There has been a lot of hoopla and controversy surrounding the upcoming Super Bowl in New Jersey.
Just some of the complaints:
— The game is going to be affected because it’s going to snow and be too cold.
— How will all the fans get there if there is bad weather?
— Doesn’t anyone remember how lousy Super Bowl Week was when it snowed in Dallas a couple years ago?
Obviously, there are sound arguments for holding the world’s premier sporting event in ideal conditions. But, traditionally, the game hasn’t always been that way. Throughout the Super Bowl’s early years the games were played under all types of conditions. I think that was exciting.
Here is a solution that should end all questions and conjecture: Do what the NFL did for many years before heading off to the money-grab known as Super Bowl Week. Have the game played on the home field of the Super Bowl team with the best record, just like all the other playoff games leading up to the big game.
Remember the Ice Bowl playoff game between Green Bay and Dallas? What about the great championship games played at Wrigley Field in Chicago and in other cold weather towns?
Some great championship games were played with lousy weather and they have become legendary matchups.
Of course the Ice Bowl game of 1967 was just the NFL championship game with the winner going to Super Bowl II. Quick — tell me who played in Super Bowl II and who won? I’m guessing more people remember the end of the Ice Bowl.
Bart Starr follows a block by Jerry Kramer and scores with time running out to lift the Packers to a 21-17 win. Game-time temperature was a mild negative 15 degrees — with a wind chill of minus-44.
Now that’s a classic.
And what about the 1958 championship game between the Baltimore Colts and the New York Giants? That one was 32 degrees in Yankee Stadium.
It’s considered one of the greatest games of all time. That one featured 17 future Hall-of-Famers, including Sam Huff, Frank Gifford, Don Maynard for the Giants along with offensive coordinator Vince Lombardi and defensive coordinator Tom Landry. The Colts had Johnny Unitas, Raymond Berry and Art Donovan, along with head coach Weeb Ewbank.
The Colts needed to get down the field with less than two minutes remaining to get a game-tying field goal. Unitas, who was credited for the invention of the two-minute drill, famously moved the team down the field to force overtime.
Then in the extra period, Unitas led the Colts down the field again and the Colts won the game when he handed off to Alan Ameche for a 1-yard touchdown run.
Two of the best games ever played. And it was cold at both venues. And don’t get me started on the “Immaculate Reception” game or the “Tuck-Rule.” They were also played in lousy weather are more famous than most Super Bowls.
I would even accept the choice to alternate the game from AFC champion one year to the NFC champion the next year. Just don’t make the outcome of the Pro Bowl game decide the home-field advantage like in baseball.
Some great football teams wouldn’t mind playing in bad weather. Every game in the NFL has some sort of home-field advantage. Let them earn it just like all the other sports.
So for the Super Bowl XXXXIIIIIIIVVVVIIIIIIXC or what ever number it is, all I ask is for one thing — Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.
This year’s Super Bowl — officially Super Bowl XLVII — is set to be played on Feb. 2, 2014 at Met Life Stadium in New Rutherford New Jersey. The stadium is home to the NFL’s two New York-area teams — the Jets and the Giants.
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Here is another idea for college football and the lousy Bowl Championship Series.
Now that the college football commissioners and other big wigs are on the verge of sanity with the pending four-team playoff system, which starts next season, let’s make a couple more changes to the bowl system.
When it was first decided that a team was bowl eligible at six wins, most teams were playing just 10 or 11 games. Now there are team that are 6-6 going to bowl games. Come on, enough is enough. A team should not be rewarded for going .500. Some teams could and likely will finish under .500 after losing a bowl game.
Change the rule to a seven-win season. Even with a bowl loss most teams will still be over .500.
The first couple “Who Gives A Rat’s — uh — Behind Bowl” should be designated for the FCS, Division II and Division III championship games.
I’m sure Northwest Missouri, winners of the DII title, DIII Wisconsin-Whitewater or the FCS champ (either Towson and North Dakota State who will play in the Jan. 4 FCS title game) wouldn’t mind playing in the Las Vegas Bowl, the New Mexico Bowl or the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl. Put the bowls the lousy FBS teams play in to good use and let the lower division championship games take place there.
There is some good football played at those levels, so give them some exposure. I’m sure players might become interested in playing for those lower division teams and playing in a meaningful bowl game as opposed to a team that will play .500 ball and play in a bowl they don’t deserve to be in.