Summer in the winter

Kyle Riviere @kyleR_sports
Weekly Citizen Sports Editor Kyle Riviere

Football is a man's sport meant to be played out in the elements--the heat, the cold, the rain, the snow--well, except when it's for the Super Bowl.

Seems like I've been saying this far too often, but New Orleans' favorite commissioner Roger Goodell is wrong again. And Joe Flacco, he's right.

With the Super Bowl set to be played in New Jersey next year, Flacco came out and said that the idea of playing the big game at a cold-weather site was "retarded." Immediately, a media firestorm ensued due to his choice of words. I'll save my feelings about that for another time and place.

But when it comes to his criticism of Goodell's decision to play the game at such a notoriously-cold city in the first week of February, he's dead on.

Yes, football is meant to be played in the unforgiving elements. The players are like mailmen: no matter if it's rain, sleet or snow, they're out there fighting for a win. However, the Super Bowl is a whole different animal.

It's the biggest game in American sports and arguably the greatest sporting event in the world. It's where every football player dreams of being when they're a kid and what they all put in their blood, sweat and tears to reach throughout their careers.

So when they get there, it's supposed to be a reward and not just for them, but it's also supposed to be a reward to each team's fan-bases as well.

Who wants to pay over $2,000 to sit in frigid 30-degree weather for four hours? I wouldn't. I'm sure that even fans from up north that are used to those elements would like to escape from the Arctic climate for just one week and sit out in the sun or inside a dome with the temperature set at 75 degrees.

Next year's Super Bowl will be on Feb. 2. As a frame of reference, East Rutherford, N.J. had a high of 33 on Feb. 2 of this year. The game-time temperature would have been in the mid-to-high 20s.

Enough with all the talk about fan comfort, playing out in a frigid climate alters the whole idea of a neutral championship game. Depending on which teams are playing in the game, one team could end up having a big advantage over the other due to the weather.

What happens if a cold-weather team from up north plays a warm-weather team? What if the Patriots and the Saints make the Super Bowl next year in 25-degree weather with snow flurries?

The Patriots would already have a huge advantage before one single snap. They're used to playing in the cold; the Saints are not. They're not just from the south, they're a dome team. Look at the history; the Saints always struggle when playing in the cold. All you have to do is watch the NFC Championship Game against the Bears from 2006. That tells the whole story.

Bottomline, when it comes to the regular season, cold weather is awesome. In the playoffs, it's even better. That's what homefield advantage is all about but when it comes to the Super Bowl, bring on the sunshine and the domes.

The Super Bowl supposed to be totally neutral. Well, nothing spells neutrality more than a 65-degree day in February.