Wednesday, January 22, 2014
AN ARCTIC SUPER BOWL? IT'S MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
At night. February. New Jersey. Super Bowl.
Just about everybody on the planet thinks all these ingredients will be frozen into one of the
most miserable events in NFL history. ESPN has featured Nate Silver, the stat-geek and
prognosticator to let us know it's probably going to be cold that night. Fox sent Terry Bradshaw
to the people at the Farmer's Almanac who pretty much said the same thing. Ridiculous.
I understand we live in a world where as soon as Al Roker tells us there is a snowstorm on
the way, people bolt to the supermarket and buy enough supplies to last for a month and fill up
the gas tank in their cars even though our local mayors and governors tell us to stay the hell off
Do people really think there is going to be the Mother of all blizzards on Super Bowl Sunday?
And if it happens so friggin' what? I guarantee you it will make for a championship game that
none of us will ever forget.
I realize Super Bowl games have long been played in warm-weather places like Miami, San
Diego, Tampa Bay, and Pasadena, or in domed stadiums to make sure the elements are not a
Funny how nobody seems to care about the elements leading up to the Super Bowl, but it
becomes blasphemous to even think about playing it in the New Jersey wastelands in early
The only people it should matter to are the 80,000 people who will actually be at the game.
The other 120 million of us will be at parties in the comfort of their homes (or the homes of
others) polluting our bodies with nachos, pizza, hot dogs and poisoning our minds with alcohol.
I do think the NFL messed up for bothering to bring in Bruno Mars in for the halftime show.
By that time, the fans will be frozen in their seats and will probably bolt to the concourse
to try to get some booze and warmth. Sorry, Bruno, you''ll be playing to a bunch of crickets.
As for the quality of the game itself, don't worry about it. Three weeks ago, the San Francisco
49ers played the Green Bay Packers on a day that reached a wind-chill factor of 30 below.
It was a great game.
In 2002, the New England Patriots played the Oakland Raiders in the 'Tuck Rule Game'.
It was freezing with four inches of snow covering the field. Adam Vinitieri kicked a ball
that must have felt like the one he sometimes bowls with, 45 yards to send the game into
overtime. It was one of the top-5 kicks in NFL history. The Raiders didn't have any problems
in the game. I must've been updating my Facebook status and missed the last time it ever
snowed in the Bay Area or the temperatures fell below 30 degrees. The Oakland players
weren't bothered by the conditions.
The frigid weather is not going to affect the players one bit. Obviously, they are wired a lot
differently than most of us. Oh, sure, they may be juiced up on HGH, Winstrol, Testosterone,
Adderall, and probably a few of those 'gummies' A-Rod injested like Flintstone vitamins,
but cold weather isn't going to shrivel them up like George Costanza.
If there is a monsoon, the game will suck and I'm Peyton Manning will morph into the
2013 version of his brother, Eli. Even Tom Brady can't throw a good ball in the rain.
Players will slip, fall, and drop a ton of passes. That doesn't happen in the snow.
Go back to 1967 and the NFL championship in Green Bay. The wind chill factor was
-45. But the game between the Packers and Dallas Cowboys turned out to be one of
the greatest in NFL history. Bart Starr completed 14 of 24 passes, two of them going
for touchdowns. He wasn't bothered by the frozen tundra at all.
If the game is played in a snowstorm, so what? It will make it that much more exciting
and nostalgic. The players have to deal with the elements, not you. We see games played
in perfect conditions all the time. A little snow will just add to the drama.
I look back to December 3. There was a massive snowstorm in the Northeast. The
high school state championships in Connecticut were not cancelled. The fields were
covered with snow and huge flakes were falling. My alma mater, New Canaan High
School was slinging the ball around like it was 80 degrees and sunny. They scored
41 points to win the state title.
The best part came after the game when the team celebrated in the snow. The pure joy
on the faces of the high school kids was priceless. They will remember that day and
that game for as long as they live.
If it snows like hell on the night of Febuary 2nd in New Jersey at night, I"m sure the
Denver Broncos. Seattle Seahawks, and most of us will remember it, too.