Our Correspondent Tried His Best to Hit Them All

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DETROIT ( -- Ain’t no party like a Super Bowl party. As much as the game and the commercials, parties have become yet another industry unto itself at the Super Bowl. Playboy, Maxim, Penthouse, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, Budweiser ... every marketer tries to out-do the other.
Super Bowl 06

So I had to see for myself.

Finally some snow
Snow finally fell on Detroit on Saturday, and it did put a crimp in the party-going. Saturday’s big parties were the Playboy bash at Detroit City Airport in the suburbs; Penthouse’s party downtown; the Maxim gig, also downtown; Sports Illustrated’s "Swimsuit Issue" party, in the hinterlands of Mount Clemens, another suburb; and, in perhaps one of the more innovative venues, Budweiser held a party in a giant tent on the outfield of Tiger Stadium, the former home of baseball’s Detroit Tigers that hasn’t been used in six years.

I got a late invite from Dennis Publishing’s Maxim, so they were at the bottom of the pecking order and, alas, I never made it there. Nor did I make it to Penthouse.

Budweiser? Cool venue, frat party atmosphere.

Corporate bunnies
Sports Illustrated was classy. The party was to kick off the magazine’s annual "Swimsuit Issue," which is out in two weeks. Playboy also had a more corporate atmosphere. Well, you know, aside from the bunnies and the women whose only "clothing" was painted on.

“This is my 17th Super Bowl in a row,” actor/comedian-turned-AOL-blogger Tom Arnold said at the Playboy party. “If you’re going to go to the Super Bowl, you have to go to the Super Bowl parties.”

Most of the talk centered on Detroit as the host city, and it is the marketers throwing the parties and the corporate sponsors and the celebrities who can influence whether another Super Bowl comes back here.

“Every city is different. But I believe Detroit set the benchmark this week for winter Super Bowl cities,” said a guy who would know about parties, “Entertainment Tonight” anchor Kevin Frazier.

“It’s exciting to see,” said singer Uncle Kracker at Time Inc.’s Sports Illustrated party. “It makes you wish Detroit was like that all year.”

P Diddy's Cashmere party
On Friday night, the big parties were Sean "P Diddy" Combs’ "Cashmere" party; ESPN’s "Next" party; and the Vivid Video/Club Jenna gig.

Let me just say this about P Diddy: He’s this generation’s version of Sinatra. Totally cool. Always impeccably dressed. Suave. What I want to be when I grow up.

Let me just say this about ESPN: They’re always ahead of the curve.

Let me just say this about Vivid Video and porn star Jenna Jameson: What happens in Detroit Feb. 3, 2006, between 9 p.m. and 11:37 p.m. at the Zoo Bar, stays in Detroit. Forever.

Whatever rumor you hear about a middle-aged white man sweating and drooling during the "lingerie" show portion of the party ... wasn’t me.

Two parties for Jenna Jameson
Ms. Jameson, who not only hosted her own party but also attended the Playboy bash, said, “The people here in Detroit have been amazing. We’d come back in a heartbeat.”

At least, I think that’s what she said. Had a little trouble reading the old notes.

Saw my favorite rapper, LL Cool J. This is the second time I’ve seen him. First time was right outside the Advertising Age offices on Third Avenue in New York. So I did the same thing in The D that I did in NYC: Called out his name and, when I got his attention, thumped my chest twice and gave him the peace sign. He laughed. Again.

The Super Bowl also makes for weird PR opportunities. Three players for the NFL’s Detroit Lions helped a ground crew at Detroit Metro Airport wave in a Southwest Airlines charter flight carrying the families of several NFL executives. The Lions were 5-11 this season. If I’m on that plane, the last thing I want to see is three players from that team waving my plane in.

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