NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is squarely in the spotlight as the league takes Super Bowl XLVIII into the elements at MetLife Stadium. It's a risk after leaning heavily on warm climates and domed stadiums to provide ideal conditions for the major event, which goes far beyond the game itself.
Goodell doesn't sound overly concerned about the situation. Gary Myers of the New York Daily News passed along comments from the New York native, who confirmed he'll be sitting outside in whatever weather Mother Nature provides Feb. 2:
"I'm sitting in the stands. We're playing in New York, New Jersey, yes, I am going to be in the stands. I'm sitting outside. This is part of the experience. I will be sitting outside."
Interestingly, Goodell said he hasn't checked the weather forecast for the big day. He did admit it will be a concern of his over the next few weeks, not as much in terms of how it will impact the teams but rather how the entire spectacle comes off:
Anytime you have an event like this you have concern. You have concern about making sure an event that has so much interest on a global basis and so many people coming—now you add the No. 1 market, the largest stage—you want to make sure everything comes across well. It’s such an important reflection on the NFL, it’s our biggest event. We want it to come off well.
Ultimately, that's the difference between the commissioner and those outside the league offices.
Fans and analysts view the weather as something that could play a major role in which team raises the Lombardi Trophy. On the surface, a night highlighted by cold weather with snow would seemingly favor the Seattle Seahawks. A more mundane weather day would favor the Denver Broncos.
Goodell, on the other hand, is far more invested in the Super Bowl and all of the events leading up to Super Sunday. He just hopes when the dust settles on the days following the game that the foray into a colder climate can be considered a success.
The New York Daily News interview also touched on the NHL's outdoor games, which have been a smashing success for the league. The commissioner said that's part of the reason he's surprised the idea of playing football outside has met so much resistance:
Isn't it ironic the NHL is being lauded for taking an indoor sport outdoors and we're taking an outdoor sport outdoors. I'm having difficulty understanding why that's so hard for people.
By the time Goodell takes his seat outside at MetLife Stadium, a vast majority of his work will be done. From there, the plans the league put in place will either succeed and allow the Super Bowl to shine or it will become clear a cold-weather Super Bowl was a risk not worth taking.
As long as the situation doesn't overshadow what should be a tremendous game, it will be a success for Goodell and Co.