What were you doing when you were seven years old? Video games? Cartoons? Playing outside with your neighborhood contemporaries?
I loved video games, probably a little too much. But every year, New Jersey treated us to its seemingly annual blizzard. Homework got pushed back a day or two, and everyone knew how they would substitute their school day.
Football was a run-of-the-mill option on regular days. Throw it in the rotation with basketball, tennis racket baseball, skateboarding, man hunt.
But when it snowed, everyone reported to the Common Ground.
It’s like playing football on a Tempurpedic Mattress. Every catch was a diving attempt, the trusty double-reverse hail mary was out of the arsenal because no one could hold onto the ball, and you actually considered punting.
Snow adds that extra dimension – to any sport. It has given us some of the best games of all time:
Snowplow game, Dolphins/Patriots, December 12, 1982 (wiki)
Conditions were so poor for this game, work release inmates were asked to plow the 10, 20, etc. yard markers for officials. Inmate and Patriots fan Mark Henderson decides to clear the spot from where the Patriots kicked the eventual game-winning field goal. The fourth-quarter score accounted for the only points of the sloppy contest.
2008 Winter Classic, Penguins/Sabres, January 1st, 2008 (wiki)
During blizzard-like conditions, the puck wouldn’t slide and players looked like they were first learning how to skate. The Penguins won in a shootout.
Yankees 1996 Home Opener, Royals/Yankees, April 9, 1996 (box score)
A mundane 7-3 Yankees win became a Yankees Classic when snow fell for much of the mid-April day. The Royals committed four errors in Derek Jeter’s first Home Opener.
Snow adds an extra dimension. The playing field becomes level. That’s why I enjoy watching the pro-bowl. I don’t care it’s not “real football.” It’s entertaining. It’s different.
The main premise of this post is the excitement of the potentially unexpected and never seen is desirable enough to push aside the potential damage of the weather’s byproduct implications.
The opposition argument is certainly sound – how can you let an unpredictable force play a crucial role in perhaps sports’ biggest annual game? If you’re a fan of an elite team, I understand. But for the other 93% of fans who won’t be represented, I think a blizzard would be fun to see.
As a 2013 Giants fan, I won’t have to worry about that 7%.