The most exciting NFL news this week was the announcement Tuesday that the cities and stadiums have been chosen for the next three open Super Bowls.
The next two games already had been selected prior to the Spring League Meeting in Charlotte this week, with Houston set to host Super Bowl LI (get used to getting back to Roman numerals now that Super Bowl 50 is in the books) and Minnesota designated as the host city for Super Bowl LII.
So the order of business this week was to choose the sites for the next three, and the decisions pretty much followed the predictions of national experts who follow the NFL closely. The new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta will host Super Bowl LIII following the 2018 campaign, South Florida will have Super Bowl LIV in 2019, and the NFL's biggest game returns to its roots in Los Angeles for Super Bowl LV.
The common themes for Super Bowl site selections have been a new stadium, a newly renovated stadium and that a domed facility gives a big edge.
Minnesota opens a new domed stadium this year; Atlanta will proudly host the game in their new (and domed, and already sponsored) stadium; the Dolphins have reportedly spent about $450 million on upcoming renovations to their south Florida stadium; and, of course, the Los Angeles game will be played in the city's upcoming 2.6 billion dollar facility.
The first NFL-AFL Championship Game was not yet called the Super Bowl, and it was played in Los Angeles at the legendary Memorial Coliseum, still one of the most iconic venues in the country and once again the home of the Rams until their new stadium opens.
In each case, the game is a great triumph for civic pride as well as an enormous victory for the local NFL team.
There are a lot of ways to measure victory, and number one will always be winning the game itself, as the Broncos have done three times, becoming one of just nine NFL teams to have won the Super Bowl three or more times. Regardless of location, there is nothing like bringing back the Lombardi Trophy.
Hosting is not the same as winning, but it is an unmatched source of positive worldwide publicity for the city. It is also a potential source of great revenue for civic coffers, hotels and restaurants.
There is little that compares with being the host of a major national event, be it the incomparable Super Bowl, a major sport's all-star game, or a political convention, as we see every four years.
The three games just awarded include one that will mark a celebration hard to imagine as the NFL celebrates its 100th season in 2019, to be capped by the Super Bowl in South Florida.
Get a look at some of the best photos from the Broncos victory and World Championship at Super Bowl 50!
The value of any stadium cannot be understated.
Denver, for example, is one of nine American cities or metropolitan areas to have teams in all five major sports (including soccer), and outstanding venues are always a part of the reason.
The city of Arlington, Texas, has recently announced plans to build a new retractable-dome baseball park, even though the current home of the Texas Rangers is just over two decades old. The reasoning, very logical for anyone who has been outside in Texas during the summer months, is oppressive heat and humidity that keeps many fans at home.
There are many reasons for citizens to very proud of where they live, big city or small town, and each has its own virtue, to be sure. But America loves big-time sports, and television brings every big event to the entire nation and in the case of the Super Bowl, to the entire planet.
There is no event that compares to the Super Bowl. Right now the Broncos are in the midst of planning for their White House visit, a tradition that goes annually to the NFL champion.
And we now know where the next five Super Bowl games will be held, with sites representing the southwest, the cold-weather north, and from South Beach to the beaches of Los Angeles.
The NFL will close out its first century in what has become a big style befitting the nation's biggest game, and each of the host cities will get ready to make its mark on the world stage as only the Super Bowl game allows.