On May 25, 2010, NFL owners elected to have Super Bowl XLVIII (or the 2014 Super Bowl) in East Rutherford, New Jersey. For the NFL and the Super Bowl, this is a fantastic move, and I’ll go on to discuss why I feel this way.
First off, New Meadowlands Stadium will be just as the name suggests – new. The 80,000+ seat stadium will be brand spanking new even in 2014, and even though many of the tickets will be a small fortune, New Meadowlands will still have no problem selling out Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014. Sun Life Stadium, the site of the 2010 Super Bowl wasn’t exactly the newest stadium in the country. 2011 will see the Super Bowl in Dallas, and it looks like the trend towards new stadiums could very well continue (with the 2013 in New Orleans being an exception.)
Of all the great reasons for Super Bowl XLVIII being hosted in New York though, that previous reason is probably the least influential and the least important. As for the important ones, I don’t even know where to start. I guess we could being with the fact that New York is the biggest television market in the United States, so having the 2014 Super Bowl in New York is obviously a good thing for the NFL. Also, because this is the first NFL Super Bowl in cold weather, the NFL will be able to promote it differently than ever before, and very much to their liking.
In sports, so many things have turned into a cash grab – a great example is how long the NBA playoffs are strung out, which is a can of worms I’ll perhaps open up in a later article. With the NFL being by far the biggest earner of any of the four major American sports, you know they’re interested in expanding the Super Bowl by hosting it in the Northeast. The Super Bowl is just as synonymous with football as any other sport’s championship, (except maybe the Champion’s League for soccer strictly speaking for Europe of course) and what better way to make money than to host it in the nation’s biggest TV market? A genius idea on the part of the NFL.
The 2014 Super Bowl has already been subject to controversy though. Many argue, “Why have the Super Bowl in a cold weather environment?” It’s true that Super Bowl 48 will be the first Super Bowl held outdoors in a cold weather environment. But I guess in all the hoopla that is American sports, we seem to have forgotten one thing. Football is a cold weather sport. Unlike baseball, it’s not played in the heat of the summer. Unlike basketball, it’s not played indoors (although it’s easy to argue that many games are domed now.) I know the first few games of the season are hot for many teams such as the Cowboys, the Dolphins, the Titans, etc. But outside of a select few (the Dolphins and Chargers being perhaps the only teams playing in a warm environment/open stadium year round), the majority of the games are played either in mild or cold weather. I think hosting Super Bowl XLVIII in a cold weather environment brings the game back to its roots.
Take this into consideration. If you name some of the most famous football games in history, the ones you’re most likely to think of are cold weather games. The Ice Bowl, the infamous “Tuck Rule” game where the Patriots defeated the Raiders in a near blizzard, the 1981 AFC championship game known as the “Freezer Bowl”, and the list goes on. Having the game in a cold weather environment provides the chance for unique weather conditions – sleet, slow, frozen ground, etc – which is how most of the football season is meant to be played. Football is a test of grit and toughness. How much grit is tested playing in a dome or near-tropical environments?
Don’t get that last paragraph wrong, I’m not bashing on football player’s toughness in the least bit. I played high school football and I know the hell you have to go through in football. Admittedly, I played in Texas where the two-a-days heat often exceeded 100 degrees so I never had the chance to experience a cold weather game (unless you count the final game of the year in which the temperature was around 40 degrees; I sense some Northerners just snickering at that statement.) But take into account the fact that Brett Favre grew up in Mississippi and played quarterback in Green Bay, which along with Buffalo is the coldest place in the NFL on average. He’s the definition of a cold weather quarterback. How will it look in three or four years if we see Payton Manning playing in a snowy game, and seeing how he reacts to it? Playing in cold weather offers another dimension to the NFL’s most famous game, the Super Bowl.
Finally, the argument most people have is, “Fans won’t enjoy a game in cold weather.” I beg to differ on that. As much as a Miami native or a Dallas native like myself would like 80 degrees, the game is still going to be a once in a lifetime experience for any fan. Besides, if your team wins the game, you could care less if you sat through 30 degree weather, and if your team loses, you’re going to be upset.
The only (and I do mean ONLY) rebuttal to having the 2014 Super Bowl in East Rutherford is the very reason I mentioned earlier – the media. The weeks leading up to the Super Bowl are already swarmed with enough media as it is. My only fear for Super Bowl XLVIII is if in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, the media offers too much of a “romanticized” outlook on the game. By that, I mean I don’t want the media to beat the famous games such as the Ice Bowl and the Freezer Bowl into the ground.
Whether you agree with my opinion is not is solely up to you; after all, that’s why it’s called an opinion. Hopefully I offered enough to back up why I feel the 2014 Super Bowl in New York is a good idea. If you don’t agree with the cold weather Super Bowl, then you better start “warming up” to the idea, because it’s happening regardless.
For those of you wondering what the average temperature in East Rutherford on Feb. 2 (the projected date of the Super Bowl is, the average high is 37 and the average low is 22.