On the Bench: Cold weather Super Bowl

This year’s Super Bowl matchup of the Denver Broncos, led by Peyton Manning, and the Seattle Seahawks, led by Richard Sherman, will be the fifth time in Super Bowl history that the best offense is matched against the best defense. But the team’s biggest challenge may be the weather.

Manning, the Broncos’ quarterback, had a record-setting regular season statistically and he will try to add to the record books by earning his fifth MVP award, which he is a shoe in for. Manning finished the regular season with 55 touchdown passes, breaking Tom Brady’s record of 50 in 2007, and passed for 5,477 passing yards, breaking Drew Brees’ record of 5,476 yards in 2011.

On the other side of the ball, the Seattle Seahawks have arguably one of the best cornerbacks, maybe even defenders, in the league: Sherman, who led the league in interceptions with eight for the season. It will be fascinating to see how Manning will try to out think and out play the physical, top-ranked defense — it will be a chess match on the field.

Another major storyline for the event is the location. This will only be the fourth game in Super Bowl history to be played in a cold weather city, but the first that won’t be protected from the elements by a roof. The Super Bowl was held in Minneapolis in 1992, Detroit in 2006 and Indianapolis in 2012 — all games within a closed dome. Many weather forecasters have predicted that the temperature will reach the low 20s the day of the big game, though they don’t feel that any major weather issues should occur, making this the coldest Super Bowl ever played. The previous record was 39 degrees in 1972 for Super Bowl VI at Tulane Stadium.

It’s great that the biggest game of the country’s most popular sport will go back to its roots of the old NFL Championships of the 1950s and 1960s because one of the most memorable championship games to ever be played was in bad weather conditions. Thought to be one of the greatest games played in NFL history, the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys played in the 1967 NFL Championship known as the “Ice Bowl” with a game-time temperature of 15 degrees below zero.

Football should be played outside in whatever weather Mother Nature provides. It shows the true talent of both the players and the coaches, along with the dedication of the die-hard fans. Yes, they are professionals and they are the best at what they do, but anyone can have one good game in a climate-controlled stadium where the temperature doesn’t get below 70 degrees.

This should be one of the better Super Bowls in history — on paper that is. Every game is unpredictable so there is no guarantee as to what we might see on Feb. 2. One thing for certain is that one of the greatest NFL players of all time will look to add to his already impressive season and career. I know I will be rooting for the Denver Broncos just to see Manning complete this magical season, add to his legacy, and put to rest all the critics’ doubts that he is the greatest of all time.

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