false wall protected by a security guard, is a group of tech-savvy people manning the Super Bowl Host Committee's social media command center.
The job of the social media command center is to keep a close eye on the social space for trends and any problems that might arise, to promote the Super Bowl and the city, and to respond to people who have sent questions out into the ether on anything from sports-related inquiries to where they should eat dinner.
Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 2:28 pm
It's hard to imagine a day when the Super Bowl wasn't a spectacle of all things over the top.
It's harder still to imagine that the first-ever Super Bowl really wasn't that super. It wasn't even called the Super Bowl. It was known as the First AFL-NFL World Championship Game. Played in Los Angeles in January 1967, the Green Bay Packers versus the Kansas City Chiefs, it remains the only Super Bowl that did not sell out. The most expensive ticket, according to the NFL, sold for a mere $12.
Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 12:09 pm
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.
The San Francisco 49ers are the favorites to win the Super Bowl, but the Baltimore Ravens have a special source of fuel. Raven Jacoby Jones is from New Orleans, where the game will be played, and his mom made the team 150 plates of food. Jones describes the feast as, quote, "gumbo, jambalaya, potato salad, bread pudding, macaroni - the whole nine yards."
Finally, somebody used that cliche in a sport where it makes sense.
With much of its crew of eighteen following along in a van, the blimp travels from site to site across the eastern half of the country by flying. It really only touches down for more than a few hours at a time once a year, to get a tune up at a hangar in Smyrna, TN.
The rest of the time, the blimp is above some of the most major sporting events in the country, including this year's Super Bowl here in New Orleans.
WWNO's Jason Saul and Paul Maassen took a ride up in the blimp this past Thursday, and sent in this report.
Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 7:48 pm
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
As a teenager, John Thomas was a superstar.
(SOUNDBITE OF A SPORTSCAST)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Track and field sensation of the year was the seven feet, inch-and-a-quarter high jump of John Curtis Thomas in Madison Square Garden. A dazzling new world record for the 17-year-old Boston U freshman.
Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 9:01 am
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
One of greatest hitters in the history of baseball, Stan Musial, has died. He was born 92 years ago in Donora, Pennsylvania and raised there. But for his fans, Stan the Man, as he was known, will forever be linked to the St. Louis and the Cardinals.
Greg Echlin has this remembrance.
GREG ECHLIN, BYLINE: Wearing a bright red blazer while riding in the back of a shiny car, before the 2009 All-Star game in St. Louis, Stan Musial had one more chance to bask in the adoration of his fans.