Posted Jan. 16, 2004, 7:43PM
From an article
By SHELBY HODGE
Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/features/shodge/2355383
CBS Sports anchor Jim Nantz wants to clue Houston in on everything about the Houston Salute that will kick off Super Bowl Week Jan. 26. It's going to be a spectacular event that he says "will be like the opening ceremonies of the Olympics."
There won't be 3,000 costumed athletes and dancers prancing around with flags in Reliant Arena. But you will see 38 Houston sports legends handing off the official game ball in a torchlike presentation that will end with former President George Bush passing it on to NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.
Nantz was the mastermind of this first-ever Super Bowl opening ceremony. He is as excited as a kid waiting for Santa. And he wants Houston to know that it's not just a sporting event but a concert as well.
New-wave music star Yanni and his 25-piece orchestra will provide an evening of entertainment that will serve as the musical thread running through the event.
Yanni is supercharged about the Super Bowl as well and plans to remain in town all week for the festivities. Nantz reports that the musician not only is providing his services for the Houston Salute without charge but also purchased the first top-dollar table at the event. Yanni's check for $100,000 is already in hand.
The highlight of the evening will come when the two Super Bowl team coaches meet onstage and along with Bush, Tagliabue and Houston Texans owner Bob McNair raise the Super Bowl flag. Then Yanni and his troupe will present his masterpiece, Santorini.
The evening, with tickets starting at $100 and available through Ticketmaster, will benefit the NFL Youth Education Town.