NEW YORK - Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is superstitious, carefully choosing the words he uses to discuss the Denver Broncos and Sunday's Super Bowl. In Times Square Saturday, where he incited the crowd to cheer for his team, the governor declined to predict an outcome but said the team should be celebrated no matter what.
"I've been very careful not to make any predictions about who is going to win the game or the score. I didn't make a bet with the governor of Washington. All that stuff I did last year, and it didn't work out so well," he said referring to a bet he made with Maryland's governor before the Broncos were eliminated from the playoffs last year by the Ravens.
Hickenlooper's trip to New York and New Jersey combines business with pleasure. Although he says he paid $800 of his own money for a ticket to the game, he also will be making the rounds to media outlets to promote Colorado. His schedule includes an appearance on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos.
"This is a business trip, really, that is going to be extremely pleasurable," Hickenlooper said.
Like Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, who arrived earlier in the week, Hickenlooper is promoting Denver as a potential host for a future Super Bowl and other events.
"If it works here, I think they'll start going to Chicago, Denver. We could do the Democratic National Convention, we're trying to do the Republican National Convention. We can handle big events," he said."
After his press tour, the governor says his schedule will turn to focus on the Broncos. He will go the team's hotel for brunch, then on to a tailgate party with the families of the players.
"Then we go to the game and we see what is going to be one of the great, great football games of all time," he said.
Always careful not to jinx the Broncos, Hickenlooper also hinted that the team's return to Colorado would be celebrated even if they don't fly home with the trophy.
"We're not talking about losing for sure, but we're being very careful about how we phrase our winning. What we are going to do is celebrate this team, what they've meant to Colorado," he said. "If you put it dollars and cents you're talking about tens of millions -- probably hundreds of millions of dollars -- of economic benefit by having a team like this in your community."