Next Super Bowl teams will have to weather storm

daniels    It would be one of the great stories in all of sports: the New Orleans Saints, in the return of head coach Sean Payton, make a return trip to the Super Bowl.
    NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell hands the Lombardi Trophy to Payton as the Saints triumph in the first Gotham City Super Bowl.
    It is a great dream. And, early next year, if it becomes reality, the Saints will have not only defeated the AFC champion, but, likely, the elements, as well.
    The Super Bowl in a cold-weather city is not only a bad idea, but it also potentially offers one team a huge competitive advantage over another.
    In January 2007, the Saints lost to the Bears in the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field in Chicago.
    In Chicago, game-time temperature was 28 degrees. It was breezy, but not windy (there’s a difference).
    And, despite the somewhat moderate temperatures, the Saints’ offense was clearly affected by weather.
    Drew Brees completed 29 of 47 passes for 319 yards. But 88 of those yards came on a short pass to Reggie Bush, who broke free and raced to the end zone.
    The Saints turned the ball over four times. The Bears had zero turnovers and one penalty.
    The game was a classic case of a dome team going outside to play in far less than perfect conditions.
    The Saints would not say the weather was a factor. But, of course it was. Final: Bears 39, Saints 14.
    During Super Bowl week in New Orleans, Goodell defended the choice of New York/New Jersey.
    “The game is meant to be played in the elements,” said Goodell.
    Then in a huge reach, Goodell added this nugget: “Some of our most classic games were played in extreme weather conditions.”
    Goodell of course, cited the Dec. 31, 1967, NFL Championship Game at Green Bay. The Packers won the “Ice Bowl,” a game played in minus-15 degree temperatures and a wind chill of 48 degrees below zero.
    What Goodell didn’t say is the same NFL season ended with Super Bowl II, a Packers’ win over the Raiders in Miami’s Orange Bowl.
    Fast forward 45 years later. On the weekend of Feb. 9 and 10, a blizzard paralyzed the East Coast. Thousands of flights were canceled. Schools were closed, starting Friday.
    The message was simple, stay home.
    During the week, as New York and New England prepared for the storm, we heard forecasters say the potential severity of the storm was extreme, even for the East Coast.
    The fact is snow storms in New York in February are common events, just like hurricanes in south Louisiana in August and September.
    So, the NFL crosses its fingers, knowing that the real reason for the Super Bowl at the Meadowlands is a payback for the Giants and Jets privately funding MetLife Stadium.
    In the days leading up to the Super Bowl, the NFL will say over again that football is the same indoors or outdoors.
    But, a New Orleans native knows better. Quarterback Peyton Manning is 0-4 in playoff games when the temperature is 40 degrees or below.
    The NFL’s decision to play its signature game in New York is myopic – and strictly financial.
    Ed Daniels is sports director of ABC26 WGNO. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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