Courtesy of MCT Campus
Jeff Seidel/Detroit Free Press
They could play the Super Bowl on the North Pole and people would still watch it.
Instead, they picked a place far worse.
The Seattle Seahawks will play the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., and it will be the first Super Bowl played on a field above the remains of Jimmy Hoffa.
No. Whoops! New Jersey has a new stadium, which is the main reason this will be the first Super Bowl played in an outdoor stadium in the dead of winter.
Which is all good fun for polar bears.
But it is seriously messing up the travel plans of hundreds of sports writers and thousands of rich, corporate ticket holders, who would rather be anywhere else.
But this Super Bowl will be a boon to weather forecasters across the nation.
For the next two weeks, we will be bombarded with countless, overblown reports about the weather in N.J. and how it might affect the game.
In East Rutherford, the record high on Feb. 2 was 66 degrees and the record low minus-8, according to weather.com.
That sounds like we are headed for a wonderful, classic showdown: This Super Bowl will come down to Mr. Heat Miser vs. Mr. Snow Miser.
Which means it could be really cold and nasty, and that’s gonna seriously bum out Bruno Mars, who is scheduled to do the halftime show.
Or it might be unseasonably warm and balmy, which will make Peyton Manning happy.
Or, maybe, it will be both. Warm and then cold. As they say in these parts, that’s just one day of weather in Michigan.
WARMING UP TO MANNING AGAIN
On Sunday, the temperature was 63 degrees for the AFC championship in Denver as Manning threw for 400 yards and two touchdowns in a 26-16 victory over the New England Patriots.
“It’s an exciting feeling,” Manning told reporters. “We have done something special here, and you want to win one more.”
How will Manning perform in a potentially frigid Super Bowl?
Mr. Omaha! Omaha! has long battled the perception that he struggles in frosty weather, but some losses came in Game 17s when he played only a few snaps or when he had the lesser team.
But this has been a season where Manning has destroyed inaccurate, outdated perceptions about him.
Perception No. 1: Manning is all washed up, and he will never come back from his neck injury! And then, all he did was throw for 5,477 yards and 66 touchdowns on his way to an MVP award.
Perception No. 2: Manning can’t beat Tom Brady or the Patriots in the playoffs! And then all he did was carve up the Patriots on Sunday.
Perception No. 3: Manning can’t win in the cold. Earlier this year, the temperature dipped below 20 before the Broncos played Tennessee, and Manning responded by throwing for 397 yards and four touchdowns in a 51-28 win.
After the game, when asked about people who think he can’t play in cold weather, Manning told Denver radio station, KOA-AM: “Whoever wrote that narrative can shove that where the sun don’t shine.”
Funny thing is, it won’t be shining in New Jersey either.
No matter the weather, this game will be a great matchup featuring Manning against Seattle’s great defense.
BEST TEAM MIGHT NOT WIN
Call me old fashioned, but football was created to be played outdoors. Except, you know, for the Lingerie Bowl.
I’m a sucker for the frozen tundra and the Ice Bowl and even our own recent Snow Bowl when the Lions played Philadelphia this season in a thick blanket of snow.
Is there a downside to playing in the elements? Of course. The best team might not win.
So be it. Let the gamblers worry about that.
At the very least, it should make this game compelling and interesting in a different way.
If they are going to play this game in New Jersey, I hope to goodness it’s in the middle of a blizzard.