Giants, Jets Want People to Freeze at the Super Bowl

New stadium is bidding for 2014 game

By Josh Alper
|  Friday, Dec 18, 2009  |  Updated 5:36 AM CDT
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Giants, Jets Want People to Freeze at the Super Bowl

AP

The new Giants stadium is shown during an NFL football game between the Carolina Panthers and the New York Jets Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009, in East Rutherford.

The owners of the Giants and Jets have turned their attention away from their teams' dwindling chances at reaching February's Super Bowl so that they can try to get the 2014 game hosted in New Jersey, regardless of who plays in it.

The NFL said it was okay for Woody Johnson and Jonathan Tisch to put together a bid for Super Bowl XLVIII as a "once-only circumstance based on the opportunity to celebrate the new stadium and the great heritage and history of the NFL in the New York region."

The reason it is a once-only circumstance is actually only because of the new stadium. Otherwise other cities with frigid winters and strong football heritages, like Chicago and Green Bay, would be inclined to wonder why they are barred from the Super Bowl fun.

If there is a Super Bowl in New York, it will be a payback to Johnson and Tisch for building a new stadium and will have nothing to do with heritage, history or anything else.

And there's nothing wrong with that. The league likes it when owners build shiny new buildings to pump up revenues and the Super Bowl is a good way to funnel some money back to their pockets.

Should we want the game in our area? That's a question that can be approached from two perspectives but neither one leads to a particularly positive response.

Local football fans won't have any more of a chance of getting to a Super Bowl in the Meadowlands than they would if the game was being played in Islamabad. It's a gathering for sponsors, business partners and the select fans who can afford to enjoy the festivities. In other words, the same New Yorkers who go to every other Super Bowl would go to a game in their own backyard. The economic benefits for the area would be nice, but this isn't some community experience we're talking about.

Taking off the "I heart New York" t-shirt, though, and just looking at it as a football fan creates other problems. Does anyone really want to see the Lombardi Trophy get decided in a sleet storm or hear two weeks of Chris Berman and his ilk making bad jokes about how cold it is going to be at game time? The Super Bowl should be played in a stadium that can provide conditions as close to ideal as possible so that there can't be anything other than talent deciding the championship. 

Ultimately, the idea of a Super Bowl in New York feels a lot like the idea of an Olympics in New York. Sure, there might be some financial benefits to the event, but the city's done just fine without it in the past and will continue to be just fine without it in the future.  

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.

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