I want snow. You want snow at this Super Bowl. Everyone who will be in front of television wants snow at this Super Bowl. Snow at the Super Bowl … Snow at the Super Bowl! The idea of the Broncos down, say, 21-17, late in the fourth quarter, with Peyton Manning driving through a light snow with MetLife Stadium's lights bleating down … it is the perfect mental image of football, an aesthetic white-washing of all the sport's sins. We all want it. Even those who have been sitting in two inches of snow for 18 hours on Atlanta highways want it.
The NFL doesn't want it, and the people schlepping out to the game via bus and sled dog don't want it, but honestly: Who cares what they think? (We're going to continue to pay them all anyway.) The game is for us, the television viewer at home safely ensconced in our artificially heated environs. The weather is only a problem for the people running the thing: They're simply the stagehands adjusting the lighting and studio conditions for our home theater experience.
But, if I may… there might be an argument for perhaps cheering for a snow-free, even relatively warm Super Bowl experience. (It's looking good for that, after all.) And that reason very well might involve your hometown team.
Suffice it to say, this Super Bowl is a test. If a cold-weather city can host a Super Bowl -- one that is actually a state over from the city itself and requires incredible coordination between countless municipal and state institutions -- and have it run smoothly, it will bode well for other cold-weather cities that might like their own Super Bowls. It can snow anywhere at anytime, but if you're another town with an open-air stadium that would like a Super Bowl someday, it sure would be nice to be able to point at the most recent open-air cold-weather Super Bowl and note that it wasn't a meteorological nightmare.
That sort of anecdotal decision-making -- it could snow, but it didn't, so it's fine! -- might seem illogical, but it isn't: It matters. Look at poor Atlanta. Atlanta hosted Super Bowl XXVIII in 1994, the last of the Bills' four Super Bowl losses in a row, and everything was fine. So it got another one six years later, Super Bowl XXXIV between St. Louis and Tennessee, and it was a disaster. That was the famous Black Ice Super Bowl; Atlanta was hit with a nasty winter storm right before Super Bowl week, and the teams couldn't get to the Georgia Dome to practice, and media members who covered the game still complain about how impossible to it was to get around that week. And guess what? Atlanta hasn't hosted the Super Bowl since then. Considering what Atlanta went through last night and is still going through today, it's difficult to argue the NFL isn't right to ignore them. Can you imagine if the Super Bowl were in Atlanta this week?
The next three Super Bowls are booked: 2015's Super Bowl XLIX is in Glendale, Arizona, 2016's Super Bowl L will be held at the 49ers' new stadium in Santa Clara, and 2017's Super Bowl LI will be Reliant Stadium in Houston's second opportunity to host a game (the first was Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004, when the Patriots beat the Panthers). 2018's field has already been narrowed to New Orleans, Indianapolis and Minneapolis, all of which have domes. (Early prediction: Indianapolis. Everyone who went to Super Bowl XLVI had a terrific time.) After that, South Florida and Tampa will be bidding like they always do -- it sure would be nice if there were a halfway decent stadium in Southern California, wouldn't it? -- but if MetLife Stadium can handle it, you can count on the following cities and stadiums making a big push. (I narrowed the list a bit, omitting a couple of the NFL cities brought up by SI.com's Chris Burke, specifically Chicago because of our own Dan Pompei's convincing case against it.)
FedEx Field, Washington. Dan Snyder is pushing hard for it. "We deserve a Super Bowl, we're the nation's capital. It makes all the sense in the world," he said earlier this year. "We have an enormous stadium for the Super Bowl. We can even put more room in here." Even though this game would involve Dan Snyder, Washington (well, Landover) is an appealing spot for the NFL, even though transportation sounds like a nightmare already.
CenturyLink Field, Seattle. The loudest atmosphere in the NFL would be understandably sedated for the Super Bowl, but it could still work. There might not be enough hotel rooms in the Seattle area, and it is a long way from everywhere else in the country, but the weather could be more "cold" than "snowy." They're certainly in the conversation.
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia. Philly has never hosted a major event like this, but its stadium has enough seats and they probably have enough hotels. Still, the sports complex being set off would lead to traffic issues, and you wonder, with the stadium being built in 2003, if they ever had a chance at one, they would have gotten one already.
Sports Authority Field, Denver. Denver is a terrific city with an excellent transportation system and would be a gorgeous locale for the Super Bowl. (Plus: The weed.) The issue of course here is weather, even though it's warmer in Denver right now than NYC and Atlanta. (Though not Sochi.) Denver can be unpredictable … but when it's perfect, it's perfect. More than any other place, Denver needs to be cheering for a snowless Super Bowl this year. Because they've got a real chance.
So, see? There's some reason to cheer against snow this weekend. And just be happy the entire sports world isn't in Atlanta right now.
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