Lamar Hunt was alive to see the Chiefs awarded the rights to the game. He deserved it, being that the game wouldn't have existed without him. In 2006, the Chiefs made it to the playoffs, but didn't make it to the Super Bowl. Earning the rights to host the game effectively became the closest the team has gotten to the game at all since 1969.
Rolling Roof was the only obstacle in Lamar Hunt's Super Bowl dream.
AP Photo Archive
The game was nine years away, giving the Chiefs the longest wait time to prepare for the game of any host city for the Super Bowl. Although the renovations passed with ease, the roof did not. Hence, the Chiefs withdrew themselves from hosting the Super Bowl. I wasn't alive to see the Chiefs lose in the first Super Bowl, but hearing the Chiefs withdraw their names from Super Bowl XLIX, it felt just as painful. It was the Super Bowl we literally lost.
The NFL has a "50 degree rule" which states that all NFL host cities should have median temperatures above that in early February. Clearly, Kansas City doesn't fit into that category, but the same goes for New Jersey. What the Giants and Jets benefit from is the fact that they play in the United States' biggest media market.
Kansas City is nowhere near the top of the list, and it almost made me angry hearing on ESPN how "New York is the rightful city" to host the game. First of all, somebody needs to inform the ESPN experts that the Giants and Jets play in New Jersey. Second of all, they need to know that Kansas City was going to host this game, and surely still can even without a roof.
Sadly, the Chiefs probably won't host the game in the foreseeable future, even if the NFL tests out other "cold weather" markets. The simple fact is that Kansas City is not considered a big media market. Dan Snyder and Robert Kraft have already boasted how they feel that their teams deserve to host the game, and surely others will start begging as well.
Cold weather cities with open-air stadiums such as Washington, New England, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh will surely get the call simply because they have much bigger media markets than, say, Kansas City and Green Bay. Although Arrowhead went through an enormous facelift, those cities all boast newer stadiums as well.
Now, I know that around the Truman Sports Complex there aren't many hotels and attractions, which are almost essential to tourists at the Super Bowl. There's not much around Meadowlands Stadium either. You have to drive to New York City for all that.
The NFL is testing out new places to host the game, and Meadowlands Stadium is simply the first step. There's already been chatter of awarding a future Super Bowl game to Wembley Stadium in London, and the fiftieth game to the city of Los Angeles — back where the first game was held.
If you ask me, if there was any "cold weather" stadium worthy of hosting the Super Bowl, it would be at Lambeau Field. But the NFL wouldn't dare host the Super Bowl there because they know the stands would pretty much be empty and tourists would be silly to buy a $2,000 ticket to freeze to death – unless, of course, it's the Packers playing in the game. I'm sure Vince Lombardi would be proud of playing in the elements; after all, it's his name that's on the trophy.
I, for one, am all for having the Super Bowl played in the elements. If the AFC and NFC Championships are sometimes played in harsh conditions, then the Super Bowl should be too. I sure will feel bad for whichever team loses in Super Bowl XLVIII if it's because of the weather, especially if they play in a domed stadium.
Does New Jersey deserve a Super Bowl?
But they will have to adapt. It will prove that they are truly champions if they can alter their game plan to meet the conditions. The modern NFL players and fans need to embrace football's history. The Ice Bowl quickly comes to mind as how football should be played — outdoors with no comfort.
I'll also feel bad for whichever band plays during the halftime show, but maybe they can ask Earth, Wind, and Fire to play in the elements.
The posh celebrities and wealthy tourists will probably claw each other for the box suite tickets to Super Bowl XLVIII at the Meadowlands, but every year at Arrowhead, I'll sit in my seat in the freezing cold and feel at home. While the seats may be covered in snow or even sparsely occupied, it should still be an interesting championship game in 2014.
I can't wait to see Super Bowl XLVIII in a few years, but I feel bad for the Chiefs and any other small market teams being ignored in their right to host the game. If it weren't for Lamar Hunt and Vince Lombardi, there wouldn't be a Super Bowl, and the best way to pay back that favor is to play the game in the elements.
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