When midweek temperatures dropped to the teens, critics questioned the judgment of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in pushing for a New York metropolitan-area Super Bowl. But a group of former Giants and Jets in town for Super Bowl XLVIII offered their unanimous support for a cold-weather venue.
"If you're going to do it in a cold area, New York is a great place to do it because the city knows how to handle snow and ice; they know how to move people in and out of the city; they know how to protect them," former Jets safety Erik McMillan said. "This is a great place to do a Super Bowl."
McMillan now lives in Atlanta, a major city that virtually was shut down by two inches of snow last week. Even though Atlanta has the Georgia Dome, McMillan said: "You've got to question whether you want to do a Super Bowl there in the month of February. New York has mass transit. Nothing has been canceled."
Bart Oates, who played center on the Giants' Super Bowl champs in 1986 and 1990 and for the 1994 champion 49ers, added: "As a player, you don't care where it's at. You're playing the game you've wanted to be in your entire life. They don't care if it's 100 degrees or if it's below zero. It's not about enjoying, it's about winning."
Jets linebacker Greg Buttle, who was part of the 1982 Jets team that lost the AFC Championship Game in the infamous Mud Bowl in Miami, echoed those sentiments.
"There's not a player in the NFL who wouldn't prefer to play in 45-degree weather rather than 75 or 80 degrees or zero degrees," Buttle said. "Anything above freezing, a football player has no idea it's that cold out. It is like balmy when you play in that [cool] weather."
Linebacker Harry Carson, a member of the 1986 Giants, said: "Winter, New York, football -- we're used to this. It's those people who come from out of town who might be griping and complaining about the weather. I'm happy the game is here in the New York area. Hopefully, New York will get consideration down the road for another event like this."