In this strangest of Super Bowl weeks, Fort Worth has ceded the role of party animal to Dallas. Most of the high-profile shindigs (Maxim, Playboy, etc.) are in Big D, but Cowtown did keep some of the coolest parties for itself.
Like the Super Bowl XLV North Texas Host Committees throwdown on Thursday night at Billy Bobs Texas. The invite-only party honored all the good people who worked so hard the last five years to bring DFW it's first Super Bowl. And the free booze and barbecue went a long way toward making them forget what a cruel joke Mother Nature was playing on us outside. (B-tch!)
The party spread out all over the Worlds Largest Honky Tonk: Quesadillas in the Deer & Beer Lounge, Super Bowl souvenirs for sale near the Bacardi Party Bar. A VIP reception in what is usually BBTs bull riding ring. Now that's Cowtown class, right?
A good-looking crowd in sophisticated western duds started rolling in around 8 p.m., while the 80s nerd-tastic rock band The Spazmatics warmed things up on the front stage. A chandelier of shimmering silver footballs hung above the dance floor, right next to Billy Bobs mirror-ball saddle.
Just as we were making our way through the buffet line, oohing and ahhing about the tender brisket, the famed Kilgore Rangerettes marched single-file onto the main stage for a rousing performance. The first-ever drill team, the Rangerettes were a nice nod to the past and a reminder how much the current NFL has embraced the showtime mentality the Rangerettes helped start in 1940.
Amid the flurry of white hats and blue skirts, we spotted SMU legend/broadcaster Craig James. Then Daryl "Moose" Johnston popped up on stage around 9:30 to introduce Fort Worths all-around good-time country star Pat Green, who rocked the main stage for a solid 75 minutes. Midway through his set, Green announced a surprise guest -- country music legend Randy Travis and they dueted on a sweet rendition of Forever and Ever, Amen. (We also spotted Travis on Wednesday night at the Aces & Angels bash in Dallas.) Then they sang happy birthday to Hall of Famer and Host Committee grand poobah Roger Staubach, who was seated down near the stage.
After Green took his final bows, the Spazmatics cranked things up again with 80s classics and the dance floor was packed. Everyone cut loose, Footloose, and for a few more minutes we all tried forgot about what was going on outside: A fresh dumping of snow, and a cold, hard reminder that it may be awhile before the Super Bowl comes back to frigid North Texas.