Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Sports

January 24, 2014

Morgan: Super Freezing Bowl

Corsicana — The Super Bowl is coming up in another week, but I will not be making predictions. It should be enjoyable to watch. The matchup is a classic. You have the No. 1 seed from each conference, which is a rarity.

The Seahawks have the best secondary in football while the Broncos have Peyton Manning. You have a great defense vs. a record setting offense. One team has arguably the most beloved player in the game, while the other, at least for the moment, has one who might be the most reviled (although, I would argue, wrongly reviled).

Peyton Manning is an amazing storyline. He was the best quarterback in the game when he missed an entire season having multiple neck surgeries. The Colts let him leave as a free agent over fears that he might never come close to what he had been after the neck problems. Well, he has been that and more. This season, Archie’s son had what might just be the greatest season any quarterback has ever had at age 37. (Yes, Archie Manning is his father, not Pappa John.)

Three years ago, Seattle was worse than Dallas. While the Cowboys have managed to maintain their 17-year legacy of mediocrity, the Seahawks have become a budding dynasty in a hurry. Where Denver is constructed around a future Hall of Fame QB, the folks from the great Northwest have built their team around defense and a running game.

It should be quite a spectacle. It should be, but it might be anything but. The problem lies neither with the Seahawks nor the Broncos. The problem arises from the NFL itself and the politics of money (hmmm…substitute the word congress for NFL, and you could be describing the entire U.S.). The powers that be in the National Football League bowed to the pressure of the Big Apple and a new stadium. The history of playing the big game in warm weather sites or domes came crashing down this year. It is, after all as they say in Pace Picante commercials, NEW YORK CITY.

Just last week, the five Burroughs were shut down by record cold and a blizzard as they collected a foot of snow.  Single digit temperatures and 35 MPH wind could be the determining factor instead of the better team. That’s just not right.

When the Big Party was held in Jerry World, the weather was awful with a capital A. Super Bowl activities were either canceled or scaled back. The spectacle was no doubt diminished. However, collapsing stands aside, the game was held in perfect conditions. The players, coaches and fans were sitting in a comfortable 72 degree temple. The conditions outside had no effect on the game inside. The teams were able to do what they had planned. They didn’t have to alter anything because Pete Delkus had a bad day.    

I understand why the league doesn’t do what baseball or basketball do and play at the home site of one of the participants. For one thing, it’s a one game championship and not a best of seven. The other reason? M-O-N-E-Y. The parties, the associated activities and the corporate events are all big money makers. They can’t plan all of that in the two weeks between the conference championships and the Super Bowl. The host city plans the big event over the course of a minimum of three years. The NFL exists to make money. It’s not a charitable organization. It is a capitalistic enterprise, and I respect that.

However, bowing to politics of the financial capital of the world and the fact that they have a new stadium should not interfere with the integrity of the game.

A thermometer reading about 12 with six inches of snow and 30 MPH winds would relegate Peyton to handing the ball to Knowshon Mereno and Richard Sherman and his dreadlocks turning into a de facto linebacker.     

The biggest game of the season should let the best teams do the things that they do best.

We all want to know who the best team is, not who can handle the thing that leaves Al Gore grasping for excuses.

On second thought, I will make a prediction. This will be the last time the Super Bowl is played where they don’t allow tailgating. Miami, New Orleans and Jerry World will once again rule football in February. New York City can go back to making lousy salsa and trying to get rid of A-Rod.

 

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