Reporting from Super Bowl XLVIII: Nor’easter
by John Delach
Any rationale sports fan who is capable of being objective must realize that scheduling a Super Bowl game outdoors in the New Jersey Meadowlands at night in February brings with it the high probability that the game will be played in awful conditions. And with tickets having a face value of $1,000 each or more and re-sale prices in amounts two and three times face, many of those who attend the game will think of themselves not as hearty pioneers, winter soldiers or trend setters; no, I expect the terms of dupe, dope, sucker or fool will be closer to the truth.
But undeterred, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Super Bowl XLVIII Host Committee kicked off their 2014 campaign as far back as 2011 with a full-page ad in local newspapers featuring their logo showing the George Washington Bridge with a large NY and a NJ separated by a snowflake. The ad copy read as follows:
A SUPER BOWL SO HISTORIC
IT TAKES TWO STATES TO HOST IT.
In February 2014, New York and New Jersey will host the very first outdoor cold-weather
Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium. It’s football like it was meant to be played-
In the open, exposed to whatever winter throws our way.
Chutzpah unlimited. Reminds me of Razzle Dazzle from Chicago:
Give ‘em the old hocus pocus
Bead and feather ‘em
How can they see with sequins in their eyes?
What if your hinges all are rusting?
What if, in fact, you’re just disgusting?
RAZZLE, DAZZLE ‘EM
AND THEY’LL NEVER CATCH WISE!
The elephant in the room that the NFL is doing its best to ignore is the Nor’easter, that peculiar atmospheric condition that happens each winter. I’m no meteorologist but I can read a weather map.
It begins when the Jet Stream aligns itself so that it leaves the Pacific Ocean to the north around the U.S. – Canadian border. It plows east into Idaho, but makes a right, diving down into Wyoming though Colorado heading south barreling into New Mexico before entering West Texas where it takes a left turning in an easterly direction. This spells trouble for the Northeast as the warm side of the Jet Stream stirs up all that moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.
The Stream goes into overdrive, a non-stop express, pushing all of the accumulated moisture East-Northeast following the coast along the Carolinas heading our way. Unless there is enough blow from the Mid-west to take it out to sea that Nor’easter will dump a lot of what was once warm, salt water on East Rutherford, New Jersey. And it need not be snow to ruin the football game.
The 2014 NFL regular season ended on Sunday, December 29th providing a preview of what may be expected on Groundhog Day, February 2, 2014, coincidentally, Super Bowl XLVIII Sunday. If you, by some remote chance, happened to watch any part of the contest between the Washington Redskins and the New York Giants played at Met Life Stadium that day you saw a game played in a Nor’easter.
I had my season ticket for this game and decided to attend this affair with my Port Washington buddies, weather permitting. In fact, I even agreed to drive. And the early forecast was great; sunny with temperatures in the mid-40s. As the week went on, it only became better and by Thursday morning the predicted high for Sunday had soared to 50 degrees. But on Thursday night I heard the first ominous prediction that a Nor’easter was forming off of Texas that would strike the Metropolitan area on Sunday morning. By Friday, the prediction was solid and I texted my buddies declaring a Force Majeure that would prevent me from attending after all. (Having a season ticket in excess of 50 years gives me the right to declare a Force Majeure when I deem it appropriate.)
Good call, the rains arrived promptly at 10 am and didn’t end until 6 pm. The Giants won the game 20 to 6 in what was a war of attrition. Granted these are not Super Bowl caliber teams, but a storm like this would raise havoc with the quality of play for any team, its players and would provide the ticket holders with an experience of utter misery similar to what soldiers experienced at Stalingrad, the Bulge or North Korea. The only exceptions were the fortunate few with luxury box tickets, club seat lounges or the resourceful who say, “The hell with it,” and watch the event on HDTV’s from the bars inside Met Life Stadium.
I’m not even talking snow. THE NFL says they can move the game to Saturday night or Monday night in the face of a blizzard. I say good luck with that!
But that’s just me, still beating that old dead horse that the NFL just cares about television and the fans be damned. Yeah, I’m sure it will all be fine. No polar vortex or “snowmaggedon.”
Then again, for those of you who are curious or don’t recall 1969, may I suggest that you Google: “Lindsay snowstorm.”