Can Cold Weather Be “Unjust?”

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Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press Gazette thinks so. He writes:

Those who are reveling in the fact today’s NFC championship game could be one of the coldest in NFL playoff history are missing the point.

This, obviously, is the biggest game in the NFC this season. To have the outcome possibly affected by unusual weather is unjust.

To be sure, football shouldn’t be played in a climate-controlled environment such a domed stadium. Those environments are too sterile. The game should be played outside. But when the conditions are so extreme that it could have a significant impact on the outcome of the game, that’s a shame.

The hope is that the better team wins, whichever club that may be, and the conditions don’t dictate the winner.

Anyone reading this site for more than a couple of days knows that we’re among those reveling in the fact that this will be a cold game. In fact, we’ve argued for years now that the Super Bowl should be played in a cold weather town because, well, that’s the way football should be played.

Demovsky disagrees but doesn’t seem to have any reason why. He doesn’t want the game played indoors — too sterile — so we know that he prefers to have it outdoors. And what if the weather doesn’t cooperate? Again, we’re left wondering. But we’re told that Mother Nature is somehow “unjust.”

Come on. That doesn’t even make sense.

I think it’s true that the weather could affect the outcome of the game. And I disagree with the legions of experts who think this works to the Packers’ advantage. If this game were being played in, say, Arizona under clear skies and 72-degree temperature, Brett Favre would spread out the Giants’ backup defensive backs and exploit the hell out of those mismatches. Donald Driver against the once-benched Corey Webster? Greg Jennings against journeyman special teamer R.W. McQuarters? James Jones against a banged-up Aaron Ross? Koren Robinson against…who knows? Donald Lee and Bubba Franks against the Giants second-rate safeties? I think a game under those circumstances could be a blow-out in the Packers’ favor. (The main thing the the Packers have going for them today could be the size of Favre’s hands, which should make it easier for him to grip a frozen ball than it will be for the relatively dainty Eli Manning.)

I think the weather today will play the role of equalizer, something that doesn’t benefit the Packers. But it will not be “unjust.” Just as the Bears deserved to win the second match-up of the year because they better adjusted to the conditions, the Giants will deserve to win today if the Packers look like they can’t handle the cold. The “better team,” will be the one that wins the game.

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