This Sunday will be one of the most highly-watched sporting events of the year: The Super Bowl. I would never consider myself a die-hard sports fan (I just lost a bet with one of my male friends that the Washington Wizards were based in Washington State and now I'm down a case of beer), but I do like to watch a good game. If I'm a fan of anything, it's basketball, but I must say football has grown on me this season. I think it's largely a combination of one of my friends purchasing a large-screen HD television (the same friend who now has a case of Sierra Nevada on me) plus those fancy cameras they now have that makes me feel like I can reach out and touch the quarterback.
But I digress. This blog post isn't about the actual game of football, but rather all the security measures that go in place to protect players and fans on game day. A few weeks ago I spoke with a company that provides GPS tracking capabilities to team owners and police to track team buses and other assets to ensure everything goes as planned. (For some PR
reason, the company wouldn't allow me to use their name in print, which, frankly, is bad PR in my opinion, but that's a whole other issue).
I just read this CBS article about some of the other security measures in place, and, as you might guess, there are a lot of agencies involved in this initiative. Sixty-four, so says the article and more than a 1,000 officers:
Across South Florida Coast Guard fast boats patrol the waterfront, while Homeland Security choppers and military fighters scan some 50 miles of coastline. On game day, they'll enforce a 30-mile "no-fly" bubble around Sun Life stadium.
In addition to things like snipers and SWAT teams, the various agencies will also deploy canine units to sniff for explosives, which are the greatest threat to the event.
And everything will be coordinated from a central command center, where more than 100 agents review intelligence, track leads and use high tech tools "like a magic cyber wall." What? A "magic" cyber wall? I've never heard anyone in the industry use the term "magic" to describe anything dealing with security and it's my understanding that all these technological advances are, well, fairly scientific. Even though I can't tell you exactly how anything from my watch to my cell phone actually works, I'm fairly confident that magic isn't involved. And, if you're going to use magic on anything, perhaps someone should put a spell on Peyton Manning to keep him from blowing the Saints out of the water (but not literally, of course).