Usually, Shula’s good for a teabag around Week 8, when he and the rest of the (annoying) 1972 Dolphins pop a bottle of champagne and celebrate the last undefeated team to lose. Note: the ’72 Dolphins are the most overrated team of all-time.
Anyway, this week is all about the Super Bowl. The greatest game for the greatest sport. And this year, it’s in New York. [note: we know it’s actually in New Jersey but we respect New Jersey about as much as we respect Canadians and Cowboys fans. Apparently, we’re not alone in our treatment of Jersey.] Yes, an outdoor Super Bowl in the northeast in the winter. Why? Because RGI’s a boss, and isn’t afraid to mix things up. But not everyone’s happy with this.
Cue Don Shula, the perpetually tanned, retired Floridian. According to Shula, the Super Bowl should be played “in conditions where weather won’t be or might not be something that affects the outcome.” Shockingly, Miami is top on his list on where it should be. His other reason for a mandatory warm weather Super Bowl? The fans. “You’ve got to give the fans an opportunity to come in ahead of time, enjoy what the town has to offer, enjoy the game and then stay for a couple of days afterwards, and enjoy everything. So if it’s a brutal weather condition in New York, you’re not going to do that.”
The Machine can sum up his remarks as follows: blah, blah, blah, get off my lawn. Listen, it’s not my fault your bones have been sucked free of calcium and your standing body temperature is just above dying…but that doesn’t mean holding the Super Bowl in New York is a bad idea. In fact, it’s a great idea.
First, who says that the Super Bowl has to be played in pristine weather? Some of the best playoff games have been played in cold weather. The Ice Bowl. The Tuck Rule Game. The frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. These have been some of the greatest playoff games ever (Super Bowls included)…so why is it ok to have these games played in cold weather but not the Super Bowl?
Oh right, the fans, they benefit from a warm Super Bowl right? Sorry old man, but the fans are actually the biggest benefactors to having the game in New York. Why? Because ticket prices have plummeted, meaning regular people can actually go. So, the Super Bowl is in the greatest city in the world, at bargain basement prices (by Super Bowl standards) and somehow the fans are losing out? It’s actually giving real fans an opportunity to go to the Super Bowl (I’ve yet to convince Mrs. Machine that it’s a legitimate business expense, but I still got a few days).
Sure, the VP for Pepsi may not like because he can’t put up his (obnoxious) outdoor display of Pepsi swag (note: who the fuck drinks Pepsi while tailgating?) and shamelessly self-promote with scantily clad women (ok that is kind of a drawback). (add pepsi pic).
Who cares if some advertisers are put out and have to think creatively on how to sell their product (put a heater next to the scantily clad women). The Super Bowl is for the fans, and you know the NFL knows how to treat its fans right.
So what does the NFL do? They take over Times Square. The NFL created Super Bowl Boulevard, encompassing 13 blocks in Midtown. By all accounts, this is going to be the greatest NFL fan experience ever…certainly better than hanging out in a parking lot in Tempe, Arizona.
Sorry Don, we know old people hate change, and we know you lost the coldest Super Bowl, so maybe that’s why you’re jaded. Either way, you’re wrong. The Super Bowl this year (a) is in the greatest City, (b) has the cheapest ticket prices, (c) has the best fan experience, and (d) totally treats New Jersey like the door mat it is. What could be better?
Enjoy your teabag (ask your grandson what that is).