Weather could potentially be a factor in Super Bowl XLVIII, which is being contested at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., but the forecast doesn't appear ominous.
This is the first cold-weather Super Bowl in the modern era, and there's been no shortage of discussion surrounding how the winter conditions could affect the outcome of the big game.
The Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos are both used to playing in inclement conditions, however, and there's a good chance the entire Super Bowl will go off without a single drop of precipitation.
But temperatures will likely drop below freezing during the game, and it's always more difficult to perform at one's best when the energy is being leeched out by the cold.
According to Weather.com, the average high temperature in East Rutherford on Feb. 2 is 39 degrees Fahrenheit and the average low is 20 F. The forecast for the upcoming Super Bowl appears to be a bit on the mild side, then, considering the high is being set at 49 F and the low at 29 F.
The chances of precipitation has dropped from 30 percent earlier to around 10-20 percent.
Here's a look at when and where you can catch the upcoming championship tilt.
When: Sunday, Feb. 2 at 6:30 p.m. ET
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
Live Stream: Fox Sports Go
Spread (via Bovada): Denver (-3)
The biggest question on everyone's mind when considering a cold-weather Super Bowl is: Will it snow?
The question is especially valid this year, as half of the nation has been crushed by subzero temperatures and layers upon layers of the white stuff for much of the winter.
As pointed out by Fox 10 Arizona meteorologist Dave Munsey, there's sure to be plenty of people who love the idea of watching a championship game in the snow:
I think some people want a blizzard for the Super Bowl, fun to watch. Right now gametime temp. 31 to 35, slight chance of snow. 68 here.— Dave Munsey (@Fox10Dave) January 27, 2014
That said, plenty of others, including Hall of Famer and current ESPN analyst Mike Ditka, don't think it's such a good idea. He recently spoke out against cold-weather Super Bowls in an interview with The Mully and Hanley Show via CBS Chicago:
I can be criticized, that’s fine. I think these games should be played in Miami, San Diego, Santa Clara...Arizona, maybe New Orleans because it’s a dome.
The World Series wouldn’t be played in inclement weather. That’s all I’m saying...You say, 'It’s cold, it’s the way football was meant to be.' Yeah, it was meant to be that way – I played that way 50 years ago. But now it’s different. Let’s make it right for the fans, for the sponsors and for the players.
Mercifully, the argument will likely be a moot point when the ref signals for the opening kickoff. Here's the extended forecast, courtesy of Weather.com:
Kickoff temperature should be in the upper 30s or low 40s. A west to northwest breeze around 10 mph may linger into the game, but we're not expecting wind to be a major factor. We can't rule out a sprinkle or patchy drizzle, but the chance of this is low.
The Broncos have been practicing outside all week leading up to the Super Bowl, and quarterback Peyton Manning isn't concerned about the weather affecting his or his teammates' performance.
Cold-weather Super Bowls are a ______ idea.
"The weather is going to be what it's going to be," Manning said, per Bob Ehalt of The Denver Post. "One of the good things is that we've been able to practice all week in it (at the New York Jets' outdoor facility). We have played in different types of conditions this year and last year, so I think our team is prepared for it. I think we'll be able to handle it no matter what the conditions are."
Temperatures will probably dip into the 20s as the evening wears on in East Rutherford, but the players likely won't be fazed by the cold. This is the biggest game of the year for these men—if not the biggest of their careers.
In the end, it looks like the weather will be nothing more than a side note in the biggest game of the year.
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