Monday, February 05, 2007

Super Bowl XLI

Indianapolis 29 - 17 Chicago

The game was not as close as the score makes it sound.

It rained in Miami. And it rained. And it rained. And it rained. And it rained.

Winter in the northern hemisphere brings unpredictable weather, and Winter in Florida is no different. It may not snow or freeze in Miami; but the climate is volatile.

I don't know the face value of Super Bowl tickets. I assume they cost anywhere from $300-$500 if you were able to purchase them through the NFL; but that is just a guess. Tickets were selling for as low as $3,000, and as high as $6,000 for lower level midfield seats through scalpers . . . er, touts . . . er, ticket brokers. And it rained. And it rained. And it rained. People payed $6,000 to sit in the rain.

It was the NFL who pioneered the domed stadium. It makes sense: you play a sport in North America in the Winter, you should try to do it indoors. However, domed stadium technology came decades after the sport was developed.

The sport was developed in the regions where civilization and capitalism had taken hold in North America: the North. So, football has been played in bad weather for a long time.

In August, 1971, the City of New Orleans began construction on a domed stadium that opened in September of 1975. It was named The Superdome, holds seventy thousand people, and has hosted six Super Bowls.

The Superdome is a great place for the Super Bowl. It seems like a natural: located in a tourist town famous for partying, big domed client-controlled stadium with the word Super in its name. All Super Bowls should be played there.

The only time it might seem inappropriate that it be held there is if the New Orleans Saints should make it to the championship game. I think 2007 might have been that year, but the Saints fell short, and I suspect it will be a long, long time before it becomes an issue again. So, we'll just ignore that.

It is smart to play the Super Bowl indoors at a neutral venue. You eliminate the weather as a factor (except in the case of earth-shattering hurricanes). This is important. The Super Bowl is filled with gazillionaires, dignitaries and celebrities who do not want to get wet. The audience is shipped-in from all over the world, guaranteeing a huge payday for the host city.

And if there is not to be a permanent home for the Super Bowl, then why play it in random locations? Why host it in rainy Miami, Florida, or blustery Green Bay, Wisconsin? Why pretend to be neutral about it?

During half-time, my friend James suggested it be rotated around the league. One year at an NFC field, next year at an AFC field. Seems fair. Then you get a Super Bowl one year in sunny San Diego, followed the next year in snowy New York. I take it a step further, I think the game should be played in the stadium of one of the participating teams. Have it in the NFC city in even years (2008, 2010, etc.) and the AFC city in odd years (2009, 2011, etc.). If a team succeeds at getting to the Super Bowl, their team should have the 50-50 chance of earning a huge payday at the stadium.

I know the arguments about logistics and planning, etc., and I accept the arguments about playing in a neutral, planned venue. But why outdoors? There are enough domed stadia that it can rotate to plenty of neutral sites.

If we are playing at a neutral site, then the Super Bowl should never be played outdoors.

The Superdome has hosted six Super Bowls:

Super Bowl XII - Dallas vs. Denver
Super Bowl XV - Oakland vs. Philadelphia
Super Bowl XX - Chicago vs. New England
Super Bowl XXIV - San Francisco vs. Denver
Super Bowl XXXI - Dallas vs. Pittsburgh
Super Bowl XXXVI - New England vs. St. Louis

I say we play the Super Bowl in the Superdome.

Every year.

Congratulations Colts!

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