Reporting from Dallas — A day after Super Bowl XLV, the NFL was still dealing with fallout from the Cowboys Stadium seating fiasco — and the headache could linger for months.
Roughly 1,250 spectators in six sections of the stadium were relocated or had to watch the game on monitors because their temporary seats — installed for the game — weren't ready. The sections in the upper deck above one end zone were not completed because the railings had not been installed and/or the stairs and risers were not sufficiently tightened.
"None of the design was added at the last minute," said Eric Grubman, the NFL's executive vice president of finance and strategic transactions. "This was an installation issue and a failure, a shared failure, and it is as simple as that."
Whereas 850 people were moved to comparable or better seats in the stadium, 400 were relegated to watching live feeds of the game in the venue and will receive $2,400 from the league, triple the face value of their tickets.
The league also let those fans onto the field for the postgame festivities, gave them free merchandise, food and drinks, and tickets to next year's Super Bowl in Indianapolis.
"We apologize to those fans that were impacted," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. "We are going to work with them, and we are going to do better in the future. We will certainly do a thorough review and get to the bottom of why it all occurred, but we take full responsibility for that as putting on this game.
"But the one thing we will never do is compromise safety — safety for our fans, safety for our players, anyone involved with our event."
If the ring fits
Now it can be told. The night before Super Bowl XLV, the Green Bay Packers staged a pre-ring circus.
As a convenience — and an enticement — they were measured for their Super Bowl rings long before they took the field against the Pittsburgh Steelers. That might have been standard operating procedure, as it's more difficult to get every team member in one spot once the game is over, but the Packers also could have scheduled the process for another time had they been superstitious about jinxing themselves.
Packers Coach Mike McCarthy said Monday that he had spoken to Sean Payton, coach of last year's Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints, about how best to schedule the week. Payton suggested the ring fitting, and McCarthy agreed that would work.
"I thought that was a perfect time," McCarthy said. "I thought it would be special and give us a boost of confidence to do it the night before the game."
Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, named the game's most valuable player, missed the Saturday-night fitting because he was taking a shower.
Rodgers joked Monday that he was slightly concerned that missing the measurement might have been a bad omen.
"Hopefully," he said with a smile, "I can still get sized with that."
On the map
For so long, Rodgers has played the role of underdog. That will be a little more difficult now.
"That's kind of been my career there, getting my opportunity and making the most of it," he said. "In high school, junior college, Division I, being a backup, getting overlooked on draft day, three years as a backup, finally getting an opportunity and making the most of it."
And now that he'll probably never be overlooked?
"I guess I ran out of motivation, huh?" he said, easing into a big smile.