Just another winter's night in New Jersey, pass the Mad Dog
I must say the news that
New York New Jersey was awarded Super Bowl 48 in 2014, following the 2013 season was not entirely a surprise to me. After the attacks on September 11, 2001 forced a postponement of the week two games back to January 2002 following the regular week seventeen, the topic of New York and Washington getting a Super Bowl in recognition of getting attacked or something was in vogue for a couple of years.
As these sorts of things are wont, nothing happened and the topic mercifully, at least for the league's sake, died, Americans having a persistent ability to live only in the present meant that everyone got to feel good about the idea with no real action being required, kind of like that college friend you really want to get together with for a drink but never find yourself getting it scheduled; you both know the intentions are sincere and that satisfies the social contract.
So that talk is gone and years later replaced with a wicked strong New York lobby led by Giants owners John Mara and Steve Tisch and Jets owner Woody Johnson, with the league's love of new stadiums and their attendant rejuvenation of a product nearing a hundred years old, these guys cornered the other owners and called in all their chits: outdoor Super Bowl in their brand spanking new stadium.
No the surprise was not that there will be a cold weather Super Bowl, the surprise is that it took this long to get on the schedule. And Washington can get in line for its own Super Bowl party... as soon as the Redskins have a shiny new venue, somewhere.
The politics around an outdoor Super Bowl are interesting, Seattle, Denver, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and New England have all opened new stadia in the past decade and Chicago's Soldier Field has had a major renovation, though there has been nothing new since 2003. So why is the league ready to make what some owners are referring to as a one time exception to the temperature rule now?
In some cases you can probably cross out a city on weather, maybe rainy Seattle, ten feet of snow in Denver and fucking cold for crazy people in Chicago. In other cases you can probably line out a team based on their standing in the franchise community, Cincinnati has been poorly run for most of the past twenty years, and Cleveland, whose new stadium opened in 1999, still has yet to find an identity as a reborn team.
So that leaves Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and New England. Hunh. Why would we wait until now to give a team an outdoor Super Bowl when these awesome new stadiums have been available for most of the last ten years?
According to Weather.com, the average February high and low temperatures and average February precipitation for the four cities are as follows:
Pittsburgh: 21/39 degrees Fahrenheit, 2.47 inches
Philadelphia: 28/42 degrees Fahrenheit, 2.74 inches
Boston: 24/39 degrees Fahrenheit, 3.30 inches
New York: 24/40 degrees Fahrenheit, 2.94 inches
So lows are in a seven degree band and highs are in a three degree band. Precip is in an eight tenths of an inch band.
Just for reference, Washington DC clocks into February with 30/47 degrees Fahrenheit with 2.63 inches of precip, warmer than the other three and with less precip than all but Pittsburgh where they don't drink water they drink Iron City but I digress.
So if we eliminate Boston based on precip, that three tenths differential is equivalent to one medium sized winter rain storm that leaves Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and New York with nearly identical stats.
How did New York get the game? Simple answer, the league is based in New York so it is a home game for the league itself, there are two teams playing in that new stadium and both owners are rich and powerful. That's the way it goes.
Reading into plans for dealing with weather, I see that the league is considering supply fire pits in the parking lot for the game (op. cit.), of course fire pits in New Jersey will evoke in your imagination a bunch of cirrhotic hobos standing around a barrel fire, in other words Giants fans. But since this will be a Super Bowl these hobos will be in 2000 dollar overcoats drinking Grey Goose martinis and dabbing something creamy off the corners of their mouths discussing Hamptons vacations instead of wearing a dead guy's peacoat and chugging Eight Ball between coarse mouthfuls of hoagie arguing about that time Rodney Hampton spit on them.
Further, heated seats and pocket hand warmers are also in the plan for dealing with the cold weather at New Meadowlands Stadium, these are two more items you would never give to a Giants fan. The Giants fan would use his switchbade to strip the seat warmer open and snort the contents or simply swing it at the face of his nearest neighbor. And Giants fans do not require pocket hand warmers, as the hands of a Giants fan remain resolutely in his pockets at all times when not engaged in holding a beer or flipping the bird at a ref, while en pocket the Giants fan's hand generates more than adequate heat from, er friction, rendering pocket hand warmers irrelevant and possibly even dangerous to the lower extremities.
And how funny is it that douchebag New Jersey governor Chris Christie is calling the league on its bullshit, neither team plays in New York so stop calling it the New York Super Bowl, it's in New Jersey.
Hobos around a barrel fire: from here via here and here.