As Super Bowl XLVIII prepares for frigid Northeast weather, "Sunday Morning" contributor is glad - after all, she says, the sport is not meant to be "dainty, like baseball":
It's finally here: Super Bowl Sunday! And if the weather reports are accurate, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. at around 6:30 p.m. -- kickoff time -- the temperature should be around 42 degrees, with overcast skies, and a 10 percent chance of precipitation. Perfect football weather!
Forget domes or Astroturf. I think football games should be played outdoors, when the sun is shining or otherwise, with players slogging through mud or ice or a snowstorm, and the fans freeze or get soaked right along with them.
Football teams keep playing despite the weather, and risk serious injury every time you hear "hut, hut" and a play begins. Football's not dainty like baseball, a game where a drizzle stops the action so fast it's like Mother Nature hollering at the players, "I told you to stop playing and get in here! It's raining! You're gonna get all wet!"
What drew me to football? Two words: John Facenda. From 1965-1984 his was the poetic voice of NFL Films. What started as simple game footage became high art.
Facenda narrated the week's best plays and games in a baritone voice that was so dramatic and rich with emotion that he was nicknamed, "The Voice of God." Add a soaring music score and slow-motion replays, and this violent sport of tackles, fumbles, incredible catches and painful hits was transformed into a kind of ballet -- opera, even -- because each game became an epic battle between gladiators.
Viewers could watch, up-close and personal, the passions of the players and coaches; the backstage drama of injuries and rivalries; even the faces of the fans, which were as intense as those watching the chariot races in "Ben-Hur." Those football films and John Facenda's voice kept me mesmerized as a child, and I've been mesmerized every since.
Of course I recognize that football is a violent sport. It's no joke. The NFL agreed to a hefty settlement to former players who suffered because of repeated head injuries. Hits and tackles punish every part of the body, and most men have to retire in their 30s. It's a young man's game, with all the testosterone and trash-talk predictions that go with being young and talented.
Despite all that, I'll still check out the Super Bowl, which is less than super for me, because neither the Jets nor Giants are playing. And it's also less than super because a football game's actual playing time is 60 minutes. Once you make the singing of the National Anthem an Event, and the coin-toss an Event, and the half-time show an Even Bigger Event, and every commercial during every time-out is an Event (they'd better be, since a 30-second ad will cost advertisers around $3.8 million), we're talking about a 4-hour-plus game.
And that doesn't even count any of the pre-game shows.
Super Bowl XLVIII, Seattle Seahawks vs. the Denver Broncos. Maybe I'll sort some receipts while I watch.