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Don't sweat the Super Bowl...but everything else?

Congress is on the verge of blowing a deadline. And a lot of industries are worried.

One of those industries is the sports world. And it has people worried about this year's Super Bowl. But as we explain below, don't fret.

First, what's the deadline Congress is about to blow?

It's the renewal of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, legislation passed after 9/11 that splits the bill for terrorism insurance between the federal government and insurers. Without it, supporters say, insurers would be unwilling to provide affordable coverage for major events, buildings and construction projects.

The Senate voted to extend the program earlier this summer. The House voted in favor of it last week. But, like most things in Congress, the legislation containing the provision was different from the earlier Senate version. So the rules require the Senate to vote on it again. And time is running short.

"The path forward is a little unclear right now," said Marty DePoy, spokesman for the Coalition to Insure Against Terrorism, in a telephone interview. "We're up against the calendar."

Without the renewal insurers are likely to invoke exclusions in current policies that disallow terror claims. Banks, which require such insurance as part of a loan agreement, would likely turn off the credit spigot.

All of which concern a great number of industries from builders to railroads to soup makers to airlines.

And of course, professional sports.

Which brings us to the Super Bowl. Businessweek raised the alarm when it first reported on the insurance deadline looming. Our friends at NBC Sports checked with the NFL itself.

"The Super Bowl will be played," was the response.

As for other sporting events, or entertainment events in general, it remains an open question.

Of course the economic purists might argue that such a lapse may not be an altogether bad thing. As the Heritage Foundation has pointed out, the insurance program was meant to be temporary. Whether or not insurers would provide such insurance may be a matter of price and their ability to reinsure the risk.