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Indy leaders hope first Super Bowl isn’t last

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New England Patriots wide receiver Chad Ochocinco  walks off the plane as the team arrives at the Indianapolis International Airport for NFL footbal's Super Bowl XLVI Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012, in Indianapolis.

New England Patriots wide receiver Chad Ochocinco walks off the plane as the team arrives at the Indianapolis International Airport for NFL footbal’s Super Bowl XLVI Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012, in Indianapolis.

David J. Phillip, Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — The Super Bowl is still nearly a week away and city leaders already are looking ahead.

Sunday's big game will be the first for Indy, and Mayor Greg Ballard believes there should be more.

"I do think the regular cycle of four-to-five years for some of the other cities may not be the way to go, but for a city like us with a great volunteer base and a great community support, I think every eight-to-10 years is doable," he said. "I think we can get on a regular rotation."

Ballard said he wouldn't rush it.

"I was kidding when I told the host committee that I was going to give them a week to rest, then we're going to go for it again."

Colts owner Jim Irsay is excited about the chance to show off the city.

"I think that we're going to be able to show the world and everyone that we're deserving for a second chance someday down the line," he said. "I really do. I think that's the type of job that we're going to do here, and the experience is going to be great."

Though the Colts finished 2-14 this season, that hasn't shaken Irsay's desire to make the event special.

"This isn't about the Colts, this is about Indianapolis, this is about Indiana," he said.


FAMILY TIES: Patriots receiver Matt Slater knows better than to take a Super Bowl trip for granted.

His father, Jackie Slater, was an offensive lineman for the Los Angeles Rams who played in the Super Bowl after the 1979 season. The Rams lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Jackie Slater never went back to a Super Bowl in a Hall of Fame career that lasted until 1995.

"I think that was one of the biggest things that he kind of missed on his career is he never won a world championship," Matt Slater said. "I knew how much that meant to him because he was a huge team guy."

Dad already has offered son some advice about handling the pressure in the week leading up to the game.

"He told me just to do everything I can to prepare myself for the game on Sunday so that I can live with no regrets," the fourth-year player from UCLA said. "And realizing that this opportunity is not guaranteed to me in my career again, so just to do everything I can to take advantage of the opportunity and maximize it so, at the end of the day, I have no regrets at all."

Matt Slater wasn't around when his father played in the Super Bowl — he was born in 1985 — but Jackie's vivid memories have connected Matt to the experience.

"Even to this day, he talks about the game, and he can almost call off every play to you and just remember the ebb and flow of the game," Matt Slater said. "It meant a lot to him. Unfortunately it didn't work out for him, but it's definitely a memory he has and will have as long as he lives."


SUPER SCARVES: The Super Bowl host committee got more than expected out of a simple attempt to look out for its volunteers.

Host committee CEO Allison Melangton started the Super Scarves project two years ago to give Indiana residents a chance to make scarves that would help volunteers stay warm during a typically cold time of the year.

The project expanded, and now the committee has received blue and white scarves from 46 states and four countries. The goal was to have 8,000 scarves available, but eventually, the host committee received about 13,000.

The scarves got attention on a TV episode of ABC's "The Middle."

"I guess you've arrived when a national sitcom makes fun of something you're doing," Melangton said.

Each scarf identified who knitted or croqueted it and included a message of encouragement for the wearer.

"It was her idea," Mark Miles, chairman of the host committee, said. "I thought it couldn't have been more hair-brained, and it couldn't have been more brilliant."


HOME COOKING: Mathias Kiwanuka might take a few teammates to his mother's home for dinner this week.

He can't take all of them.

"I don't know if I could fit that many people into her house," the New York Giants defensive end said Monday after arriving in Indianapolis.

Kiwanuka, the defensive end who attended Cathedral High School in Indy, is keeping things simple. He'll eat mom's food, go to bed on time and try to add another Super Bowl ring to the one he won four years ago.

As for all those Super Bowl parties in his hometown, Kiwanuka's advice: There's plenty of time to attend those after Sunday's big game against New England.


MJD REPLACES OCHO: The Ochocinco News Network will be reporting from the Super Bowl even if its namesake, wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, is a participant when the Patriots play the New York Giants on Sunday.

Since New England coach Bill Belichick isn't likely to spring Ochocinco for any broadcast duties, he'll be replaced by Jacksonville Jaguars All-Pro running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who has a background in radio reporting for SiriusXM NFL Radio.

The wide receiver created OCNN three years ago and has built a social media network that serves an audience of about 1 million, the network says.

"MJD is the right guy to take on this task, and I have all the confidence in the world in him," Ochocinco said.


Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/cliffbruntap


AP Pro Football Writer Howard Fendrich and AP Sports Writer Michael Marot contributed to this report.