Embrace the elements
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If people were polled five years ago about whether or not Detroit would be a good host city for a Super Bowl, most fans (if answering honestly) would have probably said no. Motown isn't exactly a prime destination spot for most people and when you think about the Super Bowl, you think about a week-long experience leading up to what should be the greatest game of the year.
But Detroit was given the opportunity to host a Super Bowl in 2006 and there's no denying that the city did a wonderful job. While Seahawks fans would love to forget what transpired at Ford Field that year, Detroit got to display its blue-collar work ethic (which is what the city was truly built on) and it turned out to be a perfect host.
I'm always reminded of Detroit and Super Bowl XL when the topic of whether or not the NFL should allow other cities besides warm-weathered ones to host the title game. And my answer is always the same: Every city should have the opportunity to host a Super Bowl.
Now, I get that the discussion is more then just about whether or not a cold-weathered city should host a Super Bowl; Detroit had a dome, so it made things easier on the committee that chooses where the game is being played because the conditions were perfect. But for me, the root of the topic goes deeper than whether or not New York, Chicago or Green Bay should be able to host a Super Bowl.
If you're a true football fan, you don't care if the Super Bowl is played in San Diego or on a sheet of ice in Alaska. You're going to watch it because you love the game. So should the 2014 Super Bowl be played at the New Meadowlands Stadium, Soldier Field or Lambeau? Yes, why not. At its roots, football was meant to be played outdoors in any condition. Rain, snow, sun or sleet, football is supposed to embrace the elements.
With that it mind, the true essence of the discussion lies in the host city. I was in the heart of the city during the days leading up to the Super Bowl in Detroit. The entire city was alive and it brought people together. Many areas were cleaned up and Motown truly embraced being the perfect host. Given the opportunity, I would like to think that most cities would treat the responsibility as serious as Detroit did.
I don't want to make the Super Bowl sound like it's this enlightening experience that ends wars, feeds the hungry and saves lives. But it does bring people together and Super Bowl XL in Detroit is proof of that. Whether or not the game should be played in perfect conditions or in the middle of a snowstorm doesn't matter. Every city should have the chance to host the title game in order to allow people to experience the hype surrounding the event. That's what really matters in the end.
May 25, 2010; 12:00 AM ET
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