Super Bowl XLVIII was anything but the tight matchup between the NFL’s two best teams set in snowy New Jersey that had been advertised.
The snow, which football pundits said would ruin the game never arrived. And the game, a 43-8 blowout by the Seattle Seahawks was over almost as soon as it began.
“The game was a huge let down. I thought it could have gone either way,” said John Pierson, a sports reporter at WTNH in Connecticut. “Like many I was surprised at the ease which Seattle won. They dominated in all 3 phases of the game.”
I had picked the Denver Broncos to win, and it was a hard pick because I felt it was one of the more evenly matched games in recent years. Denver, who had the league’s top offense set records for points scored (606), touchdown passes (55), and passing yards(5477). Seattle, had the NFL’s top defense and had been stifling teams all season. The statistics pointed to a game that would be back and forth all night.
From the first offensive play by Denver, a botched snap leading to a Seattle safety, I knew that the game would not turn out how I previously thought. Peyton Manning, the Broncos quarterback, was again hearing the criticism that he was not a big game quarterback. Although league’s greatest quarterbacks, Manning has only won the Super Bowl once in 15 seasons.
“I think it will be remembered for Peyton Manning’s struggles,” said Jason La Canfora, an NFL insider for CBS. “He was poor, he faltered on the biggest stage, and for all he has accomplished, if he never plays in a Super Bowl again than this will haunt him, I believe. It doesn’t detract from his accomplishments, but it is part of his story.”
As for the weather, the prediction of snow was off by about 24 hours as the snow finally came Monday morning. The weather Sunday was windy and in the 40’s, typical football weather for cities like Denver and Seattle.
“Playing in cold weather has its challenges, as I learned while playing high school football,” said Justin Pelazza, a former high school football player from Connecticut. “Players use the same things fans use.I had hand warmers and double layers on when I played.”
I don’t think the weather would’ve made a difference in the game. Some of the NFL’s greatest games have been played in worse conditions, like the Ice Bowl in 1967, or the 1958 “Greatest Game Ever Played” both games reaching into the negatives on the thermometer. Football players will play in any weather, and those in Denver and Seattle are accustomed to cold weather games.
“The weather was a non-issue and I expect the overall success of this project to lead to more outdoor Super Bowls in cold weather spots like Boston, Philadelphia, Denver, Chicago every once in a while,” said La Canfora.
This Super Bowl showed that cold-weather areas like New Jersey can host events of this size. It may open up the door for more northern cities to host in the future. The game itself showed nobody knows what will happen despite the “expert” opinions and analysis.