Early Super Bowl money being placed on Denver over Seattle

The early lines for the 2014 Super Bowl were all over the place last night. At first Seattle was favored on many sportsbooks and then the money came flooding in on Denver. Now we’re seeing the Broncos as 1.5 to 1 point favorites in most places.

In the video above, Howie Long makes a great point – that the officiating will play a big role in this game regarding how much Seattle defenders can get away with versus Denever receivers, and likewise whether Denver can run their pick plays with impunity. NFL officiating has become a disgrace, so expect plenty of controversy.

Also, we’re seeing two completely different quarterbacks. Peyton Manning is a classic drop back passer and one of the all-time greats. Russell Wilson is a mobile quarterback who makes big plays but also huge mistakes with his improvizing. Frankly, Wilson is a bit overrated – he’s riding the Seahawks bus to the Super Bowl, not driving it.

It should be a great game.

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Warm or cold, Super Bowl should be about the game and not about the host city

The NFL announced on Tuesday evening that New York will host the 2014 Super Bowl. The immediate reaction from most people seems to be concern over the fact that the game will be played in the cold.

My immediate reaction? So what.

Football has always been meant to be played outdoors. That’s not to say domes don’t serve a purpose (how fun is it to watch the Saints and Colts’ high octane offenses play on turf at least eight times a year?), but really, the Super Bowl should be more about the game and less about the host city. In fact, why not rotate the game every year so that all the cities have an opportunity to host the big game? Detroit played host in 2006 and did a wonderful job. I would imagine that Chicago, Green Bay and/or Washington D.C. would be equally great.

I get that a game of this magnitude should be played on equal ground. But no matter how you slice it, one team usually has an advantage. I see the point that if the Steelers are used to playing in the cold, that they would have an advantage over the Panthers, Falcons, Rams, Cardinals, 49ers, Lions and Cowboys. But the conditions can’t always be perfect and it’s not like every single player on a warm weather team has never played in the cold before. Every year the media makes a huge deal out of warm weather teams playing in the cold late in the season and every year, their points are exaggerated.

At the end of the day, the Super Bowl has always been about the two best teams in a given season going head to head for a championship. That’s it. Whether or not fans will be cold in the stands or the weather conditions affect the game doesn’t matter. Football is football and let’s keep the focus on the game.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

New York will host 2014 Super Bowl

Ian O’Connor spoke to Vince Lombardi’s son about the NFL’s decision to hold the 2014 Super Bowl at the Meadowlands…

“My father and mother had real soft spots in their hearts for the New York metropolitan area; it was home to them,” said Vince Lombardi Jr., a 68-year-old motivational speaker whose son, Joe, is quarterbacks coach of the defending champion New Orleans Saints.

“And my father would certainly say: ‘Hey, you play the game in all kinds of weather. You get up in the morning and play the game whether it’s 100 degrees or 13 below.'”

For a fan base that is so tied up in tradition — just check out some of the debates we’ve had here about (gasp!) changing the overtime format — the Super Bowl has never been held outdoors in a cold-weather city.

So why change now?

Weather always seems to have a big impact on the conference playoffs, and that makes sense since teams battle and claw all season for home field advantage. Teams that are built for cold weather should have that advantage. But why bring that potential advantage to the Super Bowl, where the game is supposed to be played on a neutral field?

One argument is that some of the most memorable games (i.e. The Ice Bowl) were played in horrible conditions. Sure, awful weather can make a game memorable, but do NFL fans really want to see two high powered teams like the Saints and the Colts play in a snowstorm? I don’t argue that it might be interesting, but the Super Bowl is already interesting.

Others argue that rain is a possibility for outdoor venues in warm weather cities, but rain and snow/ice are two completely different animals. Teams often play well in light to medium rain, but it’s tough to execute offensively or defensively in freezing and sub-zero conditions.

By the way, this is coming from a Packer fan whose team would no doubt have an advantage in a negative-windchill matchup with the Chargers. The advantage is the problem, no matter who gets it.

Is the 2014 Super Bowl rigged for New York?

Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune is of the mind that Roger Goodell and the NFL are rigging the 2014 Super Bowl vote so that New York can be the host city.

The essence of New York’s bid?

Hey, we’re New York.

That’s not nearly good enough, but Goodell is driving this subway car and he has considerable clout among the owners who pay his prodigious salary.

South Florida is also in the mix, but that bid figures to be dismissed after the preliminary vote, leaving Tampa Bay vs. New York.

Central Park vs. Central Ybor.

Majority rules.

Unless reason prevails, a group of wealthy, powerful NFL owners is about to be led down a slushy path by a commissioner determined to reward New York for building a new home for the Giants and Jets.

Awarding the Super Bowl to New Meadowlands Stadium might be the worst idea since Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty shook hands to participate in “Ishtar,” but the New York bid has momentum.

Is Kaufman more upset that the 2014 Super Bowl is being “rigged” for New York or that Tampa is going to lose to the “Big Apple” in the voting? It sure sounds like the latter to me.

Honestly, who cares? I mean really, who gives a flying horse testicle where the Super Bowl is played? Football is meant to be played outdoors in any conditions, so whether it’s sun, sleet or snow, does it really matter? The event should be about the game – not the host city.

Whether the game will be played in New York, Tampa or East Jesus, Wyoming, I’m going to watch.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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