NEW YORK - Weather. It's an influence in football and a big part of the game. And although the initial reports predict a temperature of plus-1 or 2 celsius, until they kick the ball off you just never know.
The coldest Super Bowl ever played was in 1972 in New Orleans before the Mercedes-Benz Superdome existed between Dallas and Miami. It was 39 degrees fahrenheit which is about plus-4 celsius, so come Sunday that record could be re-written.
When you consider the history of Wild Card, divisional and Conference Championship games, many have been played in brutal conditions. Most recently, San Francisco played at Green Bay in the Wild Card round on Jan. 5 and that one was well played and the best team on that day won.
When it was first announced that New York as a city and New Jersey as a specific location would hold a Super Bowl many did cringe, myself included. But when it comes to the many amenities needed such as hotel rooms, meeting facilities, football fields, transportation networks then the area involved will provide anything needed.
When the game was played in Jacksonville and Indianapolis I thought the magnitude of the event stretched the ability of the city to hold the event. I will say this though. The 2013 Grey Cup held in Regina, Saskatchewan did have a couple of days where the weather personally made me hesitate to be involved, but those were days of minus-16 and evenings of minus-26 celsius. Yes, if it gets that cold it will take away from the game as many are not conditioned for that type of challenge.
Once the week starts on Monday it is mildly amazing how well and efficiently the Super Bowl is run. Everything is on time and I mean everything. If a player or coach is to appear, they are there. And for those in demand it is demanding. If a normal day is between eight and nine hours including preparation meetings and practice, you can add another three hours for media and their desires.
That is especially true for the stars. The players on the back end of the roster by Thursday are not in demand and it's time to read the paper or relax if you can. The people at the front end of the roster are always in demand.
Monday it is for a select few, Tuesday is for everybody as traditional "Media Day" is the priority and Wednesday and Thursday the location switches to each team's hotels. By Thursday every question has been asked and you do sense that it's time to move on. On Friday and Saturday it all tapers down in a dramatic way with only single players and head coaches available.
The actual best meeting of the week is Friday at 11:30am. That is the "State of the League" address with the commissioner Roger Goodell and you do get a sense of what is working, what needs improvement and the timeline of future events for 2014. It also marks the presentation for NFL Player of the Year which recognizes the standard of excellence both on and off the field.
So from Monday to Friday it is an odd week, a promotional week for anything and everything related to the NFL and the Super Bowl itself. It is true that many go to be seen and heard but come Saturday it changes to football. Outside of game day, Saturday is an explosion of anticipation. Everything that could be said has been said and just about everybody is over-saturated with predictions, thoughts and evaluations. It is time to play the game, not so much because it is close to February 2, just because enough is enough it terms of talk. It's time to play.
Game day is special. We as a group always go early and take it all in and just watch people from everywhere interact. Well depending on weather, maybe we won't go too early this year. As much as I like the game I am fascinated by the halftime show. From our high altitude vantage point it is impressive how they get thousands of people on the field in a disciplined and short period of time.
When the game is over it is controlled chaos as everyone either wants to leave the stadium, stay in the stadium or get on the field.
And basically that's the week. A lot of hurry up and wait, then done, mess it up, followed by get ready to do it again tomorrow. It is part event, part celebration, part celebrity status recognition and in the end a championship football game. With the No. 1 seed in the AFC playing the No. 1 seed in the NFC it is difficult to argue that we will find the best team in the end. But there is a lot to be experienced before that conclusive moment.
Including some guaranteed cold weather.