When organizers set out to get folks to crochet 8,000 neck wraps in blue and white — colors of the beloved hometown Colts — for the city's Super Bowl volunteers, the "Super Scarves" project went viral. Soccer moms joined grannies and even jailed male convicts in needling together more than 13,000 of the wraps that flooded in from 46 states and four other countries. The Giants and Patriots got some of the extras as greetings the moment their team planes touched Hoosier soil.
"Super Bowl schlock, meet heartland values," The New York Times wrote of that effort, casting Indy as "a useful antonym for glitz, glamour and bombast."
Children also got in the act. From all reaches of Indiana, they made welcome cards to greet guests in 18,000 Indy-area hotel rooms detailing what they love most about the Hoosier state: things like the Indiana State Fair, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and, naturally, the Colts.
Not everyone has been wooed by Indy's charm. It's still the brunt of some jokes.
A Fort Worth Press-Telegram columnist pooh-poohed Indy's previous experience hosting the Final Four, calling that "a college frat party" compared with the Super Bowl. On the Huffington Post, New York-born, Michigan-raised Austin Beutner lobbies for the Super Bowl four years from now to be in Los Angeles, writing: "Let's be honest — L.A. is a far more entertaining venue than Indianapolis."
"Don't get me wrong: this is not about coastal-cool California beating up on a 'fly-over' state," Beutner adds. "Folks in the Midwest saved up their money to take warm-weather vacations in Southern California, but not many do it the other way around."
Is Indy upset with that assessment?
To borrow a line from their visitors: Fuhgeddaboutit.