The NFL made a dumb decision in awarding the 2014 Super Bowl to the new Meadowlands stadium in New Jersey. An outdoor stadium for a game to be played in February. When the temperature ranges on average from between 24 and 40 degrees (with a 6:30 p.m. local kickoff, it will be cold) and there is often rain or snow.
This makes a mockery of the idea of a neutral site for the Super Bowl. Weather is a factor in football and I accept this in conference playoffs. A New England or a Green Bay with home field vs. a dome or warm weather team in conference playoffs is a reward for having a better regular season. No one can complain.
But the Super Bowl should not grant a weather advantage to either team and an outdoor game in a cold weather site does if one team plays regularly in those elements and the other doesn't (playing in a warm rain is not the same thing). The Giants and Jets could have built the stadium with a retractable roof, but chose not to so as to keep the weather advantage, so there's no doubt they know the edge is real.
Imagine a wild card Eagles team playing a No. 1 seed Chargers team in the Super Bowl -- the Chargers get penalized solely because the game is played in conditions more conducive to the Eagles. Or take this year's Super Bowl, Colts vs. Saints, pitting two high-powered offenses against each other. Good luck throwing in snow or blustery wind on a February night in New Jersey. The game becomes cheapened.
Says former Patriot and now NBC analyst Rodney Harrison:
"Part of the reward for getting to the biggest game of your life is the beautiful warm weather or the climate-controlled atmosphere," he said. "Players would hate playing in cold weather."
Of course, it's also unfair to fans who pay top dollar for Super Bowl tickets to have to dress like Arctic explorers for four hours (let alone trying to stage a halftime show. No way Janet Jackson flashes a nipple when it's 25 and snowing).
This year on Super Bowl weekend, a blizzard hit the mid-Atlantic states, though New Jersey was spared the brunt. I hope the 2014 game sees a monster snowstorm with a final score of 2-0. It's what the NFL deserves for such a dopey decision.