NORMAN — For all the dire predictions making the rounds, you’d think they were playing “The Hunger Games” at MetLife Stadium on Feb. 2 instead of the Super Bowl.
“Cold or snowy is one thing,” San Francisco 49er Phil Dawson said, “but if it’s a blizzard it could be bad. ...That would make things crazy. I’m not sure how that would work.”
Keep in mind Dawson is a kicker. And to be fair, scratch a half-dozen other players and NFL owners — who have the final say on Super Bowl sites — and you’ll get differing opinions about the wisdom of playing the season’s biggest game in the elements. Plenty grew up playing or watching the game that way and still love to; others were only too happy to get in out of the cold and stay there.
But the players and owners all agree with something Colts lineman Cory Redding said recently about trading a few uncomfortable hours outside for a shot at the title.
“Snow, wind, freezing rain, it doesn’t matter,” Redding said. “It just makes the confetti feel that much better.”
The guys that employ them feel just as strongly, even though all but one or two of the 32 owners will be ensconced in sky boxes that night instead of down on the field. But another handful or so will be paying even closer attention than usual, and not just to the game, but to the weeklong buildup.
Like co-hosts John Mara of the Giants and Woody Johnson of the Jets, those owners have franchises with outdoor stadiums in cold-weather towns. And if this Super Bowl makes it big in New York, then the reasoning goes that the big game can make it anywhere. Foxborough, Philadelphia, Washington, Nashville, Chicago, Kansas City, Denver — take your pick.