Trust me, you don't want a Super Bowl at Heinz Field.
For one thing, it's right outside your door, at least it is for me. I live in Crafton (home of Bill Cowher), and if I wanted to right now, I could walk to Heinz Field in about 45 minutes.
I've always dreamed about attending a Super Bowl--I think it would be just about the best thing to ever happen to me. You think I want to attend one in Pittsburgh, when it's 22 degrees, and I can almost see my apartment from Section 522, which is where I'll more-than-likely be sitting after I pay $32,000 for my ticket? I don't even know if I can come up with that kind of money, but if I do, I want to go to Miami, New Orleans or Tampa. I surely don't want to attend a Super Bowl at a stadium where, if I sent Dan Rooney a birthday card (the chairman turned 83 on Monday), it would arrive in like 12 hours.
Speaking of the cold. The NFL escaped relatively unscathed when Super Bowl XLVIII was played at New Jersey's MetLife Stadium--the first Super Bowl ever played at an outdoor venue in a cold-weather city. But, sooner or later--if the NFL keeps tempting fate--there will be a Super Bowl played at a cold-weather venue when it's below zero and/or besieged by a foot or two of snow.
What if it happens in Pittsburgh? Do you really want to spend a week or two listening to Colin Cowherd complain about Heinz Field and the weather in Pittsburgh, as a lead-up and/or a postscript to the Super Bowl? I know what you're going to say, "Screw Colin Cowherd! Football was meant to be played in bad weather."
Yeah, I hear ya, screw Colin Cowherd, but since when was football meant to be played in bad weather? Football was meant to be played on a 100-yard field by men wearing helmets and body armor. Football was meant to be played with an oddly shaped ball and 11 men trying to tackle the guy who is holding it.
If football was meant to be played in bad weather, why does the season start in early September, when it's still technically summer?
OK, enough about my personal preferences--maybe I just want to go to Miami and need an excuse--but what about that host team jinx? That sucker is real. I know, because I write an article about it every year. I know so much about it, I could go on one of those Outside the Line-type shows as an expert panelist.
Momentum has picked up recently regarding Heinz Field possibly hosting a Super Bowl in the future. And since the Rooney family--namely the aforementioned chairman--is highly influential and respected around the NFL and have, in-fact, submitted an application to host Super Bowl LVII (57, Heinz, get the connection?), this could actually be a thing.
But, again, you don't want that.
So far, 42 Super Bowls have been played at venues that NFL teams called home during that season; of the very few teams that actually made the playoffs, none advanced beyond the divisional round. In-fact, the all-time record for Super Bowl host teams is 274-368-4.
In February, the Super Bowl was held at University of Phoenix Stadium--home of the Cardinals. After starting out 9-1 in 2014, the Cardinals looked poised to break the curse. Unfortunately, they lost their starting quarterback and then his backup and fizzled out down-the-stretch, before falling to the below .500 Panthers in the postseason.
That's just the latest in a long line of such "mishaps" during the year that a team is hosting a Super Bowl. Remember Peyton Manning's injured neck in 2011? Remember the Saints Bountygate scandal in 2012? For that matter, remember the time Jerry Jones was the owner of the Cowboys in 2010?
Call it a jinx; call it a conspiracy by the league. But it seems like something mysterious happens to most teams when they have a chance to perhaps enjoy the greatest home-field advantage in Super Bowl history.
Do you really think the football gods or Roger Godell will allow 70,000 Terrible Towel-waving maniacs to influence the Super Bowl so much, they'll turn it into a true home game for the Steelers? I know what you're going to say: The league distributes tickets equally among both fan bases.
Steelers fans are notorious for finding ways to convince opposing fans to sell them their tickets. They'd spare no expense to do the same with a seventh (fair enough, 10th) Lombardi trophy there for the taking, and the game being played in their favorite team's backyard.
Ben Roethlisberger will no doubt be retired by 2023 (the year LVII will be played). But whoever the Steelers new quarterback is during the 2022 season will most-likely be compromised by a devastating injury, a lengthy suspension or worse yet, the fact that he's Tim Tebow (he'll only be 35).
The Steelers will surely suffer a horrible record during the 2022 season. Heck, since the merger, Pittsburgh has had the "best" worst regular season record, going 5-11 in 1988, and we talk about that year around here like it was The Great Depression.
You really think you can handle a 3-13 season--or worse? Imagine how horrible and inflammatory BTSC will be. Two years ago, I wrote some critical articles in the wake of the Steelers 55-31 crash and burn in New England, when the defense surrendered 610 yards, and I received emails titled, "Why so much negativity?"
Imagine the game threads. They'd be so bad, Jeff Hartman (or Steeler Fever, or whoever is in charge at that point) may have to turn off the comments before each game, thus making them the most pointless game threads in the history of SB Nation.
To summarize, you don't want Heinz Field to host a Super Bowl, because Pittsburgh is cold and there is a host-team jinx.
Here's to Super Bowl LVII in sunny Miami. Don't worry, if the Steelers make it, you'll find a way to get to that game.