This afternoon the NFL announced that Super Bowl XLVIII will be played at the new Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey. This first cold weather site without a dome stadium will be the location of the ultimate game in the NFL, the one game all teams strive for every September, the one game that will make one team world champions. What do I think about this decision?
I think it’s wrong!
I just don’t understand how the ultimate game that is played for the ultimate prize can be played in a city that has a chance for snow, sleet, wind and freezing temperatures. Every September it’s the same for 32 teams in the NFL. They play hard and fight to position themselves for the best possible spot in the playoffs that they can earn. Two teams are lucky enough to earn home field advantage throughout the playoffs. They earn it in hopes that they will have that extra advantage over the visiting team. Whether it’s a cold weather team hosting a warm weather team or vise versa. If you are not lucky enough to gain a home playoff game, then you have to go on the road. That’s how it is in the playoff chase. You earn that right to be home if you play well enough and win more games then the team behind you. You EARN home field advantage.
When it comes to the Super Bowl, a team earns the right to play in the game by winning their conference championship game. They either earn that right by winning in their own stadium or they go into a stadium as a visitor and pull off the upset. The Super Bowl itself is the ultimate game and should be played in the best possible conditions making it fair to both teams that have earned a right to play in it. There should not be a risk that winter weather could be a deciding factor in the biggest game of the season. To think about a kicker slipping on snow or ice while attempting a game winning field goal or a quarterbacks pass being blown around before it can get to the receiver late in the game and kills a drive is just wrong. To think that the most important game of the season has a chance to be affected that way or end that way is just not right. It just isn’t how the Super Bowl should be played.
It’s true that I love to watch games in the snow. But those are games that are played during the regular season or the playoffs and if it happens to be bad winter weather on the date of a teams game, then it can’t be avoided because it’s part of the schedule. The same goes for playoff games in the winter weather. But again, those playoff games were earned by the home teams for what they accomplished during the regular season. If bad winter weather happens on those days the teams have to deal with it.
The Ice Bowl in Green Bay happened because the Packers earned the right to have that game in their stadium. As luck would have it on that day it was below freezing temps and ice on the field.
The tuck game between the Patriots and Raiders happened because the Patriots earned the right to have that game at home the same day as a major blizzard was going to happen.
The Bengals beat the Chargers in the 1981 Championship game because they earned it on the same day that the temperature was 58 degrees below zero with the wind.
How would it have felt if John Taylor slipped in an icy end zone and missed Joe Montana’s pass that won Super Bowl XXIII?
What if Scott Norwood’s field goal attempt was going wide right and a gusty winter wind blew it back to the left and through to win Super Bowl XXV?
Looking back over the last six years of weather in the New Jersey area around the week of February 14th, the average temperature has been around 30 degrees with the average wind about 10 miles an hour. Four of the last six years there was some snow/sleet in the area as well.
I just think it’s wrong to take the chance that the most important game of the season might be decided on winter weather. The Vince Lombardi trophy needs to be awarded to the best team on Super Bowl Sunday while being played under fair conditions because both teams earned that right.