Steve Gorten of the South Florida Sun Sentinel did what all good journalists should do. He stared danger in the face.
Gorten, who was in El Paso this past week to cover the Sun Bowl, decided to spend an afternoon in Ciudad Juárez, the murder capital of the world.
"I stayed about 3.5 hours. I didn't die. Ice Cube would say it was a good day. Actually, it was better than good. I had a fun time in Juárez.
More than 3,000 people were murdered in Juárez in 2010, including the decapitated head of a man found atop a pillow late Wednesday, the day Gorten crossed the border. There were at least five homicides in Juárez that day.
By comparison, there were only five murders in El Paso in 2010, the lowest number in 46 years.
Players from Notre Dame and Miami were forbidden from crossing the border and few fans dared to confront fear and venture over the Rio Grande.
But Gorten throughly enjoyed his afternoon.
"I had heard Juárez was like a war zone. And there were members of the Mexican military and police officers stationed with guns — but not nearly as many as I expected. In fact, I saw more military patrolling the streets when I visited Beijing three years ago," he wrote.
After having lunch and a few beers, he headed back over the Santa Fe Bridge walking bridge to El Paso, where he handed his passport to a U.S. Customs officer.
"She gave me a quizzical look and asked what I was doing in Juárez anyway? Oh, I just wanted to see the city, have some lunch and shop for some souvenirs, I told her. She laughed and handed me back my passport.