Cold-weather Super Bowl gets mixed reaction

It's still more than four years away, but Super Bowl XLVIII will be played in New Jersey. The owners voted on that Tuesday, but the reaction to the decision was decidedly mixed.

A few months ago, if someone had said that the Super Bowl would be played in New Jersey in February, they most likely would have been discounted as being nuts or ill-informed. Tuesday, the NFL made it official by naming the new Giants and Jets stadium as the site of Super Bowl XLVIII.

The stadium, which will be the first outdoor Super Bowl in a cold-weather city, has the old-school players oozing out of the woodwork with their "we're tougher than the current-era players" chatter. While Minnesota and Detroit have hosted Super Bowls in the past, those games were played in domed stadiums, letting the better team win without the elements being part of the process.

It seems that was the original intent of the Super Bowl – to play the games in a warm-weather, neutral site to avoid giving one team a competitive advantage – is no longer the rule. Teams accustomed to playing outdoors in cold weather, much less the first week of February, would have an advantage heading into that game, which would seem to smack in the face of logic. However, New York's bid has other cold-weather cities thinking they should garner a Super Bowl as well.

Almost immediately after the announcement, word came out that the Boston and Washington areas would be potential future Super Bowl sites and some even argued the game should be played at Lambeau Field – clearly by people who have never been to Wisconsin in February and obviously by those who never had to sit on the steel planks that serve as stadium seats in the stadium. Don't even think of the logistics of having a Super Bowl in a town without adequate hotel space to handle the kind of crowd coming in.

The awarding of the Super Bowl to New Jersey is expected to bring in $500 million in revenue for the new stadium and the New York area. However, it would be a shame that a clearly political move by owners could somehow tip the balance of power in the big game. As hard as it is to win a championship, the potential for a foot of snow during the Super Bowl shouldn't be a hurdle teams have to face.

Fox Sports, however, likes the idea of televising the event from New York. Fox has the rights to that Super Bowl.

Fox Sports media group chairman and CEO David Hill called it "fantastic."

"It's the biggest sports event in the country on the country's biggest stage," he said in a statement. "It's different, and should create buzz for months leading up to it and if we're really lucky, it will begin snowing right after halftime."

Former Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, who is now an analyst for Fox, downplayed the weather angle.

"It's going to be great. It will add a new dimension to the game that we haven't seen in many years," he said. "Many of the NFL's most memorable games have been played in inclement weather. As a player, you'll play anywhere to have an opportunity to win a Super Bowl and as a fan, you'll be part of a historic game. The way I look at it, anyone who is worried about snow or if it will be too cold doesn't deserve to go to or play in a Super Bowl."


  • As expected, owners tabled discussion of expanding the overtime rule into the regular season. It doesn't have the ownership support the postseason plan had and will likely not be voted on until next year. For now, regular-season games that are tied at the end of regulation will be decided in sudden-death fashion.

  • Pat Williams and Kevin Williams officially filed their appeals of the district court ruling in the NFL's favor Tuesday. As a result, the league can't impose the four-game suspensions on them that were expected. Both are likely going to be eligible to play all season while the appeals process drags on.

  • Big news from the OTA practices – sort of. Jared Allen's trademark mullet is gone – shorn as part of his wedding plans. Who would have thought Allen's hair would be such a topic of discussion, much less having people clamoring for the return of his Kentucky Mudflap.

  • The Vikings are currently constructing the Gridiron Club at the Metrodome. Located in the office space formerly used by the Twins, the Gridiron Club will provide the Vikings with another revenue stream now that they are the only paying tenant of the dome. Naming rights are expected to be announced this summer.

    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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