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Ten-Point Stance: Cold weather Super Bowls not cool at all

by | National NFL Insider

One of the first Super Bowls that I covered was 1992 in Minneapolis. The temperature was Pluto.

There were ice sculptures everywhere. In fact, there was ice everywhere. There wasn't extensive congregating or socializing by fans outside around the downtown areas -- like in New Orleans last week -- because it was too frigid. It was so cold -- and I'm not kidding -- the city built an overhead system so pedestrians could cross swaths of downtown without going outside.

The Super Bowl never returned.

The next cold weather Super Bowl will be in New York next year and that could be a frosty mess, too.

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The New Orleans Super Bowl was outstanding -- power loss aside. Friendly people, you could walk everywhere, and everything was reasonably priced. The opposite of the area where the Super Bowl will be next year and the place I call home, which is about 10 miles from MetLife Stadium.

Every politician from the mayor of New York to the governor of New Jersey has promised that the Super Bowl will be a success, but these promises are empty. They are also arrogant unless mayors and governors suddenly have the power to control the elements.

I also doubt the mayor or governor will be sitting outside.

They've also forgotten a key fact -- weather diminishes level of play. So not only will the experience for fans leading up to the game possibly be crappy, but the weather could make for a more poorly played contest.

Still waiting for the pols to detail how the area will deal with an already congested bridge and tunnel system. Or how, on the New Jersey side, the massively crowded Routes 3 and 46, close to the stadium, will handle the overload of cars. New York hosts big events, but the Super Bowl is a unique and unforgiving beast.

The main (wrong) reasons proponents say a cold weather Super Bowl is good:

 Football is meant to be played in the cold. Hear this all the time, but if that's true then why have all but three of the Super Bowls in history been in warm weather cities? There have been 27 in the New Orleans, Miami and Los Angeles areas alone. There are no ice sculptures in Miami.

 Spread the wealth. I agree. Spread the wealth ... to warm weather cities.

The only reason cold weather Super Bowls are in the equation is because of straight cash, homey. By including cold weather cities, the NFL increases the potential number of city suitors and bidding wars.

To the NFL, cold weather is just another revenue stream, like the All-22 game film.

One of the stars in that Minneapolis Super Bowl halftime show was Dorothy Hamill.

In 2013, she'll be able to skate through the Lincoln Tunnel.

2. I'm told the Patriots either already have -- or plan to -- initiate yet another chat with dancing fool, tight end Rob Gronkowski. It's not that Gronkowski is doing anything illegal or wrong with his public displays of Gronkness. He's not shooting anyone. He's not robbing banks. But the potential for something bad is there and, in general, the Patriots just aren't fans of their players behaving that way.

3. I continue to hear the 49ers want to make a strong play for Wes Welker but I just don't see how they can afford him. League sources also say they believe Randy Moss wants to play one more year though it's Moss. Who knows with him?

4. One of the main messages Ravens coaches have told the players in the days after the Super Bowl is to be smart during the offseason. One Ravens assistant told players: The fastest way to ruin a possible back-to-back Super Bowl run is have a bunch of arrests in the offseason.

5a. Champ of the week -- a tie. The Ravens for winning the Super Bowl and Colin Kaepernick for fighting his ass off.

5b. Chump of the week -- whomever caused the power outage in the Superdome. Hopefully it wasn't Beyonce.

5c. Tweet of the week: "Everyone who is worried bout if I'm gon be a Titan or not next year just understand its all in god hands whatever he (wants) I'm ok with it" –- Chris Johnson

6. People familiar with Rob Ryan's interview in St. Louis say he was -- how do I put this -- extremely confident.

7. Aaron Rodgers saying it's time for the franchise to forgive and forget with Brett Favre shows yet again why he is one of the class acts in football.

8. From one general manager: "Manti Te'o doesn't appear to be falling down many draft boards. His girlfriend is dropping like a rock, though."

9. When several personnel men were asked for their surprise Super Bowl team for next season, several said Kansas City. Yes, the Chiefs. But that was assuming the Chiefs get quarterback Alex Smith, which many in football assume they will do.

10. What you will read below is, by far, the best explanation of how the now infamous deer antler spray works or, more specifically, how it doesn't work.

One of the chemicals in the spray is banned by the NFL but it must solely be for appearance sake. This is why.

The following quote, written by Dr. Ben Wedro, a sports medicine expert, is presented in its entirety because it's so damn good in explaining all of this nonsense. Here is what he writes:

"Deer antler velvet is a long sought after oriental remedy that presumably increases performance. One chemical that it does contain in very minute quantities is IGF-1, insulin-like growth factor, a banned substance in athletic competitions, including the NFL.

"This is how it works. The hypothalamus, a gland in the brain, produces Growth Hormone Releasing Factor that signals the pituitary, another gland in the brain to release Growth Hormone. This signals the liver to release IGF-1 into the blood stream to stimulate the growth and proliferation of many cells in the body including muscle, bone cartilage and nerves.

"While IGF-1 has a major benefit in increasing performance, its downside is that the hormone inhibits or decreases programmed cell death. Many of the body's cells have a defined life span and billions of cells die each day. Interfering with the life cycle of a cell can potentially lead to significant diseases like cancer. Old cells may contain old, damaged DNA that gets passed to new generation cells.

"The general public tends to consider the use of performance enhancing drugs cheating, however, using IGF-1 spray raises an interesting ethical issue. Deer antler spray has insignificant amounts of this chemical, but, more importantly, the spray is deactivated by digestive enzymes in the mouth and stomach, does not enter the bloodstream and causes no biologic effect within the body. IGF-1 is chemically related to insulin and for this same reason, insulin cannot be taken by mouth and must be injected into the body. Any positive benefit received from the use of oral IGF-1 would be due to a placebo effect, and likely also the benefit found in the use of stickers and special water. Thus the ethical dilemma. Mr. Lewis' intent was to [allegedly] use a performance enhancing drug but the one chosen was improbable and ineffective. The intent to commit a crime did not result in one being committed but there was benefit in the actions."

So, in effect, Lewis got into all of that trouble for something that doesn't even work.


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