Miami’s Lesson: Let the Super Bowl be Played Anywhere
by Jennifer Jordan
Anyone who lives in a “cold climate,” has probably wondered why the Super Bowl is never played in their city. They may have a large stadium, good transportation, great sports bars, nice hotels, and zealous fans: they may be the epitome of a sports town. No, no, the authorities say in reply to their plea, We don’t want to play anywhere there could be bad weather, unless you have a covered field. Doh!, or rather, Dome!
In keeping with the tradition of don’t play the Super Bowl in the elements that football was made for, Miami provided the NFL with a bit of irony last Sunday. It was the first rainy Super Bowl in the history of the game, played in a city known for sun. Miami was cold, dreary, and the rain came down so hard that, while bears and colts lined up eleven by eleven, other species lined up two by two. In comparison, Denver, a “cold climate” area, was nearly 50 degrees with zero precipitation; no one rained on their parade, no Denver animals anxiously waited for an Ark to arrive.
Come rain or shine, Miami is a great place to have a Super Bowl; quite frankly, it’s an ideal, exciting city with an environment conducive to the hype of a world championship. But, it’s hardly the only city with this criteria.
Limiting the Super Bowl to a handful of cities when fans from all over America dedicate half of their yearly Sundays to cheering, grunting, and rooting for the team they love isnâ€˜t fair. It, in a word, is “Place-ism.” No city in the NFL should be kept from hosting the league’s greatest game. After all, it’s a championship game that belongs to all of us: we are the National Football League.
Some may disagree. Someone might point out that a place such as Denver will never see a Super Bowl because a blizzard could shut down the city. This argument is particularly poignant in light of recent storms; Old Man Winter has been shaking Colorado up like a snow globe whenever he gets bored. Yet, this argument can apply to any element of weather. Sure Denver has snow, but past Super Bowl destinations have weather elements even more capable of wrecking havoc: California has earthquakes, Texas has tornadoes, and Florida has hurricanes (sure, not very likely in February, but with Global Warming, anything can happen). Detroit and Minneapolis, two cities that have played Super Bowl host, are even more prone to blizzards than Denver. They might have a dome, but only on the stadium; the arena roof does not protect the city from the factors of climate.
No matter where the Super Bowl is held, there is a risk that Mother Nature will swoop in and call timeout. If recent tragedies have taught us anything, it is that nature has a mind of her own; she simply can’t be controlled. Refusing to allow any NFL city to host the Super Bowl, however, can be.
It’s time to quit limiting the game to certain venues. It’s time to stop prohibiting certain cities from the economic prosperity the Super Bowl brings. It’s time to allow the game to be played in any stadium with an NFL team. It’s time for football fans to stand up and give Mother Nature their version of the giant foam finger.
Honestly, isn’t part of football bad weather? Isn’t part of the game slipping and sliding and catching a touchdown in a puddle of mud? Isn’t part of football tailgating with bowls full of chili and thermoses filled with hot chocolate? Isn’t part of football putting on a 1970’s Cleveland Brown’s hat so that your ears don’t freeze? Isn’t part of football being strong enough to stand the elements, whatever they may be? After all, we are tough, we are football fans…it’s not like we are talking about baseball here.
When it comes down to it, this year’s Super Bowl in Miami can be a turning point in professional football: it taught us that two teams can play a championship game in bad weather and the better team will still win. Sure, there were parts of the game where weather may have played a role – the best clutch kicker in NFL history missing a chip shot, receivers falling on wet grass, and both teams have more first half turnovers than a neighborhood bakery, but all that mattered was the outcome: the outcome was not dictated by the climate.
The conditions in Miami, theoretically, should have worked in Chicago’s favor. Chicago plays half its games in wind, rain, sleet, and snow; Indianapolis practically plays on carpet. But, it turns out that Mother Nature’s stint as a Super Bowl 12th man has always been overblown; her number is up and the idea of playing this game only in nice weather venues should be as well. Place-ism ends here.