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Man up, Joe Flacco

Ah, geez. We're an entire year away, and already Joe Flacco is going pansy in regard to the 2014 Super Bowl, to played outdoors in New Jersey.

"If you want a Super Bowl, put a retractable dome on your stadium," Flacco said this week.

I can hear Vince Lombardi stomping around and throwing things up there in heaven from here.

Sorry, kids, but if football were meant to be played in climate-controlled comfort, they'd have never let it north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Football was meant to be played in the elements; the elements are, in fact, an organic part of the game. Always have been.

That's why some of the most memorable games in history are memorable not just because of what happened, but in what conditions it happened. Twice in two years, the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys played NFL championship games that went right down to the final seconds. Yet it's only the second they made documentaries about.

Why?

Because on Jan. 1, 1966, when the Packers' Tom Brown intercepted Don Meredith in the end zone to seal a 34-27 victory, it was 40 degrees in Dallas. And on Dec. 31, 1966, when the Packers' Bart Starr scored on a quarterback in the final 16 seconds to clinch a 21-17 win, it was 15 below zero at game time with a windchill approaching minus-50.

Thus, the first game is largely lost to history. The second became known as the Ice Bowl, one of the most celebrated (and replayed) football games of all time.

So, Joe Flacco, and any and all others caterwauling about having to play a Super Bowl outside (gasp) in non-70-degree weather?

Hey. You want climate control, take up billiards.

Ben Smith's blog.

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