Super Bowl Fans Collapse At Secaucus Junction Station While Waiting For Security Checks
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Super Bowl XLVIII
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Several people apparently collapsed in the Secaucus Junction train station while waiting in long lines to watch the Seattle Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVIII.
Witnesses reported seeing emergency medical workers pushed their way through the overheated crowd to treat the people at the station Sunday.
NJ Transit officials have denied claims that fans were passing out and said that no one has been treated for a medical condition.
Long lines came to a standstill in front of airport-style security machines that apparently cannot handle the crowd volume. People trying to reach MetLife Stadium were squeezed together in an enclosed stairwell.
As more trains arrived, police tried to thin the sweating, jostling crowd by spreading people across the platform.
Initial fan calls of “Seahawks” and “Broncos” gave way to angry shouts of “New Jersey, your Super Bowl sucks!”
The extensive security screenings were not only resulting in massive crowding there, but the congestion resulted in delays of about 30 minutes for much of the NJ TRANSIT system, WCBS 880 Tom Kaminski reported.
Some fans told 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck they were understanding about the intense security.
“It’s for everybody’s safety,” said Paul from Pennsylvania, who was at Secaucus Junction. “So I’m all for it. The only thing I have yet to go through is the radiation detector. I’m sure that’s going to be unevasive. As long as they don’t do any kind of physical full-body searches, we’ll be in good shape.”
But one person on Twitter called the boarding process a “disaster,” posting a photo of a sea of fans.
Another fan posted a video on YouTube showing fans being herded slowly through the station.
WFAN reporter Chris Lopresti said he had to wait an hour in line before boarding his train at Secaucus.
Thousands of people were crammed into one corridor like sardines. I'm told multiple people passed out from the heat. Nightmare situation.—
Chris Lopresti (@CLoprestiWFAN) February 02, 2014
TSA agents from LaGuardia Airport are performing screening on train passengers at both Penn Station and Secaucus Junction.
Fans were also not being allowed on the rail line that serves MetLife Stadium on Sunday unless they show their ticket to the game and adhere to the NFL’s bag policy.
Once at the stadium, fans had to undergo another airport-style screening at a security perimeter set up 300 feet from the entrances.
Meanwhile, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents were watching from above. Black Hawk helicopters will be buzzing around MetLife Stadium, enforcing the 10-mile no-fly zone.
“Most of the cases of people breaching the zone, obviously, in the past, have been a mistake,” Phil Petro of U.S. Customs and Border Protection said.
The no-fly zone kicked in Sunday morning.
On the ground, security teams have locked down the stadium. Every vehicle that approaches was stopped, screened and X-rayed, CBS 2′s Cindy Hsu reported.
Because of all of the extra security, officials urged residents, visitors and game-goers to allow extra time while traveling this weekend.
Inside of the stadium fans were decked out in colored wigs, blue, green, and orange face paint, and one fan even posed as Richard Sherman’s look-alike.
“I’m not very athletic,” he told 1010 WINS reporter John Montone.
And while the game may be all business for the players, it was all fun for the fans 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported.
“I’m charming. It’s a charm offensive,” said one fan who couldn’t stop smiling.
If getting to the stadium was a nightmare fans may have spent part of the game dreaming of an easier trip back.
NJ Transit knew that it would be seeing big crowds headed to the game but they may not have expected the record 28,000 people who packed onto train cars inside of a few short hours.
“It was fairly slow. Once we arrived at the station we had to wait for an hour and we’re going to a corporate function so we’re going to be late for that as well,” Joe Hughes told CBS 2’s Marlie Hall.
After the game hundreds of people were getting ready to reverse commute back the city and were hoping that the post game ride would offer smoother sailing.
The Big Game Is Also A Big Day For Commercials
Some Super Bowl ads were big winners and others came up as misses, CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu reported.
Companies often try to use big names stars in their commercials but experts said that the tactic doesn’t always work.
“Trying to get the star power into your commercial and then missing the connection with the product,” The One Club’s Kevin Swanepool explained.
Ellen DeGeneres danced up a storm in her commercial for Beats but Swanepool said she may have missed the beat.
“The spot is not one that hits home and that’s memorable for me,” he said, “I think that may be a bit of a miss this year.”
Swanepool said that the key to a good ad is telling a story and touching the customer’s heart.
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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)