Posted: 4:50 pm Wednesday, January 29th, 2014
By Jeff Schultz
NEW YORK – So here I am at the weather-threatened Super Bowl in New York and I’m about to blog on the Super Bowl-threatening weather in Atlanta. What’s wrong with this picture?
This is what I know about the mess in Atlanta and what it means for the future.
1) Our city annually seems less prepared for inclement weather than any I know of.
2) Atlanta will get another Super Bowl, anyway.
I know sports fans and civic leaders who care about such things are panicking that the snow and ice of the past day in Atlanta, and the slow response in the cleanup, will significantly hurt the chances of hosting a third Super Bowl. After all, the city last hosted the game in 2000, and the lead-up to the game was marred by two ice storms: the week before the game and the weekend of.
But it’s a misconception that the NFL rewards Super Bowls based only on weather. I’ll have more on this in an essay Sunday as part of a Page 2 package of stories. But in short, the NFL rewards Super Bowls to every city with a new stadium.
Atlanta will get another Super Bowl when Falcons owner Arthur Blank gets his new palace built. It’s all but guaranteed. NFL owners – read: the commissioner’s office – have allowed Detroit, Indianapolis and Dallas to host the game in recent years because of new stadium construction.
The Super Bowl this week is in the New Jersey. The area was paralyzed by a storm last week that dropped 14 inches of snow – not an uncommon occurrence this time of year.
In 2010, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said, “I think a new stadium with this great community would be beneficial to bringing another Super Bowl to this community.”
However . . .
Given recent events, it’s safe to conclude that the Falcons, city officials and the bid committee members will need to come up with an extremely detailed plan for the league about how it would respond to bad weather the week of their centerpiece event.
That plan can’t read like this: “Two extra bags of salt and a snow plow on loan from Macon.”
Phone the Green Bay Packers and offer hotel rooms, steaks and aquarium tickets for their frozen world experts.
According to my highly placed snow-and-ice source, Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal, they’re now using cheese brine to melt ice. Turns out they have an excess of cheese brine in Wisconsin. Can we get some of that?
Have a plan, Atlanta. But don’t worry. The Super Bowl will be back.
About the Author
Jeff Schultz has worked at newspapers in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Atlanta. He has been with the Atlanta-Journal-Constitution since 1989. He has been honored several times by the Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE), National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA) and several other organizations. He also likes puppies, rock and roll and anything with cheese on it.