With memories of last week’s blizzard still fresh, concerns arose about what might happen if a similar storm hit the New York metropolitan area about the time of next year’s Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium.
But ask the man who has been in charge of running more than half the Super Bowls ever played, and he has two words for anyone anxious about what might happen: “Relax, OK?“
Jim Steeg, the NFL’s senior vice president of special events from 1979 to 2005, believes the game will be played with minimal complications. And even if weather issues arise, the league and local government agencies will handle potential problems.
In other words, the show will go on.
“In New York and New Jersey, the one thing you’ve got is the ability to clear everything in the event of a storm,” Steeg said. “After (last week’s) storm, it took a day and everything was back to normal.”
And even if it snows on game day, Steeg believes the area will be prepared to provide safe travel for fans to and from the game.
“You’ve got all the equipment there, all the resources to bring to bear, and a lot of mass transportation. I don’t think there will be a problem,” said Steeg, who became the Chargers’ chief operating officer after leaving the NFL. He now is a sports business consultant in San Diego.
The NFL has contingency plans – including changing the date of the game, currently Feb. 2 – in the event of a snowstorm.
“If we have to make adjustments, we will,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. “We have had contingency plans for the previous 47 Super Bowls.”
The contingency plans might not be limited to snow.
“We are now working on a plan in the event an asteroid hits,” McCarthy quipped, referring to an asteroid that flew only 17,000 miles past the Earth on Friday and a meteorite that hit the atmosphere near Chelyabinsk, Russia.
Steeg said experiences with bad weather have prepared the NFL for the worst. The one variable that’s different is next year’s game will be the first at an outdoor stadium in a northern city.
24. Gleason, 34, will be pushed in his wheelchair by his brother-in-law, Vinnie Varisco.
• It was a little more than three years ago that Green Bay Packers cornerback Charles Woodson beat out New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis for defensive player of the year.
Now Woodson, 36, has been released by the Packers, and Revis, who will turn 28 in July, might be traded.
Former second-round pick Titus Young has been released twice within two weeks. After being claimed off waivers by the Rams, coach Jeff Fisher decided to part ways with the wide receiver. Young frequently clashed with Lions coaches and fought once had a fight with teammate Louis Delmas.
• That the Browns are considering a trade of quarterback Brandon Weeden is no surprise. Consider: Newly hired vice president of player personnel Michael Lombardi, while serving as an NFL Network analyst last year, called the first-round selection of Weeden a “panicked disaster.”