Every Monday morning, Section 215’s Akiem Bailum gives an in-depth and unfiltered look at all of the weekend’s NFL action in The Monday Morning Realist. You can follow Akiem on Twitter @Li495Akiem.
With no actual football being played this previous week (unless you count this year’s Pro Bowl which, to the Realist’s delight was halfway decent this time), we decided to go in a different direction this week.
As all eyes converge on New York and New Jersey for the Super Bowl, one element will be played up in much of this week’s leadup to the Big Game.
That element pertains to “the elements”—and we’re not talking Earth, Wind, and Fire.
Well, maybe wind.
That as well as snow. It is January heading into February, and anyone who knows anything about northeastern winters knows that it’s not exactly sunny Honolulu, Hawaii for the Pro Bowl.
Weather conditions in the Tri-State area have been frigid, thanks to a second helping of “polar vortex”. Throughout this week, crews have worked tirelessly at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey as they have attempted to clear out any snow from the field as well as the stands.
WABC-TV Channel 7 in New York has its weather forecast listed as at 36 degrees and mostly cloudy with a chance for a rain or snow shower. It will feel like 31 degrees.
That’s the daytime forecast. The game will be played at night (unless Goodell decides to take a drastic move and put the Big Game on Saturday, which has been reported by some media outlets).
The nighttime forecast has a low of 28 degrees with it feeling like 21 degrees with 7 mile per hour winds.
By the way, the Saturday forecast, according to Gotham’s Channel 7—a high of 39 (with it feeling like 38) and cloudy, also with a chance of a snow shower. Nighttime will be 28 degrees (with it feeling like 21) with seven mile per hour winds.
So the Saturday forecast is almost the same, temperature-wise as the Sunday forecast meaning there is virtually nothing to be gained by Goodell if he were to take the drastic step in moving the game to Saturday.
After all, Goodell was the one who originally had the idea of putting a Super Bowl in the cold climate of New York and New Jersey, and knowing when these games are supposed to take place, it is probably too late for him to do a 180 on the Big Apple now.
For the game itself, most are already calling the game a major failure because of the fact that it may lead to the biggest football game of the year being affected by “the elements”.
This is hypocritical, because some of the most famous football games in history are so because they were played in fog, or snow, or rain.
For all the talk there is about how pundits do not want the Super Bowl to be decided by Mother Nature, she played an integral role in that Super Bowl that occurred in South Florida—the region of the country that gets more rain than anyplace else, by the way.
And, of course, last year at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans, a blackout occurred shortly after Beyonce’s halftime show performance when it looked like it would be a Baltimore Ravens blowout of the San Francisco 49ers. After the blackout, Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers made a furious comeback and nearly won the game.
An ideal scenario would be to make sure that every single Super Bowl from this point forward would be played in domes, like that in New Orleans, or Detroit’s Ford Field (site of Super Bowl XL—the last one the Seattle Seahawks participated in).
But, as was shown last year in the Crescent City, it’s not just weather that can affect the Big Dance.
A cold weather Super Bowl will not affect the status of Goodell’s Super Bowl in New York and New Jersey experiment being either a success or failure. Yeah, it’s for the Lombardi Trophy. Yes, it’s in the bright lights of the City that Never Sleeps. Yes, there’s a crazy (and possibly unbearable) amount of media surrounding this game given that it is the Super Bowl and in the largest media market in the country.
But, when it comes down to it, this game will be treated just like any other game played in the cold weather. The rules don’t change just because it’s the Super Bowl.
The game won’t be a failure just because it is not being played in the supposedly warm climates of Houston, Phoenix, Dallas/Fort Worth, San Diego, New Orleans, Tampa, Miami, or Jacksonville.