In a week and a half the eyes of the world will be on East Rutherford, N.J., as the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos square off in the Super Bowl.
But if one was to take a stroll through tiny East Rutherford these days, he or she might have no idea there's a huge game coming up.
All the big pre-game celebrations and festivities are planned for New York City and there are very few banners or decorations promoting the game in East Rutherford. Heck, even East Rutherford's mayor can't get a ticket to the game.
Jim Cassella (below), the most powerful man in East Rutherford, is a New York Giants season-ticket holder and entered a lottery with all Giants fans for a pair of tickets. He didn't win and he says he doesn't know anyone else in town who scored tickets. Unable to watch from MetLife Stadium, Cassella will have to enjoy the game from home. Before the action he'll swing by a popular bar in town for a tailgate.
“There will probably be more true football fans at our party anyway,” Cassella told the New York Daily News. “I’m not angry or anything. That’s just the way it is. The NFL could not care less. There’s a certain arrogance.”
Cassella is not surprised, per se, that his town of about 9,000 people is receiving little fanfare in advance of the big game. After East Rutherford won the Super Bowl four years ago he predicted his town would be overlooked.
And now, it seems, his dismal prophecy has come true.
“If you landed from another planet," Cassella said, "you wouldn’t know there was a game going on here."