(DETROIT FREE PRESS) - In an era before domed stadiums became common, Mike Ditka played his share of tough games in poor weather as a Hall of Fame tight end for the Chicago Bears in the 1960s.
Soldier Field. Lambeau Field. Tiger Stadium. Ditka played in them all, and he didn't mind.
But Ditka said playing the Super Bowl outdoors in the terrible weather expected Sunday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., is dumb.
"The weather's going to be a problem," Ditka told the Free Press. "They made a big mistake. The game shouldn't be there. I mean, it's stupid."
Early weather forecasts for Super Bowl XLVIII call for temperatures around 30 degrees with a mix of snow and rain.
"First of all, it's not fair to the players," Ditka said. "It's not going to be fair to the fans. It's not going to be that enjoyable.
"I mean, I understand it's the Super Bowl and it's a privilege to play in the Super Bowl. It'd be nice to be playing in Miami or San Diego or New Orleans or somewhere the weather is conducive to guys being able to show their talents."
And that's Ditka's biggest beef with the game in poor weather. Players really can't play to their full potential for artificial reasons. When Ditka played in the mud and blood on sloppy fields, it was an unavoidable necessity.
The NFL will have an army of snow-removal personnel and equipment on hand. But even commissioner Roger Goodell doesn't have the power to stop the rain, wind and snow.
"I'm just saying, if you get extreme cold or you get snow during the game, then it's unfair to the fans, to the players, to everybody," Ditka said. "You're not going to be able to perform at near the level you're used to. And the element of luck comes into it, and it shouldn't happen in that game. That game should be based on the people on the field who make the plays."
Detroit Free Press