A weather proof Super Bowl - Ingles

It turns out that February in the city they call Naptown hasn’t been boring or forbidding, beyond the developing storm between the hometown Colts and their iconic quarterback. Fortunately, the issue of Peyton Manning’s future in football will have to wait until after his little brother, Eli, takes aim again at Tom Brady on Sunday under the protective dome of Lucas Oil Stadium.

In the unseasonably warm days leading to Super Bowl XLVI, growing crowds poured into this once sleepy but handsomely developed downtown to play in the N.F.L. theme park and possibly catch a glimpse of a few Giants or Patriots on the way out to eat.

“Can’t believe this weather,” said Lee Parsons, a local resident, who was on Capitol Avenue on Friday morning, under the popular zip line, with a friend, Larry Rees, who was visiting from Dayton, Ohio. “A year ago this week, we had a major ice storm.”

Parsons, who didn’t have tickets for Sunday’s game, said that even better than the weather was the timing of the event that, in the self-congratulatory words of N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell, “put Indianapolis on the global stage.”

“Maybe it’ll make people forget that Indiana passed a right-to-work law, which some of us are embarrassed by,” Parsons said.

Actually, you couldn’t miss demonstrating union workers on Wednesday, when Gov. Mitch Daniels signed into effect the law, which drew a public rebuke from DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the N.F.L. Players Association.

Smith also joined local union leaders protesting proposed layoffs at a downtown hotel Friday. Some league folks worried that the host city would be embarrassed, but Smith’s willingness to sprinkle a dose of real-world reality on the N.F.L’s annual orgy of sun-baked excess was not a bad move. The Super Bowl does live in America.

Indianapolis isn’t the first wintry city to host the game — Dallas had an ice storm last year after the Cowboys’ owner, Jerry Jones, neglected to build a roof over the entire metroplex. But for those of us who didn’t make it to Michigan in 1982 and 2006 or Minneapolis in 1992, Indianapolis has made a convincing argument for the N.F.L. to spread its wealth around, with the understanding that climate change is a long-term trend and Mother Nature might demand that we clomp around next time in boots. Football players are no more uniform in their opinions than the rest of us, but a sampling of them seemed to suggest they were feeling and appreciating the energy of a galvanized community.

“We were kind of isolated four years ago, but it’s been nice here,” said Giants guard Chris Snee, referring to Giants-Patriots I, played in Glendale, Ariz., outside Phoenix. “We go out, have dinner. You feel like you’re in the middle of everything.”

So hunkered down in this convenient, walkable city were the Giants and the Patriots that neither team indicated an intention to change hotels Saturday to ensure that the night before the game would be free of distraction and temptation. Both teams had apparently grown fond of the few minutes’ commute.

In Goodell’s league, taxpayers help underwrite football palaces like Lucas Oil Stadium, and then loyal fans are cruelly gouged with personal seat licenses, but he deserves credit for his willingness to occasionally move America’s most celebrated and watched spectacle out of its comfort zone.

By putting it outdoors in New Jersey two years from now, Goodell knows he eventually will have to answer to other member cities with uncovered fields. Assuming only snow, not the sky itself, falls on MetLife Stadium in 2014, why shouldn’t a Super Bowl be awarded to Denver, Philadelphia or Chicago, among others?

“I’m a big believer that the game of football is played in all elements,” Goodell said. “Some of them are our classic games, were played in snow or ice or cold. We do have another side, which is they believe that when you get to the Super Bowl, it should be played in conditions that are not impacted by weather.”

We suspect that a majority of those people are not hard-core fans who bundle up to tailgate in Foxborough or Green Bay, mainly those who can afford the junket expenditure of getting to one of the traditional Super Bowl sites.

“Let’s face it, always having it in the warm-weather city kind of betrays the game of football as a whole,” Giants offensive tackle Kareem McKenzie said. “Just because it might be 20 degrees below zero in a cold-weather city, they don’t cancel the game, do they? If they can play an N.F.C. title game in Green Bay, why not have the same conditions for the Super Bowl?”

Matt Light, a veteran Patriots tackle, had a similar take.

“Play the Super Bowl in the snow?” he said. “It’s not something that players haven’t done before. It’s great for people all over to get to experience everything the way New Orleans has many times, and Miami, San Diego and all that.”

Of course, linemen don’t have to grip the ball in frigid temperatures and throw it with precision, the way Brady and Eli Manning will have to Sunday night in the house made famous by Peyton. If both quarterbacks are on their game, we could get another classic, albeit of the controlled-climate variety.

(source New York Times)

Posted by Necesitamos Mas Football on 18:56. Filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0

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