A Super Bowl Blizzard?

No I’m not forecasting this and to be honest I really haven’t even looked at the forecast for next weekend besides noting that it looked cold and it could be stormy. Still, I’m amazed by the number of articles about what the NFL will do about a Super Bowl snowstorm in New York and the nonstop buzz in the weather world about it.

Here’s a sampling:

The Weather Channel

The Daily News

The New York Post (note the not surprisingly ridiculous, and inaccurate, headline)

CBS News

If I had to guess the NFL has their mind already made up about what to do in the event of a blizzard. They’ll play the game in virtually any circumstance. The amount of money already on the table makes rescheduling the game virtually impossible. The game is played during the evening on a Sunday for a reason – it maximizes television ratings coast-to-coast. Delaying the game or moving up the game won’t work. Playing it on a Monday or Saturday? Nope – that’s not going to happen either. Losing 5% or 10% of your expected ratings will cost millions and millions of dollars.

The NFL is brilliant. They know TV and they know how to make money. When scheduling the Super Bowl in New York City they knew that a blizzard was a possibility and I’m guessing they weren’t too concerned.

Just as importantly, the drama surrounding a Super Bowl blizzard would be television gold. The frantic wall-to-wall weathercasts about the heavy snow (from the usual suspects), the second guessing on Twitter (from the weather community), and the images of swirling winds, blinding snow and freezing fans would make those indifferent about football even more interested in the game.

So, here’s my forecast. Even if only half the fans who have tickets can get there the game will go on as scheduled come snow or sun.


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