Monday, January 27th, wind chill well below freezing.

Welcome to the Super Cold Bowl in New York (I mean New Jersey — sometimes, depends on who is listening). Location be damned, these towns are ready for the Super Bowl. For anyone familiar with New York City, it is just like it always is only much colder than you remember. Aside from a ridiculous amount of signage constantly reminding the uninformed that there is an NFL game this Sunday, the city is the same. Not sure how anyone could change this place short of a nuclear explosion. New York will always be New York. Denny Green could be paraphrased to say, “New York (instead of the Bears) is what we thought it was!” People are much too rough around the edges. Rats freely roam the streets. Accents tell anyone paying attention that this continues to be a city of immigrants.

The Host Committee seems committed to protect the uninformed from the reality of what New York City is — a brash metropolis of people constantly in a hurry, too eager to jump in-front of an on coming bus or taxi to grab the most slight advantage at the endless intersections which conspire to interrupt ones journey. The host committee serves as a prophylactic to the salt dusted sidewalks, honking horns of the indignant, bitting chill of the wind that cuts straight to the bone. They have done this by making it preferable to remain in the cozy confines of the Media Center where air temperature is carefully regulated and free (yes free) massages, shaves, shoe shines are available to the minions whose job is to document and tell the world that an outdoor Super Bowl in a region where the average kick-off temperature is in the mid 20º range was a good idea.

Long term forecasts are favorable for pulling off the game without a hitch. The week leading up to the game will be ridiculously cold (single digits), but warming (mid 30’s) is expected for the weekend. My problem is that it is so damned cold that it is all to easy to forget about the teams and the players who will be stepping on the grid-iron in six days time. All attention is on the elements and this fact alone makes this experiment a failure. Even leading up to the icy disaster of Super Bowl 44 all attention was on the game. With the full knowledge that Mother Nature could not interfere with a game held in the Palace in Dallas — they after all, despite not being in a cold weather climate, HAVE A ROOF! The roof ended up proving invaluable for a once in a century ice storm.

As of today, I am left wondering if the brain trust at 345 Park Avenue might have neglected an important variable about hosting a game in a cold weather climate — most notably that the weather will OBVIOUSLY upstage the two teams that have worked so hard to get in position to hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy on Sunday February 2. When located in the center of the hurricane (or cold — in this case) it is impossible to know what the rest of the NFL audience is paying attention to. But here, in the center of the storm, it is impossible to hear anything above the howling wind and occasional snow flurries. The entire story is the weather. And that is too bad because this should be one heck of a football game…