Saturday, January 25, 2014

Playing the Super Bowl in the Elements? Not a Big Deal.

So here we are. My last Steelers post was some time ago and after the way the season ended and after the way the season started I would have probably been better off just trying not to think about football. But, again, here we are.

The Super Bowl (two words people) has been getting a lot of attention this year, well more than normal, because of where it is being played. It will be at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Typically the Super Bowl has been either played in a warm weather client or in a dome. The main reason was that they want the playing field to be level for both teams and have a clean game. I am here to say, why?

That is somewhat of a rhetorical question, but if you feel the need to answer I have an idea of what you are going to say. Nobody wants to play in the cold and you don’t want a snow day ruining the Super Bowl and if these are supposed to be the two best teams in the league then you want as little outside influence as possible when determining that winner.

I am here to say that if you believe in the rest of the NFL playoffs then you are doing it wrong. Basic premise point here: why is it OK to determine those two teams playing in the Super Bowl by playing in every kid of weather imaginable and then completely flipping the script and nearly taking the outside elements out of the game? It’s a valid question that I don’t really think that anyone has answered it. Well, as far as I have seen.

I know the media are pushing the agenda that this is going to be a terrible Super Bowl if it is cold or if it snows but why is that any different than Seattle and Denver playing in horrible rain this year in the division rounds? Or what about Green Bay and San Francisco playing in sub-zero wind chills in the wild card round? What about the tuck rule game between Oakland and New England back in 2001 in the divisional round?

I am all for seeing good football but I don’t think that means it has to be played in warm weather.

Before we get into anything else lets take look at the weather conditions for every playoff game (sans Super Bowl) since the 2009 season. All weather reports are taken from the official NFL.com game book. I gave the temperature and cloud cover/rain/snow/etc. I also gave wind conditions when they were in the upper teens. When I could I included the outside temperature for retractable roof games just to give an idea about what the outside weather was like. I choose to go back to 2009 just to give a small snapshot into the games.

2013

Wild Card
Kansas City at Indianapolis - Roof closed. 36 outside
San Diego at Cincinnati - 42 and cloudy
San Francisco at Green Bay - 5 and mostly cloudy and wind chill of (-10)
New Orleans at Philadelphia - 25 and clear

Divisional
Indianapolis at New England - 57 and rain and 18 mph wind with 29 mph gusts
San Diego at Denver - 41 and partly cloudy with 17 mph wind
New Orleans at Seattle - 48 and rain with 20 mph wind
San Francisco at Carolina - 54 and sunny

Conference Championship
New England at Denver - 63 and sunny
San Francisco at Seattle - 43 and cloudy

2012

Wild Card
Cincinnati at Texas - 46 and showers
Indianapolis at Baltimore - 49 and cloudy
Seattle at Washington - 52 and cloudy
Minnesota at Green Bay - 29 and cloudy

Divisional
Baltimore at Denver - 13 and partly cloudy
Texas at New England - 51 and cloudy
Green Bay at San Francisco - 48 and cloudy
Seattle at Atlanta - Dome

Conference Championship
Baltimore at New England - 41 and clear
San Francisco at Atlanta - Dome

2011

Wild Card
Cincinnati at Texas - 75 and fair
Pittsburgh at Denver - 40 and sunny
Atlanta at New York - 44 and partly cloudy
Detroit at New Orleans - Dome

Divisional
Texas at Baltimore - 31 and sunny
Denver at New England - 24 and partly cloudy and 20 mph winds
New Orleans at San Francisco - 62 and sunny
New York at Green Bay - 31 and sunny and 20 mph winds

Conference Championship
Baltimore at New England - 29 and cloudy
New York at San Francisco - 52 and rain and 15 mph winds

2010

Wild Card
Baltimore at Kansas City - 26 and cloudy and 15 mph winds
New York at Indianapolis - Roof closed. 15 and cloudy outside
Green Bay at Philadelphia - 30 and sunny and 18 mph winds
New Orleans at Seattle - 40 and cloudy

Divisional
Baltimore at Pittsburgh - 36 and cloudy and 17 mph winds
New York at New England - 30 and clear and 14 mph winds
Seattle at Chicago - 24 and cloudy
Green Bay at Atlanta - Dome

Conference Championship
New York at Pittsburgh - 17 and partly cloudy
Green Bay at Chicago - 20 and partly cloudy and 14 mph winds

2009

Wild Card
New York at Cincinnati - 21 and cloudy
Baltimore at New England - 20 and sunny
Philadelphia at Dallas - Roof closed. 34 outside
Green Bay at Arizona - Roof closed.

Divisional
Baltimore at Indianapolis - Roof closed. 34 and cloudy outside
New York at San Diego - 63 and sunny
Arizona at New Orleans - Dome
Dallas at Minnesota - Dome

Conference Championship
New York at Indianapolis - Roof closed. 50 outside
Minnesota at New Orleans - Dome


Super Bowls (Years are in the season where the regular season took place. So 2012 would be last years Super Bowl)

2012 - Dome
2011 - Retractable Roof
2010 - Retractable Roof
2009 - 61
2008 - 53
2007 - Retractable Roof
2006 - 66 and rain
2005 - Dome
2004 - 55
2003 - 72
2002 - 67
2001 - Dome
2000 - 57

This was actually pretty interesting to me. Going in I actually anticipated that there would be more cold weather games but for the most part you can see that playoff games were played to a mix of temperatures. Of the 50 games that I have highlighted above 17 of them were played in temperatures that were below 40 degrees with a handful of games being played where the temperatures was exactly 40 degrees.

Typically for a dome or retractable roof game the temperatures inside is about 65 or 70 degrees. We will take the low end on that and give you the average for the Super Bowl since the Year 2000. The average temperature of the past 13 Super Bowls is just a shade over 63 degrees. With that being said 28 of the 50 playoff games were played with temperatures below 50 degrees.

So again I am going to ask, why is it OK for the supposed two best teams to be determined by playing in the elements but everything is done to play this game with no weather. I get it, there are actual problems. If there is snow in New Jersey for the Super Bowl this season it could make it very hard for people to get to the game and that isn’t good. But that is an auxiliary problem. On the field we have teams that have played through rain and snow to get there and now we are going to continue to do that through the big game.

I get the reason people don’t want this played in open aired stadiums in the North but lets try to calm down on the outrage that it somehow taints the result of the game. This is how the entire season is determined so, why change now? I know this isn't an easy answer and there really is no answer but what happens if say a cold weather Packers or Bears or Steelers or Giants team goes through the back half of the regular season and the playoffs playing in rain and snow and cold and then get to the Super Bowl where it is 75? Why shouldn't there at least be a chance that it could be in a cold weather venue? Or should the playoffs all be played in warm climates? Who knows.

I don't know what I want but I want the end to the complaining about this being the wrong way to play the Super Bowl. Nobody had any problems until now about it.

The forecast, as of right now, for the Super Bowl in New Jersey has the high of 35 with a chance of some snow. The wind is going to be around 8 mph. Is that really all that horrible? To me, it’s not. This should be a fun Super Bowl to watch despite the weather and if the snow games during the regular season were any indication then it should make it extra interesting. If you are the best team shouldn’t you win regardless?

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