By Ryan Crowe,

ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Every football fan in America can tell you about the first Super Bowl they remember watching.  More than likely they can tell you the teams, who won, and even a commercial or two from the game.

For me, it was Super Bowl XXII, the Washington Redskins vs. the Denver Broncos in January 1988 or the “Doug Williams Game,” as it’s come to be known.  I even remember the cheesy Coke commercial that was supposed to be in 3D.

Fast Forward 23 years to February 6, 2011.  I write this from the field level of Cowboys Stadium in Arlington (about 15 miles from where I watched Super Bowl XXII) and I’m covering Super Bowl XLV.   It’s a surreal experience that goes far beyond football.

I’ve come to understand just how big the Super Bowl is as far as being an international event.  Sunday morning I spoke with the BBC World Service about how big the Super Bowl is, before I headed out with my co-workers to the stadium. This game is as much a cultural pageant as it is a sporting event, and Americans have come to love it for that.

The CBS 11 crew is split into two main locations, Babe, Steve Dennis, Bill Jones and web producer Matt Goodman are sitting in a seat section of the stadium that has been converted into an auxiliary press box.  Many of the rest of us are in the media workroom, typing away and taking notes.

We’ve been able to walk around and talk to many fans.  We’ve even spotted some celebs.  My boss and I can now name drop that we were booted off an elevator for Catherine Zeta-Jones and Micheal Douglas, and I have stood uncomfortably close to Cowboys legend Emmitt Smith.  Apparently, that’s all part of the Super Bowl.

So what’s the point of this?  It’s to let you know that even though the weather has been awful this week, even though ice was falling from the roof of this place 48 hours ago, and even though there are hundreds of fans displaced from temporary seats (some wound up in the auxiliary press area) North Texas is the center of the Universe tonight, and Cowboys Stadium is the epicenter.  We’ve proven ourselves friendly, even when everything was going wrong.