Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

January 29, 2014

ROOT: The Super Bowl, sort of

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — I don’t know why, but I am completely against the idea of the Super Bowl being played in an outdoor, cold weather stadium. I have no problem with a dome. I actually prefer having the Super Bowl in a dome because there are no weather conditions to worry about. Having the most important football game of the season in an open-air stadium during one of the coldest winters in history just doesn’t appeal to me.

Trust me, I understand. It is just a game. I don’t need emails reminding of all of the important things that are going on in the world. But I have invested serious time these past few months watching these grown men play a game and I want to see which team is crowned the best at playing one of the more violent games on the planet.

The weather just seems like an unfair advantage to the team with the better running game, in this case, the Seattle Seahawks. The Denver Broncos have a running game, but the team relies a lot more on Peyton Manning throwing the ball than it does anyone running it.

Someone told me that if the Broncos are so one-dimensional on offense, then they don’t deserve to win. I beg to differ.

The Broncos are a cold weather team, so one could argue that the cold weather in New Jersey should not affect their game. A great quarterback like Manning can adjust his game to the weather conditions and still win more often than most other quarterbacks, but that does not mean that we are getting the very best of Manning.

Marshawn Lynch is the running back for the Seattle Seahawks. You remember Marshawn Lynch, don’t you? He’s the guy who got caught in a car filled with marijuana smoke and loaded guns out in California. He played for the Buffalo Bills at the time. We shipped him off to Seattle rather than deal with another deviant, and he suddenly shaped up and became a quality running back.

Lynch and the Seahawks play in cold and rainy weather for half the season. Lynch is able to adapt his game to the weather and still be effective. But just because he can run in the rain, doesn’t mean that we are getting the very best of Lynch.

In my opinion, the best two teams in football made it to the Super Bowl. Now I want to see two high-flying offenses duke it out with two punishing defenses. But that is not what we will get to see. We will see two teams crippled by the cold and the snow and forced to alter their games to match the conditions.

That is why I like Super Bowls that are played in domes. The dome offers the ideal conditions for both teams and we get to see American football the way it was meant to be played. When 30 NFL teams spend months beating the heck out of each other just to reach the Super Bowl, I want to see what the two remaining teams can really do. In Super Bowl XLVIII, we won’t see that. We will see how well Peyton Manning and Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson can manage their offenses in lousy weather. Yee-haw. Color me unimpressed.

The one thing I am looking forward to is seeing whether the Red Hot Chili Peppers do hit the halftime stage wearing just their underwear and how many shades of blue Flea turns before he drops from frostbite. Musicians are not known for their practical wardrobes.

I will watch the game and I am hoping for a good game. But I will always think, in the back of my mind, of how great it would be to see Broncos’ wide receiver Demaryius Thomas and Seahawks’ cornerback Richard Sherman in neutral weather conditions.

This is the game that decides the 2013-2014 NFL champion. It is the grandest sports event of the year and it will be watched all over the world. It is supposed to be the best game of the season as the two best teams in the league square off to take Coach Lombardi’s trophy home.

But to me, it will be more about who is able to survive the cold as opposed to which team really played the better game. That is just not Super Bowl football to me.

George N. Root III is a Lockport resident and NFL fan. His column is published every Wednesday, even in the coldest part of winter. He can be reached at georgeroot@verizon.net and he is picking the Seahawks to win.