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Take 2

A different spin on sports by The Seattle Times staff and readers.

December 19, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Super Bowl Tuesday? A major storm could make it happen

Don’t make your plans to go to the Super Bowl quite yet, Seahawk fans.

Sure, the Seahawks have the NFL’s best record. And, yeah, they just won a game at MetLife Stadium, beating the New York Giants 23-0 last Sunday.

So what could go wrong?

Well, besides the not-so-simple matter of winning at least two NFC playoff games, there’s this: The weather.

The NFL said Wednesday that a major storm could force postponement of Super Bowl, which is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 2, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. And because the game is being played outside in a cold-weather city for the first time, weather is a very real worry for the NFL.

How would you feel about Super Bowl Monday or Tuesday?

Realize, of course, that it’s more than just rescheduling your Super Bowl party. Imagine trying to change your plane tickets or get a hotel room in New York City for a couple of extra nights at the last minute? Sounds difficult to pull off during a normal weekend, but if tens of thousands of other football fans are scrambling to do the same thing, it’s a nightmare scenario.

The NFL unveiled its contingency plans Wednesday, attempting to show that it is ready for anything. But most of the media reports focused on the idea that the game could be delayed and it would be a last-minute decision.

Don’t worry, though, that’s highly unlikely. A dusting or even a few inches of the white stuff won’t be enough for a postponement.

According to Bloomberg News Service, on Feb. 2, the stadium will have 1,600 people deployed – about double what it normally has – along with 30 front-end loaders, 12 dump trucks, and six plows.  In addition, the New Jersey’s Transportation Department will have more than 800 trucks to plow or salt roads within a 30-mile radius. The agency will have as many as 3,200 trucks statewide at its disposal, and almost 60,000 tons of salt.

The Feb. 2 forecast is for a high of 36, a low of 18 and no precipitation.

The NFL is confident it can handle anything.

“I think it would be better if it snowed a little bit during the game,” Frank Supovitz, the NFL’s senior vice-president of events, told ESPN. “I think it’ll just make it more memorable.”

And there’s one more thing to consider. This Super Bowl could help determine whether Seattle’s ever going to host one of its own. If weather becomes a major problem, NFL officials aren’t likely to look at CenturyLink Field as an option, even if the likelihood of snow in Seattle is much lower. But if the Feb. 2 game becomes a major success, who knows?

Want to be a reader contributor to The Seattle Times’ Take 2 blog? Email your original, previously unpublished work or proposal to Sports Editor Don Shelton at dshelton@seattletimes.com or sports@seattletimes.com. Not all submissions can be published. The Times reserves the right to edit and publish any submissions online and/or in print.

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