MUCH OF the world will be focusing on the Big Apple today as the first outdoors cold weather Super Bowl plays out. Staging the NFL's biggest event in wintry weather is just dumb.
Why punish the players for a season of success by making them play in cold weather? Also, why punish the fans by making them sit in an uncomfortable setting?
I understand New York is the media mecca. However, the game will be a cash cow where ever it is played. Sunny venues like Miami, Pasadena and Tampa should be hosting the game. At worst, a domed stadium.
Denver is used to snowy, cold and unpredictable weather. Seattle, not so much.
Fortunately, the weather will be fairly mild by winter standards. Temps will reach the 40s during the day, chilling to the upper 20s by game time. No precipitation is expected while winds will be minimal.
The game boils down to Peyton Manning against the Seahawks' top-rated defense.
Manning is continually hounded for winning only one Super Bowl. Dan Marino should be so fortunate.
But until Manning wins another, he is only going to be regarded as the NFL's best-ever regular-season QB. I say he is the best ever, and gets that monkey off his back with a 24-20 triumph tonight.
I also look for him to return at a quest for a third ring.
SPEAKING OF Super Bowls, last year's contest between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers is the tops in attracting television viewership. Second best is the 1986 Chicago Bears blasting of the New England Patriots. The Pittsburgh Steelers own the fourth spot with their 2011 game with the Green Bay Packers. The Cleveland Browns remain off the charts.
THE BELMONT County Coat Closet does tremendous work. It closed for the winter season on Jan. 21, but not before stepping up big-time for those in need. From October 2013 until Jan. 24, 2014, 1,129 coats were given to those in need by the Bellaire-based group. "The Coat Closet is thankful to those in the Ohio Valley for wonderful, generous donations which enabled the Coat Closet to keep children and adults warm this past winter," said Margaret Paolucci, spokesperson for the Belmont County Coat Closet.
THE ANNUAL Media Day Blood Drive was held in Arctic conditions Monday at WesBanco Arena. Despite the nasty weather, the American Red Cross topped its goal by collecting 383 successful units. The goal was 350. Once again, such dedication and passion speaks volumes for the character of people residing in the Ohio Valley.
I DID SOMETHING Monday and Tuesday nights that I have never done before -- putting blankets on the hood of my car, since it is parked outside. I don't know if the blankets made a difference, but the old Impala started in 15-below temps.
IN A related note, I cannot believe the Belmont County Courthouse shut down Tuesday because of the cold weather. We are a nation going soft. Thankfully, our safety forces, Tim Horton's workers and most others in the work force didn't pack it in because it was cold.
THE VILLAGE of Bellaire's Historic Landmark Commission will hold its first organizational meeting on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. in the council chambers.
CALDWELL HIGH track and cross country coach Dugan Hill is one of the best in the business. Hill has guided the Redskins to six state boys' cross country team championships. He added yet another honor to his illustrious resume when he was awarded the winner of the national Federation of High School Coaches Mideast Section Coach of the Year Award. The Mideast Section encompasses Ohio, W. Va., Pennsylvania, Delaware, Kentucky, Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Hill, who has coached at Caldwell for 35 years, is the ultimate in class and professionalism.
I WOULD be remiss if I didn't close by sending out my deepest condolences to the Rose family. Tony Rose, a standout athlete at St. John Central, died Wednesday from cancer. Tony was a star running back for the Fighting Irish and helped the Green of Ty Fleming defeat Bellaire, 16-14, in 1978. It marked the final time SJC could lay claim to beating its Guernsey Street rival. Rose, who boasted great speed with punishing toughness, went on to serve his country for 13 years in the U.S. Air Force. Tony's dad, Paul, is a legendary SJC gridder and former head coach at his alma mater. He was my head coach. Tony's mother, Rhea, was former principal at St. John Central. The Rose family has a long and distinguished association with St. John's. Tony, who also was a superb wrestler and sprinter at SJC, was 53.
Kapral may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org