Freezing temps in NJ doesn’t mean cold Super Bowl

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - The NFL wanted a cold-weather Super Bowl and it would have had the coldest one had the game been played at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, when temperatures were below freezing in the New York-New Jersey area.

Was it really cold though?

Will Mahoney, 53, of Paramus didn’t think so, even though most area residents woke to a dusting of snow on the ground. With little or no wind, the Giants’ fan left his jacket in car and walked into the Meadowlands Racetrack wearing a light Kansas City Chiefs’ sweatshirt. It was a gift, and the walk was pleasant.

“I love the idea of the Super Bowl coming here,” Mahoney said. “Around the league there seems to be some flak because of the weather, the cold. But you know what? I think it’s great for the area. It’s nice out now, but it could be 10 degrees next year. I have no problem with that either. The elements are part of the game, so if it that’s the way it is, that’s the way it is. “

A couple of miles away in Carlstadt, restaurant owner John `Red’ Palsi sipped a beer and looked forward to a big day, and even bigger one next year for the 48th Super Bowl on Feb. 2, 2014.

“Football has always been good for us,” said the 79-year-old Palsi, who turned his go-go bar into a restaurant 12 years ago. “When the Giants and Jets are here, it’s always been good for us. Super Bowl, playoffs, no problem. There will be a crowd here tonight.”

Roughly 1,300 miles away in New Orleans, Al Kelly wrapped up a week of work.

The chief executive and president of the organizing committee for the 2014 Super Bowl, Kelly has laid the groundwork for the first cold-weather Super Bowl and the first one to be played in a stadium that serves as the home for two teams, the Giants and Jets. The former American Express executive now has a year to make sure everything comes together.

The countdown has started on the game that many worry will return football to the old days, and whims of elements.

Meteorologist David Stark of the National Weather Service said mid-day temperatures in the area on Sunday were in the 20s and were not expected to top 30 degrees.

“For the date, that’s a little below normal, but as far as being fairly cold, it’s been much colder on this date in the past,” Stark said.

Recent Super Bowl Sundays in New Jersey have been pleasant. Two years ago when the game was played in Dallas, temperatures at the Meadowlands were a pleasant 46 degrees. And it was 40 degrees _ with no wind _ a year ago when the game was in Indianapolis.

Despite the freezing temperatures on Sunday, Stark said the winds were 5 to 10 mph and calm in some area. But there was almost no wind at the Meadowlands three hours before kickoff of the title game between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers, who played in New Orleans.

The coldest temperature for a Super Bowl played outdoors was 39 degrees on Jan. 16, 1972 at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans. Dallas beat Miami 24-3.

The job of getting the New York-Jersey area ready to handle all the events leading up to the game was given to Kelly a little less than two years ago.

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