Super Bowl week unfolds under high security

AP

From the moment we arrived in Atlanta on Sunday, something was different. The lobby at the Marriott Marquis had more police officers than patrons, milling about and sending a clear message to anyone considering any type of chicanery: Don’t try it here.

For 10 prior Super Bowl weeks my family and I have attended, there never had been that kind of a presence so early in the week. Later in the week, sure. But not a full week removed from the game.

This time around, the security grew and grew and grew throughout the week. Bomb-sniffing dogs became the unofficial mascots of Super Bowl LIII, with dozens of them in and around the media center, repeatedly using their three-dimensional olfactory skills on packages, people, garbage cans, briefcases, everything — and carrying all-caps “DO NOT PET” advisories that continuously tempted me to drop to my knees and start rubbing backs and heads and bellies in an effort to secure an answer to the never-ending question of who’s a good girl or good boy?

Plenty of badass women and men also have been patrolling Atlanta, from various branches of law enforcement and military. And it’s arguably more unsettling than it is comforting to see troops in full fatigues and backpacks and assault rifles, a hand at all times on or near the trigger.

Ultimately, it’s a level of overall security far greater than any I’ve seen since I started coming to Super Bowls 10 years ago. Which is comforting. And unsettling.

And the fact that the responsible security professionals have decided that this level of security is needed makes it all more than a little disturbing.

28 responses to “Super Bowl week unfolds under high security

  1. “Ultimately, it’s a level of overall security far greater than any I’ve seen since I started coming to Super Bowls 10 years ago. Which is comforting. And unsettling.”

    Numerous mass shootings this year by white fascists, that’s who they’re worried about

  2. @harrisonhits.

    Really only white fascists shoot people?! Drive thru any city and see who’s shooting who. Crazy gunman Gang Bangers, and or terrorist have no color, Creed or religion. But thanks for your racist comment..You just proved Trump right..Let’s make American great again.

  3. Don’t be naive, the freedoms that we cherish so much in our great land call for a show of force and security in this day and age. I am all for it and if you travel the world, there are many cosmopolitan cities with police and military presence just like what you are seeing….fingers near or on the trigger. Go USA! The greatest show on earth!!

  4. I think there is some sort of credible intelligence of threats to the Super Bowl this year. The world isn’t any more dangerous today than it was last Super Bowl, yet the security is out in enough force to have been commented on by multiple media outlets.

  5. The Suntrust Bank shootings last week (where 5 women were executed with shots to the back of the head and chest) occurred two miles from my house and at my bank.

    It smacked me square in the face that we are not safe anywhere and to remain vigilant at all times. Be thankful that there are men and women (and dogs) there there at the site ready to give their lives to try and keep you and everyone else at the event safe.

    Stay safe Mike.

  6. Atlanta have an unique and unfortunate history of terrorist activity—the Olympics, the serial pedophile case, etc.;

    clearly though, there is some intelligence unknown to all but a select few that has caused these extraordinary security measures;

    perhaps Orange Hair Hat wants to make an appearance in a cheap attempt to bolster his ratings;

    that would be the funniest Super Bowl commercial ever;

  7. I was born in 1961 and people now have no idea of what freedom USED TO BE LIKE!
    We live in a different time and WE are the only ones who follow the rules. The World is a BIG place and a lot of it does not like our freedom here..
    If you think this is bad just wait until (One of the party’s) have their way and have an open Border policy! Here in Iowa we have under 3% Unemployment. Imagine what another million or 3 people in this state would do….No Jobs for a people mostly without a degree would mean!! Crime goes through the roof, if it isn’t tied down (and some that IS), will be gone.

  8. I cant believe you are making statements like ” And it’s arguably more unsettling than it is comforting to see troops in full fatigues and backpacks and assault rifles, a hand at all times on or near the trigger.” In regards to the people who are protecting you, from the people whos fingers will be pulling triggers. Stop will all the liberal fear mongering

  9. This has to do with Goodell.
    He is a know liar & thief and is in fear of someone taking him out.

  10. Mike, welcome to the South. Or as I call it. A Communist, Military, Racist Republican Police State Oligarchy of the 1%.

