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Looking More Like The NFL Shiver Bowl

Almost as soon as MetLife Stadium in New Jersey was selected as the site for the 2014 Super Bowl, contingency plans began to be developed in case circumstances impinged on the smooth running of the single biggest sporting event in the world.

This is common practice for any Super Bowl site, but this is the first cold-weather outdoor site in the history of the event. Possible scenarios were created that would necessitate the game being moved up several hours, delayed several hours or even postponed until the following week.

The colder the weather, the greater the chance this game moves into legendary status.

Barring the calamitous, the game likely will begin at the appointed time. But the very real possibility of heavy snow or ice adds a little extra complexity to logistical preparations. Interestingly, the stadium is the least of the problems. It is relatively simple to make the field game-ready in all but the most extreme circumstances. The real problems arise in getting 80,000 people to the venue and through security despite what could be huge transportation problems. Just reserving sufficient snow-removal equip ment to facilitate traffic flow in the general vicinity is a cause of NFL migraines.

I hate to admit it, but I’m hoping for challenging weather. As Bob Ryan of The Boston Globe put it, “Doesn’t matter how rich you are, you can’t buy your way into an easy trip to this game.” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has promised to sit outside with the huddled masses regardless of the weather.

There are two schools of thought about very bad conditions, should they arise. The first is that this will be a wonderful test for a team to overcome not only its opponent but the elements as well. The other is that horrible weather creates an interesting sideshow but fails miserably in determining the best football team.

Ironically, the more severe the conditions, the greater the chance that this game moves into legendary status, part of NFL folklore. And that couldn’t be bad for the brand or the “shield,” as Goodell likes to call it.

The Rainbow Warrior basketball team begins a four-game homestand this Thurs-day, making up for having played four of its first five Big West conference games on the road. Long Beach State is the opponent, and the 49ers are always one of the most athletic teams in the league. This year they feature point guard Mike Caf-fey and UCLA transfer Tyler Lamb. Saturday will feature a rematch with Cal State-Northridge, which sports one of the league’s best trios in Stephan Hicks, Stephen Maxwell and Josh Greene. The Rainbow Warriors undoubtedly feel they owe the Matadors some payback after their one-point loss on the road. The following week it will be UC-Santa Barbara and Cal Poly, so UH fans will get to watch the team try to build some momentum.