Medical personnel tend to an unidentified man injured by falling...

Medical personnel tend to an unidentified man injured by falling ice off of Cowboys Stadium, the site of NFL football Super Bowl XLV. Many are concerned that the 2014 Super Bowl, scheduled to be held at New Meadowlands Stadium, will also be affected by snowfall and other bad weather. (Jan. 4, 2011) Credit: AP


With travel at a virtual standstill thanks to a rare ice storm early Tuesday and then an even more surprising snowstorm Friday, this wasn't exactly the run-up to the first Super Bowl in the Dallas-Forth Worth area that organizers had in mind.

In fact, it has been a downright mess. And a dangerous one, too.

On Friday afternoon, six people were injured when ice fell off the roof of Cowboys Stadium.

On a much less serious note, several Super Bowl parties had to be canceled, airport delays were interminable, and driving conditions were treacherous. Evidently, snowplows and road salt in Dallas-Forth Worth are as rare as . . . well . . . snow.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said Friday that he thought things went relatively smoothly here in terms of how officials dealt with the elements. "I think this community has done an extraordinary job under some very difficult circumstances that are across this country,'' he said. "There are very few communities anywhere right now [that] have not been impacted by this storm. This community has pulled together and done an extraordinary job, and my hat's off to them."

That was before the ice started falling from Jerry Jones' $1.3-billion Cowboys Stadium, areas of which had to be closed until they were clear of danger.

So if it's this bad in Dallas, what happens when the big show comes to New Meadowlands Stadium in 2014?

"The most important lesson is you have to be prepared for everything," Goodell said when I asked him if he has any concerns about 2014. "In New York, not only are they prepared, they're probably planning on this type of weather. The fact is they're going to be prepared for this. It's going to be a fantastic Super Bowl here, and I also think it's going to be a fantastic event in New York."

There are no guarantees, of course, as the Christmas blizzard of 2010 reminded us. For an area used to dealing with snow on a regular basis, even New York/New Jersey failed miserably to deal with a storm that was bigger than anyone had expected. Sounds a lot like what happened in Dallas, where wind chills dipped into the single digits and black ice on the roads led to dozens of accidents. Some local airports closed and many passengers endured white-knuckle landings in the wind and snow.

Chances are much greater that the New York/New Jersey area won't experience these kinds of logistical nightmares.

Snow on game day in 2014 is a concern, especially a freakishly big storm. But you'd better believe there will be an unprecedented mobilization of forces to pull off a successful New York/New Jersey experience.

"I'm actually a big supporter of a Super Bowl," Patriots owner Robert Kraft said. "I actually hope we're in the game. Having the elements as part of the game is real special."

As New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie reminded skeptics who bristled about an outdoor Super Bowl in the North, "I don't care whether it snows or doesn't . . . Everybody will be here and ready. Weather, nobody can do anything about it. What we can do is something about the aftermath of the weather."

Dallas couldn't handle the aftermath, making for an uncomfortable pregame experience for fans plunking down thousands of dollars to be here. Here's hoping Steelers-Packers in Super Bowl XLV - in which weather won't be a factor in the enclosed Cowboys Stadium - will make up for the midweek misery.

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