When Feb. 2, 2014 arrives, the two teams participating in Super Bowl XLVIII will be making history, whether they like it or not. The New Meadowlands Stadium, home of the New York Giants and Jets, will be the first open-air stadium in a cold-weather region to host a Super Bowl. There are a lot of mixed emotions on the league’s decision to make New York the host, which is understandable.

On one side, you have the hardcore, gritty, every-game-should-be-outdoors football maniacs that love the idea of the game being played in the elements. They say the elements “should” play a part in the game and that this is the way football “should” be played. I can clearly see their point and I think the weather would make the game itself much more interesting. According to weather.com, the projected forecast breakdown for East Rutherford on Feb. 2, 2014 is as follows:

Average high 37 degrees
Average low 22 degrees
Mean 30 degrees
Record high 58 degrees
Record low -2 degrees
All temperatures in Fahrenheit

So, bottom line is it’s going to be cold. This projection doesn’t, however, factor in the effect that the wind and/or precipitation could have on the game. Obviously these aren’t the ideal conditions for the teams involved, but then again the NFL isn’t worried about pleasing the teams, they’re worried about the enormous amount of money the event draws. It is expected that the 2014 Super Bowl will generate approximately $550 million for the local economy.

In recent years, the hype surrounding the Super Bowl has become more important than the actual game, which has become almost an afterthought. So as long as the host city and the NFL is making money, everyone is happy. Well, everyone except the fans of the two teams involved. These are the people who have to sit in the freezing conditions to watch their teams play instead of in the usually warm Florida weather. Some people won’t mind either way, but I’m sure most of them would rather watch the game in shorts and a t-shirt rather than a hat, scarf and long johns.

With the decision New York being chosen to host the Super Bowl came the realization that many other major cities could host the game as well. Yes, this means Baltimore. Personally, I think Charm City would be a great place to host the event because of the city’s football history. Baltimore has been one of the top football towns in the country for years, with the exception of the 12-year hiatus where we didn’t have a team. M&T Bank stadium is new and modern enough to please the spectators attending the game. There is a lot to do in the city itself, as it pertains to the social aspect of the event. Most likely, the weather in early February wouldn’t be as blistering cold as it is in New York. And with the way Maryland weather is, it could actually be in the mid-50s at that point in the year. The one problem I see with Baltimore hosting the Super Bowl would be the lack of space to hold the thousands of people that would be flocking here from all over. I just don’t see where we would put everyone. I’m not even sure if Baltimore would even place a bid to host the game, but I’m pretty sure that it would have a hard time beating out the other cities that have previously hosted the game.

If nothing else, the decision to play the Super Bowl in a cold-weather climate is going to be groundbreaking. Every time I think of a meaningful “cold-weather” game I think of the 2001 divisional playoff game in Foxborough between the Raiders and the Patriots. This was one of the most memorable games in NFL playoff history. But I’m willing to bet that the lasting image most people have from that game is Adam Vinatieri kicking the game-winning field goal in the snow. Now, what if it hadn’t been snowing? People would still remember that game, but I guarantee it wouldn’t have the impact it had as a result of the weather conditions. People won’t remember this game nearly as much if it would’ve been 70 and sunny outside. Just something to think about…

Submitted by Steve Giles