  11. I was born in 1961 and people now have no idea of what freedom USED TO BE LIKE!

    ——————————————————————————————

    People weren’t free. People couldn’t even go into a bathroom without it telling them if they were allowed or not. They couldn’t sit wherever they wanted to on a bus. They couldn’t go into whatever restaurant they wanted. You couldn’t even go to certain parts of town without somebody hassling you. That’s not freedom. Not even close.

  12. Most of the world has that kind of military force on show in major cities. Maybe not the bomb-sniffing dogs but certainly the AKs with fingers on the trigger. Also the vast, vast majority of people outside the US do not care about the US. Some of you are completely delusional about the US’s place in the world.

  13. This Super Bowl is very exciting. Which team has the NFL decided should win? No one knows yet! We have to watch to find out which team they have decided. So exciting! Can’t wait!!!!

  14. Unfortunately security threats at high profile sporting events are very real. Hopefully the security situation will be at most a minor inconvenience for some people, and wont be a situation in which someone found a hole in the security, exploited it and hurt people.

  15. The “world” changed for Americans on 9/11. I saw men and women carrying submachine guns while traveling in Mexico, Latin America, Europe and parts of SE Asia during the 80’s and 90’s. The people in those countries laughed at our country’s belief in its superiority and “security”. Some foreign friends rightly predicted the violence that infected their nations would find its way to our shores. I worked in countries where tens of thousands of innocents were murdered by those who saw violence as a means of social or political change only to later achieve it through peaceful means. The “world” hasn’t changed; we have finally joined it! We now fear the fanatics and impatient disaffected just as many do in other countries. We were never as safe as we believed, but the pulpit provided by the internet and social media has given voice to those frustrated individuals or organizations that want instant change or to use terror to promote their agendas. Perhaps we should blame British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee who invented the World Wide Web. Publicity brings attention; terror only works if it is publicized. What better venue to broadcast a message than delivering it at the premier sporting event? Sad, but that is the world in which all people live now. Welcome the security … and fear it at the same time. Remember that terror was used to enable the peaceful takeover of the German government 86 years ago. The noted philosopher George Santayana once said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

  16. It is unfortunate that the law enforcement community can’t protect fans from the biggest thieves. Those guys with the striped shirts on the field. Goodell’s gang.

  17. “I was born in 1961 and people now have no idea of what freedom USED TO BE LIKE!
    We live in a different time and WE are the only ones who follow the rules. The World is a BIG place and a lot of it does not like our freedom here..
    If you think this is bad just wait until (One of the party’s) have their way and have an open Border policy! Here in Iowa we have under 3% Unemployment. Imagine what another million or 3 people in this state would do….No Jobs for a people mostly without a degree would mean!! Crime goes through the roof, if it isn’t tied down (and some that IS), will be gone.”
    ——————-

    I was born in 1958. Freedom used to be terrified of having nuclear missiles rain down upon us amongst other things. Have 3 degrees. Wisconsin has supposedly the same unemployment rate as Iowa – plus, we’re giving away billions in tax revenue to a Taiwanese company with a history of shafting US states and municipalities to “create” more jobs. I vote as a moderate Republican/Independent, and, growing up I always cleaned the table up when it was my turn … still I have to ask, in all sincerity, which party wants “open borders” and how did you shovel up that line of really poor disinformation?

  18. The comment of wondering the reason more security is needed is not liberal thinking, it is the logical thoughts of a person who lik to think of the whys of situations. So it is logical to wonder what the cause of the extra security is. It is also okay to fear the reason why. It doesn’t make you a wimp. It says you are human. However the name calling on both sides makes it seem like there are no adults left, and everything is dealt with at a 3rd grade level. Stay safe.

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