Goodell: Don't sweat weather for 2014 Super Bowl


Goodell: Don't sweat weather for 2014 Super Bowl

NEW YORK (AP) Super Cold?

NFL officials aren't just bracing for potential wintry weather at next year's Northeastern Super Bowl - they're embracing it, Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday.

The first Super Bowl ever in the New York metropolitan area is almost exactly a year away in a region currently clenched by bitter cold, reviving chatter about whether the weather will chill fans' enthusiasm. But Goodell said the league would be prepared if there's snow, ice or low temperatures for the game on Feb. 2, 2014.

``Football is made to be played in the elements,'' he said as he and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg previewed a week of city events leading up to the championship at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., home of the Giants and Jets. Pre-game parties and other activities also are set in New Jersey.

``We're going to celebrate the game here, we're going to celebrate the weather and we're going to make it a great experience,'' Goodell said.

Jets owner Woody Johnson acknowledged that ``this is going to be challenging.'' But, he added, ``it's going to be a lot of fun. ... We have to welcome this weather, and we will.''

The Super Bowl has never been played outdoors in a cold-weather setting before. Organizers are positioning it as a cool - perhaps literally - new experience for fans and a lucrative showcase for both New Jersey and New York City, which are sometimes grudging neighbors. Events will range from a pre-game tailgate party at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey to a four-day festival that will shut down 10 blocks of Broadway.

An early estimate suggested the 2014 Super Bowl could generate $550 million to $600 million in economic activity on both sides of the Hudson River, host committee president Al Kelly said.

For New York, the event also evokes the sports-centered spectacle Bloomberg aimed to stage when the city proposed to host the 2012 Olympics, a plan that centered on building a stadium for the Jets on Manhattan's far West Side. A state board ultimately nixed the stadium proposal amid traffic and other concerns.

The stadium could have brought the Super Bowl itself to the city, as the NFL at one point agreed the Jets could host the 2010 game if they had the new Manhattan facility. Instead, they and the Giants got a new home in MetLife Stadium, which opened in 2010.

Much of the activity surrounding the 2014 Super Bowl will be in New Jersey. Players will stay and train there, and a media day, tailgate party and some other events will be at various New Jersey venues.

``We're getting a good share of the economic activity,'' Gov. Chris Christie said, noting ``the number and quality of events'' planned in his state.

New Jersey also hopes to have legal gambling on the game, at the race track. Christie signed a sports betting bill into law last year, but the NFL and other sports leagues have sued to try to stop it.

New York City, meanwhile, will close Broadway between West 34th and West 44th streets, from Jan. 29 to Feb. 1 of 2014, for a free ``Super Bowl Boulevard'' celebration featuring player appearances, football clinics and a 36-foot-tall ``XLVIII'' in Times Square.

The game's media center, expected to host about 5,000 journalists, and the televised NFL Honors awards show also will be in the city, where NFL headquarters are located.

``I think New York City is already the nation's Super Bowl champion of tourism,'' Bloomberg said.

The city estimates it drew some 52 million visitors last year.


Associated Press writer David Porter in Newark, N.J., contributed to this report.


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3 reasons the Caps beat the Red Wings

3 reasons the Caps beat the Red Wings

Not much separated the Washington Capitals and the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday. A late 2-on-0 goal for Brett Connolly proved to be the difference.

Here's why the Caps ultimately walked away with the 1-0 win.

A first period goalie interference call

Andreas Athanasiou thought he had given the Red Wings a first period lead, but Barry Trotz challenged the call for goalie interference. The review showed that Tyler Bertuzzi clipped Philipp Grubauer in the head with an elbow right before the shot went in. Given how long it took the Caps to get going in this game, it is fair to say an early deficit would have been hard to overcome.


Killing off a full two-minute 5-on-3

Two man advantages are hard to kill. Killing off a full two-minutes at 5-on-3, that's a tall task. With the game still scoreless in the second period, T.J. Oshie and Lars Eller were both assessed penalties giving Detroit two-full minutes at 5-on-3. The Red Wings managed four shots on goal, but Washington was able to successfully kill off the penalty and keep the game scoreless.

Philipp Grubauer

There were few players who had strong efforts on Tuesday, but Grubauer was phenomenal. Even when the game felt sleepy in the first two periods, Detroit still managed 28 shots on goal, all of which were turned aside by the German netminder. When Washington finally took the lead in the third, the Red Wings woke up and began pushing the offense, but Grubauer was in the zone at that point and could not be beaten. His best save came in the third period when he stared down a breakaway from Athanasiou and extended the pad to deny the shot.


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Tarik's 3 stars: Grubauer, Caps shut down the Red Wings

Tarik's 3 stars: Grubauer, Caps shut down the Red Wings

It wasn’t pretty but the Caps eventually got what they needed in Detroit: two points.  

After a sleepy first 40 minutes, Brett Connolly scored midway through the third period and then Philipp Grubauer made sure it stood up at Little Caesars Arena, where Washington eked out a 1-0 victory Thursday over the scuffling Red Wings.


Tarik’s three stars of the game:

1-Philipp Grubauer, Capitals

For much of the game, Grubi was left to fend for himself. Good thing for the Caps he was up to the task. The German netminder, who has been one of the NHL’s top goaltenders since Thanksgiving, turned aside 39 shots, including three stops on a pivotal 5-on-3 penalty kill in the second period.

2-Brett Connolly, Capitals

The Caps didn’t get many Grade-A opportunities vs. Jimmy Howard. But Connolly buried one of the few they got…on a 2-on-0, set up by Jakub Vrana in the third period.

Connolly’s goal was his 15th of the season in his 63rd game, equaling the career-high he set a year ago in 66 contests. Vrana, meantime, has three goals and five assists since getting scratched 12 games ago.

3-Lars Eller, Capitals

Eller didn’t record a point, but he was all over the puck in Motown. The veteran center finished with a game-high six shots on net. He also had a key backcheck against Darren Helm, on a shorthanded breakaway, in the first period.

Eller was good in the dot, too, winning eight of 12 faceoffs.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know what you think in the comments.