The stage has been set for Super Bowl XLVIII. The no. 1 defense in the league (Seattle Seahawks) will be facing off against the no. 1 offense in the league (Denver Broncos). Fans will be flocking around their television sets on Feb. 2 to see whether the Seahawks will win their first Super Bowl title or if Peyton Manning will cement his legacy with his second ring. But will fans flock to New Jersey's MetLife Stadium where the Super Bowl will be held?
Probably not, after this picture showed up on their Twitter feed. According to NBC New York, as of Wednesday morning parts of New Jersey, where the Super Bowl is held, has as much as 15 inches of snow. Snow has been getting heavier as the day progressed, falling 1 to 2 inches per hour. The temperature in East Rutherford, New Jersey has been below 20 degrees, but according to Accuweather.com, the weather will possibly climb up to a high 36 degrees and a low 24 degrees by game day. Still, the 30% chance of snow still lingers as does the possibility of icy winds, elements which could affect the outcome of the big game.
This past weekend, forecasters predicted that the storm would be kept off the east coast shores, but by Monday things took a turn for the worse. Initially four to seven inches of snow was possible, but later more than a foot of snow became likely. The poor weather created traffic on the roads and cancelled and delayed hundreds of flights. In other words, there's no way to predict whether the green turf or a brown football will keep their hues come Super Bowl XLVIII.
This year's edition of the Super Bowl has the potential to be the third championship game in the Super Bowl era to have snow. According to a report by the Southeast Regional Climate Center, the last two Super Bowl games to have snow happened in 1982 at the Pontiac Silverdome in Michigan on Super Bowl XVI and 2006 at Ford Field in Michigan on Super Bowl XL. However, those two games weren't as severe; Super Bowl XVI only dealt with 0.3 inches of snow which didn't even matter because the stadium was domed while Super Bowl XVI had 1.1 inches.
Weather does affect the way the game is played. According to ESPN Senior Writer John Clayton, the veteran Peyton Manning will have trouble throwing the ball, especially as he is in the twilight of his career. "The big problem is that he is not as strong now throwing the football, as he was at a younger age," Clayton said. "Look at all four playoff games that have been below 40 degrees, the interception numbers go up, the completion percentage goes down, and that will definitely be a problem."
While football fans are split about whether the weather ruins the quality of play, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell believes that the elements don't ruin the game; they are a part of the game.
"In Week 14, we had four or five games that were in the middle of blizzards and I would tell you that was fun, that was great for the fans, the players had a good time. That's what football is," Goodell told the New York Daily News.
The league has confirmed that Goodell will be sitting in the outside area of the stadium on game day, alongside tens of thousands of fans.