An anecdote: Back in 1995, my folks and I took a bus trip tour through Europe. Our first stop on the continent was Amsterdam. We arrived at the hotel on a Saturday night after a day of riding on the Channel Ferry and riding on the bus. Being exhausted, we all just turned in for the evening. The next morning, after the bus was loaded up, we went to see some landmarks of the city before getting on the road again. We were told by the tour director that there was both a Rolling Stones concert and a big soccer victory celebration last night.
What we saw was a city that seemed to have suffered a nuclear attack. On this quiet Sunday morning, there was trash littered everywhere. The lighter pieces of paper scrap skittered along the ground, propelled by faint breezes. There were no people on the streets. Presumably, the residents of Amsterdam were all in doors suffering a collective hangover. It was quite an image.
This is what I thought I might see coming into downtown this morning.
In actuality, it doesn't look that bad or all that different. There are still a number of tents and temporary structures up, including one of those big, portable grills you haul behind a truck with a sign that says, "SOUTHERN BBQ CHICKEN HERE". But other than that, no big deal.
Of course, my end of downtown is a bit away from the stadium, so it may still appear to be a wasteland on that end. But it'll get cleaned up quickly enough. The excitement is over. The game is over. And the people are leaving in droves. Jacksonville will go back to the sleepy town it has been, with maybe a slight increase in downtown activity. NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue has already stated we may get the Super Bowl again in another ten years. But, my fellow residents, go ahead and rest up for a couple of years before working yourselves up into a frenzy again. It's time we took a vacation.