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 14 days until the Super Bowl.
The day we find out which two teams will play in the Super Bowl seems like a good time to take a harder look at the long-range weather forecast -- especially with temperatures expected to plummet in the week ahead.
Super Sunday will feature a high of 37 degrees and a low of 25, with a possibility of rain and snow showers, according to the latest AccuWeather forecast.
There’s a huge caveat: Forecasts this far out are by nature inaccurate. Later this week the somewhat more accurate 10-day forecast will kick in, but from a security standpoint, officials expect to rely on forecasts that come out only about 85 hours before kickoff.
MetLife would be well equipped to handle the latest scenario. The field has a tarp to keep the fake turf fresh and, if needed, dry. For the players, the benches are heated and there are heaters on the sidelines.
The biggest issue for players in a cold game will be staying warm and loose during the many timeouts and commercial breaks in a Super Bowl, said John Gallucci, the president of JAG Physical Therapy and medical coordinator for Major League Soccer.
“If you’re not moving around you’re not keeping your muscles warm,” Gallucci said. “And if you’re not keeping your muscles warm then they could get tight.”
Athletes have a unique set of challenges in extreme heat or cold -- in the summer it might be hydration and not overheating. In the winter, it’s remaining loose and flexible.
At this point in the season, dealing with garden-variety cold is something NFL players will be used to.
But how about fans?
The prognosticators at AccuWeather are predicting a cold week leading up to the game. Henry Margusity predicts no snow on game day but adds, “Very cold weather and even several inches of snow for game week.”
In that case, I’m predicting that there are fewer tube tops, short sleeves and sky-high heels on visitors than you might see at a warm-weather Super Bowl. The mass-transit Super Bowl will be less friendly to red-soled shoes than a sturdy pair of wellies.
A few quick links and notes:
• WNYC’s "The Brian Lehrer Show" had me on to talk about MetLife security and the game-day experience. Here’s the audio clip.
• The AP writes that this year’s party will be off the chain.
• The New York Observer discusses the competition between New York and New Jersey for tourist dollars, and speculates that New Jersey will win.
Come back daily for more on the issues, logistics and personalities surrounding Super Bowl XLVIII.