1/25/14, "New York Area Weather Has a History with the Super Bowl," NY Times, Dave Anderson
"In the countdowns to each of the previous 47 Super Bowls, the primary question was, quite simply, Which team will win?
But as Denver and Seattle await XLVIII next Sunday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., questions about the weather for the first outdoor cold-climate Super Bowl have upstaged even the point spread.
How cold will it be? How windy? If it snows or rains, how much and when? Before the game? During the game?...
For the 11 professional football championship games at the Polo Grounds, Yankee Stadium, Shea Stadium and Giants Stadium over the last eight decades, the weather has ranged from relatively pleasant to arctic.
DEC. 9, 1934 The Sneakers Game. With the Polo Grounds field frozen by 16-degree cold, the Giants, wearing rubber-soled sneakers borrowed at halftime from Manhattan College, rallied for 27 points in the fourth quarter to dethrone the Chicago Bears for the N.F.L. title, 30-13. Ken Strong rushed for touchdowns of 42 and 11 yards and kicked a 38-yard field goal before 35,059. “They were able to cut back,” the Bears star Bronko Nagurski said, “and we couldn’t.”
DEC. 13, 1936 Although the Boston Redskins won the Eastern Division title, their home attendance had been so low that the team owner, George Preston Marshall, transferred the N.F.L. championship game to the Polo Grounds, where it attracted 29,595 in bright, clear weather with temperatures around freezing. The Green Bay Packers won, 21-6, as Arnie Herber threw two touchdown passes. The next season, the Redskins moved to Washington.
DEC. 11, 1938 The day before, the Polo Grounds field was so muddy from days of steady rain, the Giants practiced in the vacant lot next to the ballpark. Ed Danowski passed for two touchdowns in a 23-17 victory over the Packers before 48,120 in 40-degree weather. In The New York Times, Arthur J. Daley nicknamed the title game the Cash Bowl. Each Giant’s bonanza was $504, each Packer’s $369.
DEC. 17, 1944 In sunny, mid-40s weather, the Packers defeated the Giants, 14-7, before 46,016 at the Polo Grounds. Ted Fritsch scored two touchdowns as the Packers mostly used the star receiver Don Hutson as a decoy. Al Blozis, a Giants star tackle recently commissioned an Army lieutenant, was permitted to play before World War II duty in Europe; five weeks later, he was killed in action in France.
DEC. 15, 1946 The day before, the police questioned Giants tailback Frank Filchock and fullback Merle Hapes about an offer of a $2,500 bribe and a $1,000 bet from the gambler Alvin Paris to throw the N.F.L. title game against Chicago. Hapes was ruled ineligible by Commissioner Bert Bell for not reporting the offer to Giants officials. Filchock, who denied the offer (he later acknowledged it in court) was allowed to play; he threw two touchdown passes as the Bears won, 24-14, before 58,346 at the Polo Grounds in 30-degree weather. Filchock and Hapes were later suspended indefinitely.
DEC. 30, 1956 In windy, 20-degree cold, 56,836 fans watched the Giants rout the Bears, 47-7, at Yankee Stadium with snow on the sidelines. Anticipating a frozen field, Giants defensive end Andy Robustelli brought four dozen pairs of sneakers from his Stamford, Conn., sporting goods store. Gene Filipski ran back the opening kickoff 53 yards to the Bears’ 39, and the Giants rolled. Alex Webster scored two touchdowns, and the Giants’ defense, led by the rookie linebacker Sam Huff, stuffed the Bears. They wore sneakers, too, but their coach, Paddy Driscoll, said, the Giants’ “soles were thicker.”
|1962 NFL Chp.at Yankee Stad. w. dust, getty|
DEC. 28, 1958 The N.F.L. championship game that came to be known as the Greatest Game Ever Played went into the league’s first overtime in perhaps the greatest possible weather: 47 degrees at the 2 p.m. kickoff, 49 at 4 p.m. with little wind. The Giants led the Baltimore Colts, 17-14, on Charlie Conerly’s 15-yard touchdown pass to Frank Gifford with two minutes remaining at Yankee Stadium. But Johnny Unitas drove the Colts 73 yards to position Steve Myhra’s tying 20-yard field goal with seven seconds on the clock. In overtime, Unitas, completing passes to Raymond Berry for 25, 16 and 21 yards, set up Alan Ameche’s 1-yard touchdown for the Colts’ 23-17 victory.
DEC. 30, 1962 As if the 17-degree temperature for the second-half kickoff of the N.F.L. title game at Yankee Stadium wasn’t frigid enough for the Giants and the Packers, swirling wind as wild as 40 miles per hour blunted their passing. Y. A. Tittle, who threw for 33 regular-season touchdowns for the Giants, completed 18 of 41 passes for 197 yards. “When the ball hit the wind,” he said, “it swerved like a dying duck.” Bart Starr hit 9 of 21 for only 85 yards for the Packers. In a duel of 13 punts, Jim Taylor rushed for 85 yards, including a 7-yard touchdown, and Jerry Kramer kicked three field goals in the Packers’ 16-7 victory. The Giants’ score resulted from a blocked punt. [image above]
DEC. 29, 1968 Early arrivals for the American Football League championship game at Shea Stadium stared. On orders from Al Davis, the Oakland major-domo, carpenters had erected a wooden chicken-coop-like structure on the Raiders’ sideline to shield his players from the frigid upper 30s cold with swirling 15-m.p.h. wind that gusted to 25 to 30 m.p.h. League officials quickly ordered the enclosure dismantled before the kickoff. In the wind, Joe Namath completed only 19 of 49 passes for 266 yards, but three were for touchdowns. The Jets won, 27-23, before 62,627 to qualify for Super Bowl III in Miami, where they upset the Colts, 16-7.
JAN. 11, 1987 When the Giants won the coin toss, Coach Bill Parcells opted to kick off in 30-degree cold at Giants Stadium with gusts in excess of 30 m.p.h. at their back. As the defense pinned the Redskins’ offense, the Giants jumped to a 10-0 lead on Raul Allegre’s 47-yard field goal and Phil Simms’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Lionel Manuel. Joe Morris added a 1-yard run for a 17-0 halftime lead. In the scoreless second half, the defense, led by Lawrence Taylor and Harry Carson, completed the shutout. In a blizzard of torn paper, 76,633 celebrated the N.F.C. champions’ first trip to the Super Bowl, a 39-20 win over the Broncos.
JAN. 14, 2001 With the temperature in the mid-40s and not much wind, the Giants routed the Minnesota Vikings, 41-0, for their third N.F.C. title in one of the franchise’s most dominant postseason performances. Quarterback Kerry Collins completed 28 of 39 passes for 381 yards and 5 touchdowns. Ike Hilliard caught 10 passes, two for touchdowns, for 155 yards. Coach Jim Fassel’s offense amassed 518 yards and 31 first downs. The defense limited the Vikings to 114 yards and 9 first downs as 79,310 at Giants Stadium looked forward to the franchise’s third Super Bowl, a 34-7 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Tampa, Fla.
But now, with the Broncos and the Seahawks about to arrive, the primary Super Bowl XLVIII question remains to be answered: What will the weather be and how will it affect the game?"