Behind the velvet ropes at Super Bowl XLII
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. -- Walk past the doormen at any of Milwaukee's swankier dance club / lounges on a weekend night and you are bound to find an army of men dressed like hip-hop stars or the guys from "Entourage" and a smaller number of women trying to look like those freakishly pretty girls from "The Hills."
It's the same thing at the Super Bowl, with a rather significant exception:
Those folks dressed like hip-hop stars, the guys from "Entourage" and the girls from "The Hills"? They really are hip-hop stars, the guys from "Entourage" and the girls from "The Hills."
The Giants' stunning 17-14 victory over previously unbeaten New England on Sunday will place Super Bowl XXII near the top of the list of great games in NFL history.
For thousands of people who descended upon the Valley of the Sun last week, the game took a backseat to velvet ropes, red carpets, stretch SUV limos and celebrity stargazing.
There were close to 60 parties during Super Bowl week. Magazines like Maxim, Playboy, Penthouse and 944 threw parties. The NFL threw parties. ESPN and Sports Illustrated had parties. So did Nike, Oakley and Victoria's Secret.
Some of the hotter parties -- like those thrown by Maxim and Playboy - drew higher scalper prices than tickets to the game at University of Phoenix stadium.
"Over the years, it's become quite competitive among the other magazines and companies who throw parties," Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner told The Associated Press.
"It's all turned into something beyond just celebrating a football game. It's an entire weekend event."
Hefner, who hosted a gigantic party Saturday night in Chandler before returning to the Playboy Mansion in California Sunday to watch the game at his annual party, said the guest list was key to a successful party.
Among those making the rounds this week were LL Cool J, Kid Rock, Tom Petty, Sean Combs, Larry David, Adam Sandler, Carmen Electra, Kevin Dillon, Heidi Montag, Kim Kardashian, Mario Lopez, Stacy Keibler, Jenny McCarthy, Alyssa Milano, Snoop Dogg, Kate Hudson, John Travolta and a number of current and former pro athletes.
"You have to have the right mix of celebrities, athletes and girls," Hefner told the AP. "The most defining part of any party is the right combination of food, drinks, ambience, entertainment and good toilet facilities. A bad party is a party where you can't find a john."
OnMilwaukee.com attended a handful of the bashes during Super Bowl weekend and offers this recap from inside the velvet ropes:
NFL Commissioner's Ball
CAF Arizona Wing Aircraft Museum, Mesa
This gigantic party, hosted by Commissioner Roger Goodell at the Air Force museum at Falcon Field, featured thousands of guests and free-flowing food and beverages, but the celebrity quotient left a little to be desired. Unless, that is, you get excited about seeing NFL owners, team officials, broadcast executives and their spouses eating sushi and fancy desserts.
The coolest thing about this party may have been the Lombardi Trophy, which was guarded by two beefy guards in dark suits.
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