Those that have criticized the NFL’s decision to award Super Bowl XLVIII to the New York Metropolitan area based on the terrible weather that could occur are simultaneously out of their minds and directly on point. It all depends on your definition of the Super Bowl.
The simple definition is that the Super Bowl determines the champion of the NFL. It is also a defining moment for American culture that brings thousands of tourists to its host destination and generaes hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue every year, both in the host city and for the league.
Any detractors of this year’s location using the first definition have no basis for their displeasure. This is not to say that freezing cold temperatures with threatening snowstorms is the weather in which football was meant to be played, but rather that weather conditions are just another legitimate factor that will determine the game plan.
Football games are sometimes dictated by the weather; the championship should be no different. Furthermore, prior to the existence of the Super Bowl, the NFL Championship was decided in bad weather multiple times, including the infamous “Ice Bowl” between Dallas and Green Bay in 1967.
However the second definition of the Super Bowl dictates that bad weather must be avoided at all costs. If the Super Bowl is meant to entertain the fans, then playing the game in New York makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
Games played under freezing cold conditions or in blinding snow limit the players’ ability to showcase their talent- talent that represents the core reason why over one third of the country is watching. The risk of a snowstorm throwing a wrench into an already complicated travel situation is a display of ignorance and arrogance on the part of the NFL and especially of Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Worse, allowing the game to be played at a location where the weather is in question and rightfully becomes the story dampens what is inherently a fascinating matchup of two outstanding football teams. Luckily for the NFL, the antics of Richard Sherman and Marshawn Lynch have drawn attention back on the game itself, but without them media day would have been further dominated by questions about gloves on the hands of quarterbacks and the chances of a blizzard in the third quarter.
I am of the belief that at this point the definition of the Super Bowl includes the cultural and entertainment aspects and that the game should be kept in traditional warm weather locations. What we see on the field will hopefully produce drama; let’s just hope the ice on the roads don’t cause a rash of accidents when the crowd leaves the stadium.
My pick: Seahawks 30 Broncos 26
To see Co-Sports Editor Gavin Crowell’s pick click here.