December 13th, 2013
It doesn't show signs of stopping, yet the game continues to be played. Of course in your home in front of the television, watching professional football players run around in eight inches of snow is entertaining, but the NFL is not all about entertainment. Players are cold. Refs are cold. Fans at the games are cold! Are these conditions really appropriate to have an NFL game played in? The answer cannot be simply stated without a little observation using the cost/benefit analysis.
Last week in the NFL, there were several games played while hundreds of thousands of flakes pelted the players both on and off the field. Slippery and frosty, the icy fields made for some wacky plays. Despite the cold weather, Ben Roethlisberger played very well against the Miami Dolphins. In Washington, the Kansas City Chiefs stormed into the freezing city and blew out the Redskins in some bitter conditions. During a wacky game between Baltimore and Minnesota in which the teams went back and forth in the last few minutes, snow glazed the entire field.
However, none of these stadiums compared to the arguably blizzard conditions, literally, in Philadelphia. The wind was so bad, that only one extra point was attempted to be kicked the entire game, and it was blocked! At the end of the game, the field was covered in eight inches of snow! In these particular situations, one must wonder why anyone would want to play or go to watch a game with weather like this.
While seeing snow fly up everywhere after every step is entertaining, the players out on the field definitely do not appreciate it. The snow causes wacky plays which fans love. Center to quarterback exchanges are in jeopardy. Two-point conversions are attempted after almost every touchdown! Also, with all the snow, you never know whether or not a defensive player is going to trip and fall thus allowing a big play! With these conditions, games are just plainly more exciting!
Unfortunately, there are also many negative affects to this weather. First of all, the wind, snow, or sleet can cause problems with the technical aspect of the NFL. For example, fans watching the Lions and Eagles came on their TV on Sunday might have found it difficult to see exactly what was going on. Next, the fact that the weather affects the players' approach to the game can make it more exciting, but it can also have the opposite effect. If you are a fan that enjoys watching shootout games with gun slinging quarterbacks, you might be disappointed to find that a majority of the game is runs up the middle because the snow and wind affects passes. Maybe you are anticipating watching a quarterback play, but he does badly because he has difficulty handling snaps. Lastly, and most obviously, is the fact that everybody is cold. If you go to a game, you are not expecting to come back from the bathroom at half time to find your seat covered in snow. You also better dress warmly, because it is not going to be pleasant if you are freezing for the entire three hours you are there.
Players in the NFL are trained to play in severe weather conditions, and it was quite obvious last week. Fans were given several opportunities to watch professional players battle in harsh winds and stinging ice. These games are indisputably interesting. This can be a positive or negative factor. It seems reasonable, when you find yourself in this predicament, to delay, or even reschedule these games.