Despite Jim Irsay's first public appearance since his arrest in February, and a presentation for Pro Bowler Jeff Saturday, Indianapolis has lost its bid for the 2018 Super Bowl. Adding to this week's bad news is that Robert Mathis has been given a four game suspension for using a fertility drug.
For only the second time in team history, Minneapolis will host a Super Bowl, beating out Indianapolis and New Orleans in final presentations. Their success can be attributed to the construction of a 1$ billion new stadium, which will receive half of its funding from the public. This follows a recent trend of giving the game to newly-built stadiums that began in 2011 with Dallas hosting in their new stadium. Indianapolis then hosted in its four-year-old stadium the next year, and the New York Jets hosting in 2014. San Francisco will also hold the game in 2016, which is only two years after the opening of Levi Stadium.
Although the cold weather of Minnesota was thought to be strike against the city, their bid openly accepted and made use of it. Promises from Minneapolis include an ice castle, a Super Bowl boulevard featuring outdoor activities, and a partnership with the St. Paul Winter Carnival.
New Orleans was considered by many to be the front runner, due to 2018 being the tricentennial of the city's founding, but was likely hindered by a famous power outage during the 2013 Super Bowl. This the first time in New Orleans' eleven bids that the team has been denied hosting the game.
Tuesday's final presentation for the bid also included owner Jim Irsay's first public appearance since his February arrest. Irsay did not speak about his arrest or rehab at the time, but his appearance did beg the question of what the NFL may do regarding his looming four felony charges. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has stated he won't take action until he has more information, but that hasn't silenced critics. Perhaps most notably, Washington Redskin Ryan Clark called the league hypocritical for punishing players before legal action is taken, citing the instance of Ben Roethlisburger who was suspended for six games despite not being formally charged for the alleged sexual assault of a 20-year-old student.
In addition to the news about the Super Bowl, Robert Mathis recently addressed the team and the public regarding his four game suspension he received on May 16th. Mathis was found to be using fertility drug Clomid to help him conceive a child with his wife. The treatment was successful, but landed in him hot water over the league's rules on performance-enhancing drugs. Clomid is not a performance-enhancing drug itself, but can be used to rebuild testosterone levels in those who have taken steroids. Mathis stated last Friday that his doctor did not inform him it was on the list of banned substances, and thus did not know he was violating NFL rules.
In his statement to the team, he stepped up and claimed responsibility for his actions, apologized for the circumstances, and promised to be ready when he can play again.
Mathis lead the NFL in sacks last season, and is the Colt's franchise leader in sacks. Andrew Luck has even gone as far as to call him the team's best player. Although he cannot play for the first four games, he is still expected to practice with the team through the preseason.
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