The NFL waived its rule that the Super Bowl must be played in a stadium who's temperature averages weather above 50 degrees in the month the Super Bowl takes place, to allow for the Giants to enter the running (Oh, and the Jets too). The vote wasn't unanimous, taking four ballots to come to a final decision.
While I'm not sure allowing NY-NJ to enter the running was the greatest idea for the NFL, I'm excited to see how the experiment turns out. The NFL is taking a huge risk, and one snow storm could discount the chances of a Super Bowl ever being played at a cold-weather site again. Hopefully this Super Bowl will generate some revenue for the state that spent $1.6 billion on a new stadium in the troubled economic times, and bring us back to the days of old, when champions were decided in epic battles on the frozen tundra.
As a Giants season ticket holder, I can say a few things.
1. It gets really, really cold at the Meadowlands in January and February. Blistering cold.
Helpful Tip: Purchasing hand and feet warmers is a must. I'd also recommend a scarf, the sweatshirt and winter jacket combo, a nice thermal, some pajama pants to wear under the jeans, and of course, a vintage Giants snow cap for the ears. Throw a jersey on top of the sweatshirt and you're golden.
2. The Giants will be at a disadvantage if they make the Super Bowl that year. Have you seen Eli throw in the wind at that Stadium? It ain't pretty.
3. New York City will be colder than the Meadowlands. You will lose your toes waiting to see Hairspray if the winds are swirling in the city that week.
4. New York has great food and, from what I hear, great night life as well. I had a wonderful time gracing the open bar scene one night last winter, but I haven't been able to afford the non-open bar scene on my college salary of $0. People tell me it's something else though.
5. Hoboken is a cheap alternative with a nice young crowd for those of you recently eclipsing the age of 21. I'd recommend catching a live cover band at Willie McBrides.
6. I won't get a ticket for my seat even though I bought the personal seat license. Thousands of dollars to license a seat to my name and I don't even get to sit in it for the Super Bowl. Remind me again why I purchased that thing?
7. If you're looking for some food to hold you over during the game, DON'T go with the hot pretzel. At the Giants-Panthers game two years ago in December, I ordered a hot pretzel during the third quarter. There was only one left when I got to the front of the line. I spent 10 minutes sweating it out over whether or not I'd get one as I waited in line. As I was ordering, someone from the back came up front and put a bunch of new pretzels in the heated holder. The concession worker picked one from the batch, which I brought back to my seat. As I bit down into the so-called "hot pretzel", I learned a few things. For one, the hot pretzel had just come from the freezer in the back. Secondly, it was a cheese pretzel. And lastly, there were ice crystals in it. A frozen cheese pretzel in 15 degree weather was exactly what I needed to get me through the rest of the game. I felt the need to throw up more with each bite. I ate all of it. I was that hungry. But I may never order a hot pretzel at Giants Stadium again. Don't make the same mistake I did.
I truly believe this will turn out to be a great thing for the game. January weather is football. There's a reason the Super Bowl doesn't take place in August. Championships were meant to be fierce battles with bone-chilling hits that were only amplified by the frigid cold weather on the field. Bad weather has brought us "The Ice Bowl", "The Fog Bowl", "The Tuck Rule Game", and my personal favorite, "The Brett Favre chokes in his last game at Lambeau in 25 degrees below zero weather against the New York Giants Game!". Trust me people. This is good for the sport. It's a chance to mix things up for once. A chance to unite the game of old with the game of new.
Then again, the way Global Warming has affected the weather the last few years, by 2014, it might be 86 degrees in New Jersey and 15 degrees below in Tampa come February. Only time will tell.
Image taken from espn.com