I know I'm not the only Bears fan that remembers the horrible weather conditions that plagued the Bears in Super Bowl XLI against the Colts. Seeing a game at risk of the same fate this year in the same stadium brought those terrible conditions back fresh to the mind, and actually caused me to think. Should weather ever be a factor in the Super Bowl, and if so what conditions are acceptable?
Everyone remembers that rainy day when we took a QB that had issues holding onto the ball and had him play on what amounts to a slip and slide. We've also all seen some absolutely terrible field conditions the past few years both at our very own Soldier Field, and across the league at places such as Heinz field for the infamous game that went splat and that was more of a sideshow attraction than a game of football.
Football has never been a game for the weak-willed or the thin-skinned, it's been the postal service of sports playing in rain, sleet, snow, ice, and mud; only stopping play for the occasional thunderstorm that poses a safety risk due to lightning strike. However, in the past ten years or so we've seen an absolute explosion of domes, as well as using the domes to manipulate the field of play. We've had stadiums with retractable domes that allow you to change the weather conditions depending on the opposition you're up against, we've had stadiums built to essentially amplify the crowd noise to make the home field advantage that much bigger, but one of the truths is that we've eliminated the weather from a good portion of the stadiums if those stadium owners so choose. You won't see games in the snow at these domed stadiums, nor will you see the field turned into a mud bog. You won't generally see a game played in fog so thick you can't tell where the ball is, and you won't see Santa getting pelted with ice.
Does this take something away from our game? If so, what about the transition from actual turf to field turf that has swept the league in all but a few select stadiums?
As far as my two cents on the subject go, I'd much rather see games played in the rain, snow, sleet, hail, and in freezing cold conditions that make an Antarctic expedition look like a stroll in the park. However, if the entire point of playing the game at a neutral field is to alleviate, if not eliminate, the home field advantage then it honestly doesn't make a single bit of sense to this fan to continue playing it in non-domed stadiums if we're also going to disallow any cold weather non-domed teams from having the game in the dead of winter.
I'm coming down on the all or nothing side of this one, make it a true neutral playing field if that's what you're going for. Field Turf + Closed Dome, or let's see Cutler throw a TD bomb in 20 degree weather with snow and wind.