When the site for Super Bowl XLVIII was announced on Tuesday, I wasn’t very surprised.
After all, New York is the mecca of the United States, a true cultural phenomenon. It is the “Big Apple,” the media capital of a country that loves its stars. It made sense.
Well, it sort of made sense.
It was almost inevitable the NFL would give in to the lobbying of New York's dignitaries, especially Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He has a lot of credibility in this country and surely had a large part in getting this thing done.
Kind of ironic how both the Giants and Jets play in New Jersey, isn’t it?
Ah, well, it’s only a few miles from the New York border and will be a media circus—a true frenzy, fitting for the biggest game played in the nation’s most popular sport. Super Bowls have garnered distinct attention for decades, but having it right next to New York will magnify it a hundredfold.
But what about the actual game?
The Super Bowl is annually played in the dead of winter; thus, it's usually in a warm-weather city like Tampa Bay, New Orleans or San Diego. Those cities present a platform where beautiful weather coincides with giddy fans to make memorable games, not to mention a level playing field.
New York in the winter? Not so much.
The average high in New York in February is 37 degrees, while the average low is 22 degrees. It’s not ideal weather for the biggest game the NFL has to offer, nor is it the best atmosphere for a fan to enjoy the game—that is, unless, some fans enjoy wearing winter coats and snow hats while watching the Super Bowl.
The issue to me pertains strictly to the product on the field. We all know the city will have an enormous amount of pre-game activities taking place, but what about, you know, the game?
What if it snows or hails on that day in 2014? What effect would such in climate conditions have on the competition (see: the product) on the field? Do fans want to see quarterbacks fumbling snaps or kickers trying to nail that 44-yard field goal through a blur of white snowflakes?
Teams play in cold weather to get to the Super Bowl. The reward for reaching the pinnacle of the sport should be to have a game in which surrounding factors won't have an effect on the biggest game most players will ever play in their career.
After this announcement, more cold-weather teams will clamor to host the shindig in their home city as well. If New York can get one, why won’t a city like Foxboro or Pittsburgh? I know those are far fetched odds, but it must be considered.
The 2014 Super Bowl is more like a giant experiment more so than an actual football game. If it works out, why wouldn’t the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell reasonably consider other cold-weather cities when it comes to hosting the Super Bowl?
If the project becomes a disaster and unfolds like the Patriots-Raiders playoff game in the early 2000s, it won’t be good for the league. The Super Bowl draws so many casual fans—people who just want to drink some beer and have fun—that they don’t want to see a 7-3 game being played in a hailstorm.
It is an interesting idea and the effects won’t be known until that day almost four years from now but if all goes according to plan, then perhaps it may set a precedent for the league to consider. The future beyond this game will truly depend on how “Super” this game will be.
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