A look back at Super Bowl XLVIII — NJ’s first and only ‘Big Game’
Feb. 2, 2014, was a date sports fans and tri-state area residents had circled on their calendars for years.
Years earlier in 2010, NFL owners were shocked when New Jersey won the bid for a Super Bowl to be held in their at-the-time brand spankin' new MetLife Stadium, the home of the New York Giants and New York Jets.
From that moment on, sportscasters and fans alike debated about how much of a disaster the idea was.
Super Bowl XLVIII was the first Super Bowl held at an open-air stadium in a cold-weather city. Any other cold-weather cities that held the game before that were played in indoor stadiums.
People predicted the game would be snowed out, or at the very least that the winter conditions the Northeast typically faces in February would play a factor in the outcome of the game. And some of these worries actually had merit.
The 2014 Farmers' Almanac predicted that a winter storm would hit just about the same time the Super Bowl in MetLife Stadium would be kicking off.
The NFL reacted to the almanac's prediction by putting a contingency plan in place: In the event of a forecast of heavy snow, the game would be rescheduled for the Saturday before, or for the Monday or Tuesday after.
The Farmers' Almanac has quite a track record in terms of accuracy, but luckily they were slightly wrong. For years we heard about the worst-case scenario. What we got instead was 49 degrees, with a high of 55 degrees. According to The Sporting News, it was still the coldest Super Bowl since 2000, but compared to the fears of extreme winter weather, that was nothing.
A winter storm did, however, arrive 6 hours after the game ended, dropping 8 inches of snow in parts of our region.
Not a memorable game
As far as the game itself is concerned, it was not one of the most memorable games. The Seattle Seahawks issued a beatdown to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos by a score of 43-8. A bad snap over Manning's head leading to a safety at the very beginning of the game set the tone for the entire night.
See the highlights of the MetLife Super Bowl here.
Seahawks' linebacker Malcolm Smith received the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award.
The Halftime Show was performed by Bruno Mars, and it was relatively well-received by the masses. See the performance below.
A big success
When it was all said and done, having the game outdoors in a cold-weather environment wound up being a rousing success. There has not been another Super Bowl played in the elements since, but MetLife Stadium hosting the game no doubt opened the door for other outdoor stadiums in cold-weather places to have a legitimate chance of winning their bids.
How great would it be to see a Super Bowl played at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, or Soldier Field in Chicago? That might be asking a bit too much from Mother Nature, but as New Jersey proved, nothing is impossible.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 producer, writer, and host Joe Votruba. Any opinions expressed are his own.