As soon as Roger Goodell announced that the 2014 Super Bowl would be played at the new Meadowlands Stadium, our nation's finest sportswriters hit the panic button. But lets bring them in from the cold with a little, you know, logic.
Our first contestant is Dave Hyde of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, who blames it all on the Commish.
This shows how goofy NFL Sheriff Roger Goodell's leadership has been on this issue. He recently said the Super Bowl wouldn't return to South Florida until a few hundred million dollars were spent on a stadium roof. That's because it rained once in 10 Super Bowls held here.
Now Goodell's league is taking the big game to New York, where there is no roof on the new stadium and the Super Bowl will be played at a time known in football lingo as "dead of winter."
That's right. Goodell took the game from South Florida because of a 10 percent chance of wet and handed it to New York despite a 100 percent chance of freezing cold.
"Freezing?" By attempting to drag percentages into this, Hyde loses any claim to hyperbole. So let's look at the actual weather data: AccuWeather says, on February 2, the average temperature in East Rutherford is in the 30s. So that's less like "a 100 percent chance" of being below freezing, and more like "well, maybe, but probably not." And that 10 percent chance of rain sounds a lot worse than the 4 percent chance of snow that AccuWeather predicts.
The fans who pay $800 minimum to attend the Super Bowl are barely football fans.Think corporate America will sit in a New York February for four hours?
Are you seriously insinuating that the game's not going to sell out?
Then there's the effect on the game itself. Just look at the great Super Bowl moments that would be lost in cold play. Joe Namath's iconic finger wagging while running off the Orange Bowl field? He'd be wearing mittens by that point.
Joe Montana couldn't look into the crowd before his game-winning drive and ask teammates, "Isn't that John Candy?" First, no Hollywood type is going to sit in Siberia into the fourth quarter. Second, everyone looks like John Candy under hats and parkas.
Then there's those wonderful, game-shifting moments like Lynn Swann's ballet catch, David Tyree's miracle catch and Santonio Holmes' game-winning catch. Scratch all of those in the bitter cold.
So if the mercury dips below 32, both teams are going to stop calling pass plays. Got it. Oh, and here's a discussion of some fairly iconic cold-weather NFL moments. Perhaps you've heard of them.
Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune thinks it's less about the actual game, and more about the party scene.
The Super Bowl does not belong in New Jersey — just like it did not belong in Detroit or Minneapolis. The Super Bowl belongs in a city that people want to travel to in the dead of winter.
No one wants to go to the NY area in the dead of winter? Try telling that to the 2.8 million tourists who visit each February. And yes, that's the slowest month for tourism; but it's only slightly less than half of the number of visitors to the Tampa Bay area over all twelve months.
Though people are calling it the "New York Super Bowl," it's really the "New Jersey Super Bowl." How excited could anyone be about visiting New Jersey in February?
Now, you may not know this, but it's fairly common for a stadium to be outside the city limits, like FedExField or Cowboys Stadium or even — gasp — Sun Life Stadium, which isn't actually in Miami. And East Rutherford is closer to Midtown Manhattan, where all the media events and parties will be, then a lot of teams that play in their eponymous cities (Lincoln Financial Field, Arrowhead Stadium).
And, lastly, we have Bill Kline of the Allentown Morning Call, arguing that the cold weather will put warm weather or dome teams at a competitive disadvantage:
You want a one-dimensional team having a decided — and unfair — advantage in what is only the biggest game of the year in American sports.
First, I don't think a "one-dimensional team" that plays in the cold is going to make the Super Bowl. You know the Browns? They're pretty bad. But they're used to the cold in Cleveland! If the big game had been in North Jersey this past year, it would have been the Browns' game to lose!
Oh, and there's a little something called dome field advantage. We didn't hear critics complaining when 5 of the last 11 Super Bowls were played in domes.
Look, the point is, no one really gives a shit where the Super Bowl is played. Do you fly to the game? Do you know anyone who does? The media's going to be warm and cozy in their press box, and the players will put up with it, like they do any number of December/January games in the cold. The only people who will be miserable are the people in the seats. And you know what? They're at the Super Bowl. Fuck 'em.