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2014 Super Bowl fix was in post-mortem

South Florida Super Bowl Host Committee Chairman Rodney Barreto’s glib pronouncement last month that he wasn’t surprised the New Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey was awarded the 2014 Super Bowl didn’t go unnoticed, but committee members are trying to move on.

“I was not surprised,” Barreto told reporters at the time. “I think the fix was in for New York.”

Barreto was called out by members of his own committee and even caught the attention of some media, including’s Mike Florio, who wondered how NFL owners will feel the next time South Florida bids for the game.

“The NFL gets uncomfortable when terms like that are bandied about, even if it’s true. The fix can be in. They can do whatever they want to do,” Florio told Joe Rose on WQAM (560-AM) last month. “If 17 owners were bound and determined to give this thing to New York, it doesn’t matter what Miami does, and sometimes you’ve got to be discreet about that and depending upon when Miami makes another bid, they’re going to have to do some serious tapdancing to get past those comments that were made.”

Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau President Nicki Grossman called Barreto’s words “inappropriate” and said she was “embarrassed” by them.

Barreto, who calls himself a "blunt guy," said it might have been “a poor choice of words,” but otherwise stood by what he’d said. He said he thought a preference for the New Jersey bid was shown when NFL owners waived the daily temperature requirements so the New York Giants and Jets could bid. Barreto said he spoke with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after the vote and congratulated the Giants on the winning bid.

On Monday, when the South Florida Super Bowl Host Committee held its final meeting, Dolphins CEO Mike Dee tried to put the comments to rest, saying executive committee members had differing views on the 2014 bid.

“You obviously heard Rodney’s the 'fix was in' comment that was splashed all over the newspapers,” Dee told the group. “I respect that point of view.”

Grossman, however, said she wanted to make clear South Florida’s bid was genuine.

“When South Florida gets [the Super Bowl], it isn’t because the fix was in and when we don’t get it, that doesn’t mean the fix was in,” Grossman said. “It was a tough sledding … We had a decent shot at it. I hope we didn’t just go through the motions.”

Categories: Miami Dolphins (186), NFL (178), Super Bowl (53)

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About the author
CRAIG DAVIS In more than 33 years at the Sun Sentinel, Craig Davis has written about a wide variety of sports topics from baseball to yachting, fishing to triathlons, and also worked as a copy editor and page designer. Recently he reported on local sports, including running, swimming, cycling, equestrian and beach volleyball. He enjoys sports as a participant as well as a spectator, is active in the South Florida running scene plays in the curling club at Saveology Iceplex. This blog offers a glimpse at the business side of sports in the interest of enhancing enjoyment of the games and sporting options as a spectator as well as a participant.
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