Dan Marino Dan Marino

When 75,000 fans fill Dolphin Stadium for Super Bowl XLI on Sunday, Feb. 4, it will mark the ninth time Miami has hosted the premier pigskin event, tying it with New Orleans for the most ever. Although it hasn't held the game since 1999, the city remains the ultimate Super Bowl destination, says Hall of Famer Dan Marino, an analyst for CBS' The NFL Today. And he would know.

During his 17 seasons as the Dolphins quarterback, Marino became arguably Miami's greatest sports legend. He played in only one Super Bowl, and lost, but he understands the impact his old stomping grounds will have. "This is the biggest sporting event of the year, but it's more than just the game, it's the fun and excitement that surrounds it," he says. In addition to a pregame show featuring Cirque du Soleil and halftime entertainment with Prince, there's the Pepsi Smash Super Bowl Bash (airing Saturday, at 10 pm/ET, on VH1), a concert featuring performances by Kanye West, Fergie and John Legend. For something a little more sporty, Marino and legendary Dolphins coach Don Shula will be honored during Sunday's festivities. (For more information on game-day programming, see the end of this feature.)

Of course, the game itself is the big draw. And Marino would take sunny Florida over a frigid venue, like Green Bay's Lambeau Field, any day. "If it's ice and snow and freezing, fans aren't gonna want to go," he says. "And the players want a nice field with good playing conditions — that's what's important to them. That gives a better chance for a well-played game. And that's what everybody wants."

Of course, every Super Bowl Sunday, everybody also wants to party. Hence, we bring you:

Dan Marino's Top 5 Super Bowl Party Tips

"The most essential thing is your beverage of choice. That can be water or wine or beer or soda, but whatever it is, get plenty of it."
2. "For food, stone crabs are a great Florida tradition for watching the game. Even when I was a player, I'd order some up when the game was on."
3. "You need a good seat. If you're somewhere where you can't get a seat to see the whole game, leave. Immediately.
4. "You can get crowd noise in a house, too, so make sure you're in a spot where you can hear the important commentary — especially from guys like Jim Nantz and Phil Simms."
5. "Check out the halftime show. It's the biggest sporting event of the year, so you want to take it all in. But if you have to go to the bathroom, that would probably be the time to go."

CBS Super Sunday Programming Lineup

Noon/ET: Road to the Super Bowl
1 pm: Phil Simm's All-Iron Team
2 pm: Super Bowl Today
6 pm:
Super Bowl Kickoff
6:25 pm: Game Begins

Send your comments on this feature to letters@tvguide.com