Southeast of Disorder

Super Bowl XLII: There’s a Flag on the Play Already

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Adrian Ross thought he had put together the perfect team for Super Bowl XLII, but on Jan. 23 the Glendale City Council ejected the quarterback.

Ross, a former linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals, planned to raise funds for his Maddbackers Foundation by hosting a series of parties leading up to the big game at Glendale’s Cardinals Stadium. The foundation mentors children at football and literacy camps.

In order to attract celebrities and NFL players — people who clearly have spare change and often help the underprivileged — Ross accepted Pink Cabaret’s offer to host the events and donate 25 percent of its profits to the foundation. The girls at the usually “textile-free” establishment even agreed to cover up so Ross could get a special-event liquor license for the parties.

Perfect! Scantily clad women, booze and charitable giving. End zone, here we come!

That’s when the city council threw a flag on the play.

State regulations ban alcohol at nude dance clubs, but they allow it to be served at topless clubs. Even with Pink Cabaret’s promise there would be no “wardrobe malfunctions,” the council unanimously rejected the liquor-license application.

The decision was based on what was best for the event, according to Mayor Elaine Scruggs, who called Ross’ application “a twist of logic.” Covering the dancers would have hampered the rushing game, since the skins team was what lured fans to the club in the first place, she said.

One of the council members termed the liquor-license request a personal foul.

“It’s distasteful to us, or at least to me personally,” Councilwoman Joyce Clark said.

The mayor said “The charitable good works … can be done without a liquor license,” according to

Attorney John Weston, who represented Pink Cabaret before the council, said the refs made a bad call.

“Who could be opposed to something for kids?” he asked.

The council didn’t penalize other teams with similar playbooks, granting special-event liquor licenses to a number of squads including a Catholic church.