On Tuesday afternoon, the National Football League has the opportunity to make a decision which could forever change the way the Super Bowl, the biggest sporting event of the year, is looked at.
They will decide what city will be hosting the Super Bowl in 2014. They can choose between two "status-quo" sites, which are Tampa and South Florida (Miami), who have both hosted multiple Super Bowls in the past (including the last two, respectively).
The NFL could stick to the norm by playing the game at a warm-weather site. Or, they could try something new, by awarding the Super Bowl to New Jersey and the New Meadowlands Stadium, which will be the new home of the Jets and Giants starting this August.
Already, people are blasting the idea of a Super Bowl being held at a "cold weather" site such as the Meadowlands in New Jersey. The main complaint about a potential Meadowlands Super Bowl, is the fear that a blinding blizzard or extremely cold temperatures will be present, which admittably would not be very pleasant to the fans and sponsors who are paying boatloads of money just to attend this sporting event.
I'll even admit that the Jets and Giants (who are co-owners of the new stadium) made a huge mistake by not putting a retractable roof on the state-of-the-art new stadium. They've wanted this game for years, and a roof would have been a simple solution, and would almost automatically give them this game.
But it is what it is, and what's done is done. They didn't put a roof on the stadium, and because of that, the NFL has an opportunity to do something that could be groundbreaking.
Some of the best games in NFL history have taken place in cold weather, and in poor weather conditions. Everybody remember the Patriots-Raiders "Tuck Rule" game back in 2002? Played in a snowstorm. What about the 2008 NFC Championship overtime thriller between the Giants and Packers? Played in subzero temperatures.
Football is a cold-weather game. If you can play some of the biggest playoff games in NFL history in cold weather, then why can't you play the ultimate game in cold weather?
As for poor weather conditions in general, if the game isn't played in a dome, no matter where you play it you run the risk of bad weather. Anyone who remembers the Colts-Bears Super Bowl in Miami a few years ago can attest to that, as that game was played in a driving rainstorm. If you can play the game in rain, then why can't you play it in a huge snowstorm?
This can be looked at as a risk-reward type of decision. And to me, the positives outweigh the negatives. If a Super Bowl in New Jersey turns out to be a success and is well-received, you're looking at opening the door to more of these games in cold-weather sites.
Think of NFL Cities, such as Green Bay, Kansas City, Seattle, Denver, and Foxborough. All of these cities are great football towns, and have state-of-the-art or historic stadiums.
If this were to be successful, the NFL could then look at expanding their base for the Super Bowl by allowing cities like these to bid for the game, and cities that could've never dreamed of hosting a Super Bowl could now get the game, and get the significant economic boost that the game would provide to those areas. Plus, just imagine a Super Bowl at Lambeau. That would be must-see TV.
Of course, there always is the possibility that this game could be a flop if it's awarded to New Jersey. The fans, players, sponsors, broadcasters all could hate it. What happens if that's the case? You just don't do it again. It's not as if the Super Bowl's reputation will be forever ruined if they decide ONE time to play the game at a cold weather site.
Tampa and Miami are both towns that have hosted plenty of Super Bowls in the past, and if they don't get this Super Bowl, they will surely have plenty of more opportunities to host.
But the NFL owes it to itself to at least try something new. If it works out, great, a whole new horizon is opened. If not, then just don't do it again. That's really all there is to it.
So it's up to you, Commissioner Goodell and the NFL owners. You can go the safe, but boring route and give the game to Tampa or Miami, who have hosted more than enough Super Bowls.
Or, you can take the risk of an exciting, new, route by playing the game in the largest media market, showcase a brand-new stadium, and potentially have a classic cold weather battle, the way football was meant to be played.
In my mind, it's a no-brainer. The 2014 Super Bowl should be awarded to New Jersey tomorrow afternoon.