So the rumors out of the NFL owners' meeting is that Houston didn't actually have a real shot at getting Super Bowl 43, and the reason for that is McNair envy.
Texans owner Bob McNair's role with the NFL's special committee on league economics might have worked against Houston's bid to get the 2009 Super Bowl that was awarded Wednesday to Tampa, Fla.
Appointed by commissioner Paul Tagliabue to chair the committee that reviews economics and reports back to the membership, McNair might not have been sympathetic enough to owners of low-revenue teams, according to two owners who asked not to be identified.
"I don't know what other explanation there could be for them being the first city to be eliminated, not with that stadium and that bid," one longtime owner said after the vote was announced. "A lot of us are shocked at what's happened, not so much by Tampa winning but by Houston being the first one out. It just doesn't make sense."
Even though McNair lobbied hard to get Houston a third Super Bowl, he's the owner of a high-revenue team during a tumultuous period in which owners are divided over how to share local revenue that comes from suites, sponsorships, signage, concessions and parking.
Some owners of low-revenue teams may be resentful of owners of high-revenue teams. Until the owners agree on how to share local revenue, they won't be able to extend their collective bargaining agreement with the NFL Players Association beyond 2008.
"Well, that could be, but no one's told me that, and I don't suspect they will," McNair said. "But personal view enters into decisions like this, and all it takes is for one or two votes to be switched."
One true head-scratcher in the article:
Atlanta couldn't overcome its reputation for bad weather during Super Bowl week.