NEW ORLEANS -- The first Media Day question for the starting quarterback in this year's Super Bowl was about next year's Super Bowl. And it came from a reporter from The Weather Channel.
Somehow, though, it all made sense.
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Sunday's game will be in a dome, but a year from now, the NFL's championship will be determined out in the elements at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. It will be the league's first cold-weather, outdoor attempt at a Super Bowl, and Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has been outspoken in his belief that the league's marquee event should be in marquee conditions. On Tuesday, even when taking a battering from meteorologists, Flacco maintained that position.
"They've done it the way they've been doing it the last 47 years for a reason," he said. "I think a lot goes into this game, more than just playing the game. It's about the fans, it's about the players who played for the right to get there . . . It's just kind of a crazy decision, I think."
If you think The Weather Channel would let it stand at that and accept the answer, you've clearly never seen their reporters facing down hurricane-strength winds and rain. The Weather Channel grilled Flacco further on his disdain for the great outdoors, this time backing it up with a statistical argument: Flacco's career record is 54-26 but he is only 3-3 in domes.
"Is that all I've played in domes?" Flacco asked. "Five years and only six games in domes, that's pretty crazy. The truth of the matter is when I get in here and you start throwing the ball around, you get kind of excited about it because you can tell the difference. The ball really goes in here and there are no real elements to deal with."
Flacco apologized yesterday for using an offensive term referencing the mentally disabled when he talked Monday about the possible weather conditions for next year's outdoor Super Bowl.
"Obviously, it was a bad choice of words," he said. "I wish I hadn't said it. I have a great relationship, actually, with the Special Olympics back in Baltimore and have had one for many years. I didn't mean to offend anybody and I definitely apologize for that."
That was one storm Flacco was able to control. The literal one that could impact next year's Super Bowl will not go away with an apology.
"Imagine being in 10-degree weather and snow," Flacco said of the potential setting for the game. "Have fun."