Clearly what the world needs now is more Super Bowl commentary. So to fill in what I think is a clear shortcoming in the national sports media, here are a few more thoughts on the game between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos.
Yesterday I was a guest on Bloomberg Radio with Kathleen Hays and Vonnie Quinn. Our 10 minute conversation – which is now available on-line – covered such topics as the economic impact of the Super Bowl (this article – which quotes Victor Matheson – is a good read) and who I thought was most likely to win (despite the headline, I am not very definitive). I did note that Brian Burke – at Advanced NFL Stats – seems to have quite a bit to offer on the subject.
Our conversation also touched on research I did a few years ago with Rob Simmons and Jennifer VanGilder. This reseach was featured in Freakonomics podcast on the economic of beauty this past week. The Freakonomics podcast primarily focuses on the research on Daniel Hamermesh (who literally wrote the book on the economic of beauty). But at the start of the podcast I have a conversation with Suzie Lechtenberg about quarterbacks and facial attraction (a conversation which touches on the starting quarterbacks in the Super Bowl).
And here is one more thought on the Super Bowl (not touched upon in the above interviews). As most everyone knows, the game is being played outdoors in New Jersey. Although the weather is not going to be as bad as it has been recently, February in New Jersey ain’t exactly Miami. Of course, this is not the first Super Bowl to be played in a cold location. All the others, though, were in a domed stadium. The stadium in New Jersey, though, does not have a roof.
What is interesting (at least to me) is why it doesn’t have a roof. Or more specifically, this is why I think this stadium doesn’t have a roof.
In a recent interview on CBS This Morning (I don’t have a link) the owners of the Jets and Giants noted that a roof on this stadium would cost $400 million. Of course, other stadiums – in places like Indianapolis and Detroit—do have domes. What’s the difference?
As Victor Matheson and Rob Baade note, the domed stadiums built in Indianapolis and Detroit were mostly (or entirely) constructed with public funds. In contrast, the stadium in New Jersey was built without public money.
And I think that explains why fans in New Jersey will be sitting out in the cold on Sunday. The NFL seems okay with domed stadiums that other people pay for. But if the owners have to pay, they seem happy to sit in their luxury suites and let the fans sit in the cold.
Let me close with one last thought. I think it is safe to say sports fans are being overwhelmed with Super Bowl commentary. So here is a question: What are the Las Vegas odds that any of this commentary (excluding — of course — what I am saying here!) is likely to be interesting? My sense is that the odds are very long that this will happen on Sunday!