The League

Zach Leibowitz
Sideline Reporter

Zach Leibowitz

A former sideline reporter for ESPN

Home Work to Be Done


Let's face it, it's just not going to happen. Here's the problem with trying to give one team a home-field advantage over the other for the Super Bowl -- you won't know which team will host the game until the conference championships are over. That's only two weeks before the Super Bowl is supposed to take place. How on earth could a Super Bowl committee plan for such festivities on such short notice? The Super Bowl is much more than a championship game. It is a worldwide event involving media, entertainers and sponsors coming in from all over the world. This isn't something you just throw together in a fortnight. The truth is that money and marketing take priority over the question of whether there should be a Super Bowl home-field advantage.

But it is a valid question. The Steelers were the better team with the better record this season. They used the snowy conditions over the last few weeks to beat up quality opponents and earn their Super Bowl spot. Shouldn't they be granted a chance to play in similar conditions since they were the better regular season team? Isn't playing in Tampa a legitimate disadvantage for the Steelers? Trust me, it's a huge relief for Arizona to be playing in what should be relatively comfortable conditions in Tampa. No cold, snowy conditions anticipated, which means it should be the same balmy weather Arizona's passing game thrived in this season. You put the Cardinals in frigid, real football conditions and Arizona wouldn't have a prayer. Did you see them in Philly and New England weather this season?

Let's face it, logistically it's virtually impossible to have one team host the Super Bowl over the other. But, instead of making the game an annual tradition in some golf resort of a city, let's change the variety of venues to a colder, more-football friendly region. Why not New York or Washington or Nashville or Kansas City? Why not Denver or Baltimore or Oakland? Let's change it up a bit and take a couple more weather-related risks. If the Super Bowl happens to be played on a day when snow is in the forecast, oh well. That's just the way it goes, just like the conditions that happened to be in place during the Tom Brady 'tuck rule' game vs. Oakland in 2001. I understand that warm or dome stadium conditions are preferable because it makes all those who don't actually play in the game enjoy the overall experience much more. I get that nobody wants to freeze their tails off for all the planning and festivities that takes place for two weeks leading up to the game. I was in Detroit the other year for the week leading up to Super Bowl XL, and it was freezing and quite uncomfortable.

But this is football. I'm willing to concede that home-field advantage is not feasible. But there are many cities across this country that could just as easily invite the world for a couple weeks. How hard can it be to vary it up a little -- so long as you remember to bring gloves and an extra coat!

By Zach Leibowitz  |  January 26, 2009; 6:19 AM ET  | Category:  Arizona Cardinals , Pittsburgh Steelers , Zach Leibowitz Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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