The arrival of swear-at-the-sky cold temperatures this week juxtaposed with the scheduling of the Super Bowl has led countless Minnesotans to gaze wistfully into the distance and say (or tweet) to no one in particular, "Wow, it's a good thing the Super Bowl isn't in Minnesota this year."
There's nothing better than talking about the weather, unless it's talking about the weather and comparing it to weather that's already happened.
Granted, air temperatures flirting with minus-30 — not the "feels-like" temperature, we remind everyone, the actual thermometer reading — are a certifiable weather event. As much as I tell newcomers to the state that "it's not usually like this" during cold snaps, it most certainly isn't usually like this.
But on this point of being fortunate that the Super Bowl was last year and not this year? Well, it seems like there's some revisionist history at work.
To some degree, I'll agree — but only from a perception standpoint. See, the media starts to descend on a Super Bowl destination a full week before the game. There were plenty of media members already here last year Monday for Opening Night at Xcel Energy Center (hey St. Paul, you mattered and contributed, too).
If national writers had been here for 30 below, they would have made sure nobody outside the region visited in the winter ever again. They still shivered and complained a year ago, but it was quaint.
For the actual fans, though — and there are some of them who manage to get tickets to the Super Bowl — it would have been way better this year. Yeah, the locals still would have had to deal with the pesky Patriots. But they would have been without the fresh NFC title game heartbreak and obnoxious righteousness of Eagles fans.
And the weather? Well, unlike those whose jobs require them to be at the Super Bowl site several days in advance, fans generally have other jobs and don't arrive until Thursday night or even Friday for a Super Bowl weekend.
Last year, those fans showed up just as things were getting relatively cold here. The high temperature the Friday before the Super Bowl was 12, and the low was minus-8 last year. Super Bowl Sunday hovered around zero for much of the day.
This year? It's supposed to be 40 degrees Saturday and above 30 on Super Bowl Sunday. All the Dudes Who Love To Wear Shorts In The Winter definitely will be wearing shorts this weekend, and even someone from a warm-weather state would only experience moderate discomfort.
Our only concern had the Super Bowl been here this year would have been whether fans who aren't from around here got the wrong idea and thought winters here really aren't that bad and that we're all soft.
In any event, the Super Bowl is not here. It's in Atlanta (highs in the upper 40s to upper 50s this week).
Maybe we'll just have to resume obsessing about the Final Four in Minneapolis in early April, when it could be anywhere from 10 degrees (record low on April 6) to 86 degrees (record high).