But due to the inclement weather that has pounded the New York, New Jersey area recently, the NFL has been forced to create a contingency plan for a possible date change, which could have the big game being played anywhere from Friday to Monday next weekend for the first time ever, especially if another major storm appears in the forecast.
The current forecast for Super Bowl Sunday calls for a high of about 40 with a 30 percent chance of rain or snow, with kickoff time scheduled for 6:25 p.m. ET, so elements could become a factor.
Commissioner Roger Goodell stated earlier this week that the NFL is “embracing the weather,” because “football is played in the elements.”
Now despite Goodell’s statement about football being played in the elements, the NFL is certainly rolling the dice by hoping that fans will embrace the first outdoor, cold-weather Super Bowl in league history, as over 1,000 workers removed up to 13 inches of snow from the seating area in MetLife Stadium this week.
Fans attending the game will be given such items as: ear muffs, hats, balm, mittens, scarfs, hand warmers and other cold-weather necessities.
According to NFL vice president of operations Eric Grubman, another state of emergency declaration being issued close to Super Bowl Sunday like the one that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie declared on Tuesday would warrant a legitimate consideration for moving the game date.
Even though NFL executives like Goodell and Grubman obviously feel like they will be able to slide into New Jersey on a good weekend in winter and have their big game and get out of town unscathed by Mother Nature’s wrath, many football fans have been expressing doubt ever since the cold-weather, open stadium Super Bowl was announced.
And Goodell’s suggestion that “football is played in the elements” is true depending on where the games are played during the post-season and the regular season, but when it comes to the Super Bowl, places like Florida, Louisiana, Arizona, California or any city with a dome arena have traditionally been selected to eliminate or at least minimize the elements as a factor.
Goodell and Grubman know that, and so do the fans and even some NFL players like former NFL quarterback Terry Bradshaw and last year’s Super Bowl winning quarterback of the Baltimore Raves Joe Flaco, who criticized the idea of weather related elements in the big game.
In 2013, Flaco told the Denver Post:
“I think it’s retarded. I probably shouldn't say that. I think it's stupid. If you want a Super Bowl, put a retractable dome on your stadium. Then you can get one. Other than that, I don't really like the idea. I don't think people would react very well to it, or be glad to play anybody in that kind of weather.”
And this is why many of the social media comments about the decision to take this cold-weather gamble have been quick to suggest that Goodell’s sudden pro-element, pro-cold rhetoric is only about him trying to justify and embellish the league's decision to try and pull this risky stunt off.