Hot cocoa, snow-shoes and hand warmers aren’t normally associated with the Super Bowl each year. Nor are they associated with Dallas, either.
Nonetheless, Mother Nature has thrown another curveball toward the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers to kick off February, as Sunday is less than five days away. Normally the weather for the NFL’s biggest stage is bright and sunny, yet this time around, it appears even the Gods are aware of this historic match up.
You can thank Greek mythology God, Aeolus, for choosing snow as a suitable backdrop.
Relishing in frigid conditions throughout the winter, both Mike McCarthy and Mike Tomlin are used to the site of snowflakes at both Lambeau and Heinz Field. The players themselves mightn’t exactly be as “snow smart” as Bart Starr was during the Ice Bowl days, but that isn’t to say some of “Mean” Joe Greene’s toughness hasn’t seeped through each generation.
Believe me when I say it, though, Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger are going to need it.
Actually come to think of it, the above statement couldn’t be more false.
Jerry Jones’ billion dollar empire is sure to play the part of a small cozy cottage house in Dallas, leaving the Cowboys owner looking relatively smart for installing a retractable roof when the stadium was built in 2008.
Who is the fool now?
However, there is something that feels almost indecent about playing the Super Bowl indoors, considering both teams are acclimatized to the cold. Would Vince Lombardi have tolerated being protected from the weather during Super Bowl I? Of course not. And would Franco Harris allow a game to be played under a roof whilst bearing the name “The Steel Curtain”? Never.
But perhaps that is an argument for another day.
What stands out as the truth right now is the fact that the Packers and Steelers aren’t allowing the weather to get the better of them. Green Bay’s practice facility was moved from Southern Methodist University during the week, and instead relocated to Highland Park High School’s indoor arena.
This is a move that isn’t harming Aaron Rodgers.
"We've been indoors the last three days, so I don't think that's going to be a big issue," Rodgers told reporters. "I'm hoping they put the top on Jerry World there, and I think they will. I get to wear my favorite shoes."
Unfortunately, shoe choice isn’t the only thing the Steelers must worry about in Jerry World.
In a dome atmosphere the Packers have excelled. Two weeks ago against the Atlanta Falcons Rodgers threw for 366 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with throwing only five incompletions on the day.
At Cowboys Stadium, no wind and no elements could mean another big day for the Packers passing game.
Another statistic to keep an eye on from Rodgers’ dome-zone, is the fact that any wide receiver becomes a serious target. Lately some of the Packers trustworthy players have been known to drop a few passes, yet in an enclosed environment, the chances of that happening are slim to nil.
Rodgers has accumulated 641 yards and five touchdowns in dome environments this year, making Dallas a formidable obstacle for Dick LeBeau’s defense.
Mother Nature has brought snow, and both the Packers and Steelers are steering well away from it. This may not be the 1960’s, but there is no reason a classic shootout can’t take place inside Jerry Jones’ amusement park, even if howling winds are swirling outside.