Sunday, January 25, 2004

Conflicting emotions on Super Bowl Sunday: "Most of … those few who lost spouses and parents and friends aboard the space shuttle Columbia will go to Super Bowl XXXVIII next Sunday. They'll join the city of Houston in the nation's largest annual sports party."

"The city of Houston will play host to the Super Bowl next week, but for many, the party will be cast in somber hues. Next Sunday also marks the one-year anniversary of the fatal space shuttle accident. On Feb. 1, 2003, Columbia disintegrated midflight and rained debris on east Texas.

"Houston is the home to NASA's Johnson Space Center, and the tragedy struck a particularly sensitive chord here. So on Sunday, while much of the world celebrates, this city will face a confusing confrontation of emotions."

"Officials with the NFL were in Hawaii preparing for the Pro Bowl last year when the shuttle broke apart. They realized instantly that Super Bowl XXXVIII would fall on the one-year anniversary and began planning appropriately."

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