That's it. After four hilarious, exciting, sloppy, just downright fun snowbound games, I don't want to hear a single person complaining about the possibility of bad weather at the Super Bowl. Football isn't just designed to be a cold-weather sport; it's so much better that way.
Snow is, quite obviously, the best of the elements. (Get fucked, rime.) Aesthetically pleasing, as this collection of photos from yesterday's games attests. Evocative of only good things, like canceled school and Christmastime and hot cocktails. It invites play, and when it became clear that the early games comprised a snow slate—coming down heavy in Baltimore and Philadelphia, a dusting in Pittsburgh and Washington—it made for a special Sunday and, we hope, a preview of North Jersey on Feb. 2.
It started in Philly with a flipped coin that lay wedged in the snow, requiring a do-over toss. It ended in Baltimore with the wildest 2:01 in NFL history, a span that saw 36 points scored on 12 plays from scrimmage. "Will we ever see another game like that again?" John Harbaugh asked, rhetorically.
The games got silly, long plays broken solely because the ballcarrier had better traction than defenders. In Philly we might've gotten a look at the NFL of the future, with the snow too deep for teams to attempt field goals or extra points. Players celebrated with snow angels, fans reveled in their misery (or escaped it altogether), and viewers at home—from where football is meant to be enjoyed—snuggled up with their snacks and their heat and rooted for slippery chaos.
It wasn't lovely football. It was no showcase for the sport, but it was a showcase for the entertainment the game has to offer. Should Super Bowl XLVIII be played in whiteout conditions, it would suck very much for corporate partners, sportswriters who enjoy wandering around in khaki shorts, and the small handful of actual fans who attend. For everyone else around the country—the 110 million or so watching on television, the economic engine of the league—it would be a delight. An unforgettable Super Bowl, with record ratings and record buzz. Football is meant to be spectacle, so why not pull for the biggest, ugliest, prettiest spectacle of all?
Below, some of our favorite photos from yesterday, all via AP Images and Getty Images.