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HOT TIME IN THE CITY It takes a lot of planning to get ready for the nation’s biggest party. Just ask Houston city officials, who have been preparing for Super Bowl XXXVIII for the past three years. Those who want to revel in the hoopla can attend any (or all) of the Super Bowl events preceding the February 1 game at Reliant Stadium: the NFL Experience (an interactive exhibition where folks can play NFL-related video games and test their knowledge of football), Super Bowl XXXVIII: A Houston Salute (the official opening ceremony hosted by CBS sportscaster Jim Nantz, with a performance by Yanni and appearances by former president George Bush, league commissioner Paul Tagliabue, and 38 Houston sports greats including Andy Pettitte, Roger Clemens, and Earl Campbell), or the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration (a concert featuring Donnie McClurkin and Yolanda Adams), to name just a few. Those who don’t should 1) stay home, 2) watch the game at someone else’s house so you don’t have to clean up the mess, 3) stay home, or 4) go out on the town—you’ve got the perfect excuse. If you’re inclined to go with option four, we recommend either making reservations yesterday at one of the many restaurants hosting parties or hitting some of the not-so-well-known-but-fantastic spots like Backstreet Café or Artista. And if you simply can’t stand being a party pooper and are up for late-night boogying, bear in mind that 6 percent of Americans call in sick to work the Monday after the Super Bowl. But you didn’t hear that from us. (See Houston: Sports)