Each day from now until Feb. 2, ESPNNewYork.com will take you inside the challenge of staging the most unpredictable NFL title game ever. There are 25 days until the Super Bowl.
NEW YORK -- On Tuesday night, as a polar vortex swept the area, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was asked if it was a “nutty” idea to have the Super Bowl outdoors in a cold-weather site.
“We didn’t expect it to be 75 and sunny,” Goodell said. “We know where we’re playing.”
At a 92Y Talk on the Upper East Side with former AP White House correspondent Ben Feller, Goodell reiterated the NFL’s position that football is a game in which weather is a factor, that's the way it ought to be, and it’s what fans want to see.
“I think it’s going to be a great thing for this region,” Goodell said, “but I think it’s going to be a great thing for the NFL.”
Many of the seats in MetLife Stadium have access to warm club rooms and indoor areas, but the cheap seats -- and at the Super Bowl cheap means roughly $800 to $5,000 a seat -- do not.
But never fear: The NFL is planning to give out welcome packages filled with chapstick, pocket warmers and texting gloves. Will they have much effect in the extreme cold? The Northwest Company released a photo of the official Super Bowl handwarmer, being modeled by someone wearing little else. I’m not a hypothermia expert but the rest of us will probably need a coat if it’s frosty enough for the handwarmer.
• Christie and traffic: Just as Super Bowl XLVIII is set to showcase New Jersey, with traffic plans in place for Feb. 2 that would dedicate lanes on the George Washington Bridge to bowl-bound buses, more information about the lane closures in Fort Lee is coming out.
E-mails, including one saying, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” were discovered in the personal accounts of several officials within New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s administration, indicating that the lane closures to the George Washington Bridge last September may have been politically motivated.
After the e-mails emerged, Christ cancelled a Wednesday morning appearance.
So here’s hoping no one in the administration has beef with the New York/New Jersey Super Bowl Host Committee or it could be time for a “traffic study” in East Rutherford.
Christie has a brash style. At an October event with Goodell, the governor recalled standing next to the commissioner when the lights went out at the New Orleans Super Bowl.
Christie recalled the moment: “And I said, ‘Listen, Roger, I can’t guarantee the lights aren’t going to go out [at MetLife],’ I said, ‘But if they do, there will be bodies strewn in the parking lot for the people who are responsible for the lights going out, because that’s the way we handle matters in New Jersey.’”
• Plea for coats: It’s freezing, and New York and New Jersey Cares are still looking to fill record demand for new and gently-used coats this winter. A coat drive is being held in conjunction with the host committee, and would be an awesome gift even if it weren’t. Find out where to donate here.
Come back daily for more on the issues, logistics and personalities surrounding Super Bowl XLVIII.