With nearly a year’s worth of anticipation over, the first cold weather Super Bowl is finally here. Meteorologists everywhere are thanking Commissioner Roger Goodell for their opportunity to get more face time on every news broadcast in every football watching city, county, and state. Considered to be the ultimate experience for an athlete, the Super Bowl is also a monumental moment for the NFL and its executive board. The commissioner faced a lot of criticism for his decision to put the biggest game in an unknown environment, and as of last week’s weather forecast it looked like a very risky play.
Since then the forecast has become tolerable for both the players and the fans. It is the fans that have been the cause for pause as the NFL needed to address how they were going to keep thousands of people arriving into the NY area safe during their time here. With early predictions of temperatures in the 20’s, the NFL looked as though they were putting their fans in harm’s way in what typically is the largest television event of the year. That’s a money grab, and that’s exactly the perception the NFL did not want to have. This is a day to celebrate, but the celebration can’t quite happen until the day as a whole is over.
Now, forecasts are predicting weather in the lower 40’s and the high 30’s by the time the game will start. Broadway like music to the NFL’s ears. How the weather impacts the game is a different conversation all together. As Giants and Jets fans can tell you the Met Life Stadium has a meteorlogical life of its own. The winds have always tortured kickers and QBs since its birth. This could spell trouble for offensive minded teams much like Denver. Wind can actually change a teams’ game plan and that has been one of many topics discussed over the last 2 weeks in the media. Roger Goodell was asked at his State of the NFL address about the probability of future cold weather cities hosting another Super Bowl. He danced around the question speaking about the energy NY and NJ has brought and what a joy it has been. Energy is normally not a problem in the metropolitan area, but he did discuss how a city’s infrastructure will be a major concern before the NFL announces another cold weather Super Bowl. That bodes well for NY. Not too many cities nationwide have the ability to take on the influx of thousands of people. Boston, Chicago, and Denver should all be thrilled with their chances to be a cold weather host. Still Goodell is trying to propose a new idea to the NFL much like former Commissioner Pete Rozelle did when he created the Super Bowl by putting the championship game at a neutral site. These leaders made controversial decisions that impacted the end results of their product without knowing if it would be successful until its completion. In my opinion, Goodell has done a great job. We as fans, especially those of us who can participate in some of the NFL’s “experience” while it’s here in NY can thank Commissioner Goodell for his efforts and for the opportunity to tangibly touch the NFL and share in the experience with the players, coaches, and all of those involved in this event. Now the only question for all of us is… who wins??