Of all the criticisms about football in 2017, the one that has been least covered is the scandalous lack of snow games.
The two best games of the weekend, and this is not disputable, were Army-Navy and Indianapolis-Buffalo, a week after a glorious Grey Cup. Those were quality games playing in gloriously awful weather, and every city with a domed stadium wept knowing it will never know that level of joy.
Then again, both the Raiders and 49ers will be home this weekend, and the weather will be disgustingly clear here as well. In fact, other than Sault Ste. Marie, MI, and Caribou, ME, there isn’t supposed to be any snow at all in the 48 this weekend.
So the question we take into Week 15, and the start of the bowl season Saturday, is “Why bother?”
Sure there are big games – the Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City, New England at Pittsburgh, the Los Angeles Rams at Seattle and Green Bay at Carolina, not to mention the five bowl games on Saturday (Boise State-Oregon at the Vegas Bowl is the best) – but the average temperature for the 15 non-domed cities is a barely brisk 48 degrees, with some possibly rain in Cleveland, Buffalo, Pittsburgh and (big surprise here) Seattle.
And that’s not good enough. Not nearly. Snow is, frankly, the only thing making 2017 football bearable at all, and if Roger Goodell wanted to earn his newfound money, he'd be up seeding clouds this weekend and through the end of the season.
The Indy-Buffalo game was the best snow game of the century, easily beating the Tuck Game in 2002 and barely edging Lions-Eagles in 2013. The metric: inches of snow above shoe tops. LeSean McCoy, who also starred in the 2013 game (219 and two scores), won Sunday’s with 156 and the game-winner in overtime, and the snow Sunday was high-ankle-sprain/lower calves deep. McCoy had more trouble lifting his legs out of the snowbanks than he did evading Colts.
Now that’s quality entertainment, the kind which we need more of between now and the start of what we suspect will be a dismally clement postseason, meteorologically speaking.
So yes, in case you were wondering, this is just more proof that there is actually global warming. It is almost certainly the only good thing about global warming. But there still aren’t enough great snow games, unless we get better forecasts from The Weather Channel. And by better, we mean worse.
You know, like damned near everything else these days.