I live in the town adjacent to MetLife Stadium, home to the upcoming Super Bowl XLVIII (48). There has been some disappointment among New Jerseyans that all promotional messages and advertising focused on New York. In other words, New Jersey really hasn’t gotten that much attention, despite being responsible for hosting the event in Bergen County, shuttling spectators by New Jersey Transit, and ultimately housing them as well in hotels in New Jersey.
Historically, this area has been a very territorial place. It’s the reason why New Jersey has more municipalities than California. We like have dominion over our little towns and whatnot, and we’re proud of it. In larger scope of things, this is very detrimental towards collaboration on a regional scale. New Jersey needs New York (a lot of us work there, think it’s a cool place to visit, and ultimately, the tourists come along and like to sleep in Jersey). And New York needs New Jersey (the employees of New York employers most of the time can’t afford to live there and there’s not that much space for stadia and whatnot). The inability for the two states to work together kills many inspiring projects, the latest being the 7 Subway line extension, and the Access to the Region’s Core tunnel that was supposed to alleviate train congestion.
By working together, we could do some pretty great things, especially transportation projects and large-scale event hosting (who knows, an American Olympiad or World Cup might happen). As a proud New Jerseyan, I think it’s a great honor to have an event like the Super Bowl here. Tourists will see how great our cities are, how naturally beautiful our state is (the Palisades are a very beautiful ridge of mountains, guys), and once and for all, we don’t pronounce it Joisey. Yes, New York will always get the attention. Let’s get over that. But if we deal with it in stride, and work together, this could be the beginning of something really nice.
If you write, fix pipes, grade papers, lay bricks or drive a taxi - do it with a sense of pride. And do it the best you know how. Be cognizant and sympathetic to the guy alongside, because he wants a place in the sun, too. And always…always look past his color, his creed, his religion and the shape of his ears. Look for the whole person. Judge him as the whole person.