As we all know, Mayor Bloomberg has been going around on a victory lap in his last days, touting his achievements on keeping New York City’s crime rate low. It sounded silly at first, but maybe we really does need to get the word out, because a poll of potential Super Bowl visitors found that their biggest fear was violent crime. Even weirder, a quarter of them said they wouldn’t feel safe on public transportation. This 80s nostalgia is taking a real weird turn, you guys.
You probably don’t want to think about football right now, what with both the Jets and Giants seeing their dream of playing a home Super Bowl ground into dust. Or maybe you’re a jerk fan of one of the teams that did make the playoffs, in which case, keep it to yourself. Instead, laugh with us at people who apparently haven’t looked at a newspaper, magazine, Internet browser or flyer since the “Fear City” days of old. A poll by IRC International found that 33 percent of hypothetical Super Bowl attendees picked violent crime as their number one fear of visiting New York during the big game, a plurality that beat both fears of terrorism (24%) and uh, the weather (25%). In addition, 26% of poll respondents said that they wouldn’t feel safe taking public transportation to the game.
Of course, for the New Yorker who’s always looking for an angle, the city being inundated with wallet-clutching paranoids who think the subways are still full of gang fights or young Sylvester Stallones running wild is more of an opportunity than a burden. It’s a perfect chance to run that old con where you get a friend to “rob” someone, only to step in and get the stolen item back for the victim while chasing off the perp, while you receive a cash reward from the relieved mark. That or you can sell “bonafide New York-style” umbrellas to the collected masses, which are guaranteed to help them with this terrible, unbearable weather we’re apparently known for. You don’t even have to buy the umbrellas, you can just find them at bars. Yes, the world will be your own personal version of The Sting come Super Bowl week, the only question is how you’ll take advantage.