Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks may be a bit chilly throughout Super Bowl Sunday night, but don't expect either to be all that bothered.
Predictions of a winter storm possibly forcing the Super Bowl to be played on another day have been replaced by far more reasonable forecasts. Temperatures are, according to multiple sources, expected to hover in the 30s during Sunday afternoon, and there is a small chance that a wintry mix or even a rain shower could fall in the early evening hours. Winds should die down to under 10 mph at and around MetLife Stadium, the venue for Super Bowl XLVIII, and the real feel temperature on the field could remain in the 20s for much or even all of the contest.
Neither quarterback scheduled to start on Sunday will be intimidated by the latest forecasts. Wilson spent his final college season at the University of Wisconsin, and he now plays eight regular season games in Seattle, an area of the country where it isn't always kind to passing games. Manning, a veteran of 16 NFL seasons, has seen it all and done it all in the league.
Having to use a hand-warmer for a few hours isn't going to bug the future Hall of Fame QB.
The notion that the weather could be on the side of the Seahawks evaporates a little more with each new day and each new forecast. Seattle's defense, the best that Denver's historic offense will have seen this season, likely won't be getting a hand from any precipitation or from any wind gusts. Stopping maybe the greatest quarterback to ever play the position will be all on the Seahawks.
Assuming that the weather will be ideal for the Seattle offense, most notably for running back Marshawn Lynch, could be a mistake. The Denver defense did well to stop what had, leading up to the AFC Championship Game, been a high-powered rushing attack of the New England Patriots. New England picked up just 64 rushing yards on that afternoon. The Patriots were, for what it's worth, trailing 20-3 midway through the third quarter of that contest.
While it's looking more and more as if Sunday evening will present some good old fashioned football weather for those participating in the Super Bowl, fans watching in-person could be in for a rougher experience. Just as at the old Giants Stadium, even a small amount of wind hits seating areas in the second and third levels of MetLife Stadium hard.
This is especially true once the sun goes down. I've experienced the sensation while attending fall football games, during the 2012 New York Giants Super Bowl celebration, and at last spring's WrestleMania event. Fans attending the upcoming Super Bowl will be presented with welcome bags that include a variety of warming items, such as a seat cushion and texting gloves.
That said, those going to the game should take extra steps to ensure they enjoy the experience as much as possible. Multiple layers, as well as protection for the face (i.e. a scarf) are all recommended. In other words, dress as you would for a football game that's occurring in a cold-weather climate during the winter.
The only thing that has been for sure about the current winter in the NYC/NJ region is that nothing is for sure until it happens. Dramatic dips in temperatures have again hit the area, and wind chills in and around New York City will be in the single digits on Tuesday evening. A cold front that, as of now, isn't expected to have an impact on the Super Bowl could slow down, or it could go through a change of trajectory.
An accurate forecast for kickoff may not be fully known until Sunday morning.