Playing the Super Bowl in chilly temperatures and potential snow at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. on Sunday is "stupid," according to Hall of Fame coach and player Mike Ditka.
Even though Ditka played his share of NFL games at some of the coldest stadiums in the 1960s, he told the Detroit Free Press that the NFL
can pick and choose which locations have more suitable weather conditions for the Super Bowl.
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"They made a big mistake. The game shouldn't be there. I mean, it’s stupid," Ditka said of the New Jersey location. "First of all, it's not fair to the players. It's not going to be fair to the fans. It’s not going to be that enjoyable."
Temperatures are expected to be in the 30s, with a possible mix of snow and ice this weekend.
"I mean, I understand it's the Super Bowl and it's a privilege to play in the Super Bowl," Ditka continued. "It'd be nice to be playing in Miami or San Diego or New Orleans or somewhere the weather is conducive to guys being able to show their talents."
Not everyone shares Ditka's opinion. Florida Times-Union columnist Chet Fussman said
New Jersey's weather will be ideal for the NFL championship game.
"Isn't this the kind of weather pro football is meant to be played in? Some of the NFL's most memorable postseason games are linked to cold weather," Fussman wrote Monday. "Nobody is saying the NFL should make a habit of awarding future Super Bowls to Green Bay or Chicago. But let's not condemn the first outdoor Super Bowl in a cold-weather climate before the game even kicks off."
Super Bowls have been held in cold weather cities before – Detroit in 1982 and 2006, Minneapolis in 1992 and Indianapolis in 2012. The games, however, had been played in domed stadiums – Pontiac Silverdome and Ford Field in Detroit, Metrodome in Minnesota and Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
The NFL is armed with a contingency plan if there is poor weather. There is talk of possibly moving the contest to Saturday, Feb. 1 or Monday, Feb. 3. Frank Supovitz, the NFL's senior vice president of events, told Newsday
moving the event is a worst case scenario.
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