The League

Emil Steiner
Editor and Blogger

Emil Steiner

The author of NFL Crime Watch and Founding Editor of The League.

Home-Field Would be Advantageous

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Call me a purist but, in my estimation, football seems most at home on a crisp, snowy field behind a local high school. That or the rainy hub-capped lot from "Invincible." Football is not about palm trees or F-16 Fighter Jets or Janet Jackson exposing herself (though the Boss playing halftime fits).

I've always believed that it's the sport, not the spectacle, that makes football great, and the most important game of the year should embody that. Of course, there is a chicken-and-egg feel to this debate -- the game would never have become as celebrated were it not for the spectacular promotion. That said, the NFL is so successful now it can afford to do the right thing.

If you're not into purity, what about fairness? Every other major professional sport in America decides its championship on competing teams' home fields. Why not football? Why choose between four or five Disneyesque sites every year when the league could host its biggest game in a stadium where the fans love the game and the team has earned the right to give it to them? Because of the weather? Because of the planning? Trust me, people would deal with it.

Football is a cold-weather sport. Its most iconic moments, from the Greatest Game Ever played to the Ice Bowl to the Immaculate Reception, took place in bleak, mid-winter conditions. How great would it be to have Super Bowl XLIII played in blustery Heinz Field? I'm sure the Cardinals would hate it, but if they had played better during the regular season they could be hosting. And that's what it should be about. Last week our panel discussed the declining value of the regular season. Perhaps this would be the solution.

By Emil Steiner  |  January 26, 2009; 1:19 PM ET  | Category:  Arizona Cardinals , Emil Steiner , Pittsburgh Steelers , Tampa Bay Buccaneers Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: The Spectacle, Not the Game | Next: Depends on Scheme

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You're an idiot, and how old are you, 17? How are they letting you opine on such a subject? You should be the beat reporter at Miley Cyrus concerts.
I'm only half kidding.
Seriously, do you think the NFL (which at its core is still a business) is going to give up all that money they get from holding the Super Bowl in a neutral location where they can hold all kinds of events not affected by the weather? This column was a farce.

Posted by: RiggoisDrunk | January 26, 2009 7:49 PM

I could not agree with you more. It would give the real fans a chance to attend rather than a lot of people who have not been to a game all year and just want to be seen. Just imagine the energy,noise, and spirit there would be if this year's game was in Pittsburgh while you watch the wealthy in Tampa watch the game. And the worst part is it is not always a neutral site. Suppose Tampa Bay had won their conference this year.They would be awarded a home game just by the fact that they won in a year when their home town just happened to be picked to host. Yet, other places which would never be picked because of weather and no dome would never have this chance. So it is NOT really neutral. As for all the other things, forget them, they are just a distraction anyhow, I just want to see a football game without an exaggerated halftime or all of the nonsense that goes into buildup. I recently saw an article about how many people are traveling to Pittsburgh to watch the game on TV with people who will really care about the team (and that may well be happening in Arizona for all I know). That is truly what sports are all about.

Posted by: TomfromNJ1 | January 27, 2009 7:49 AM

Zzzzzzzzz.

Posted by: fan1 | January 27, 2009 8:30 AM

Playing in the snow is not necessarily more fair. San Diego, Miami, Houston, New Orleans, Tampa, Arizona, LA, San Fran, Oakland and HELLO, Dallas all have warm weather now. How many Super Bowls do those teams have combined?
What is unfair is giving up the home field to have a game outside of the snow. I think the football would be just as good if the Super Bowl was in Arizona as long as they had the best record. That should be the issue.

Posted by: cardman25 | January 27, 2009 12:39 PM

Had the Eagles made the Super Bowl instead of Arizona, I think the NFL should have switched neutral sites to State College and played at the 100,000+ seat Penn State stadium. That would have been a great game. Of course, they wouldn't do it and Tampa would be livid, but can you imagine the setting?

Posted by: adamobrian | January 30, 2009 10:23 AM

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