I love sports media, really I do. According to Firefox, ESPN is No. 3 on my Most Visited Sites list and I’m actually a little surprised it’s that low. I buy Sports Illustrated whenever I can, I read the Buffalo News sports section even when I’m here in Ithaca, I check Yahoo Sports on a regular basis. But after this year’s Super Bowl festivities, I’m pretty sure there’s one thing I can do that the likes of Bill Simmons of ESPN, Peter King of SI and Les Carpenter of Yahoo Sports can’t: survive an Ithaca winter without complaining.
I don’t mean any disrespect to them by saying that, really, I don’t. In the week leading up to Super Bowl XLV, sportswriter after sportswriter after sportswriter wrote a column or at least took the time to complain about the weather in the Dallas area. And to be sure, all that ice and snow and wind made for nasty weather by the area’s standards, enough so that meteorologists said that the Super Bowl Week storm was the worst the Dallas area had seen in about 20 years. Which is to say, it was pretty much what Ithaca got two weeks ago instead of the great apocalyptic snowstorm we were all expecting. And if I lived in a place like Dallas where snow is fairly rare, I wouldn’t be prepared for two inches of snow either because I wouldn’t have seen two inches of snow very often.
But sportswriting, much like any other branch of journalism isn’t necessarily about being comfortable. Sports events take place in all kinds of climates and if there’s snow or 80 degree heat on the way to the stadium, so be it. Sure people complained about how the World Series extended into or almost into November the past few seasons but that’s because the gap between the end of the regular season and the final game of the Fall Classic was so ridiculously long, not because it’s cold in New York and Philadelphia by the end of October. Any journalist covering the entire 2010 NFL playoffs would have had to go to some absolutely brutally cold-weather games in places like Kansas City, Boston, Pittsburgh and Chicago. If you can watch Caleb Hanie throw a football at Soldier Field after Martin Luther King Day, what’s two inches of snow and a bit of ice in Dallas? After all, in my day, I’ve had to walk through over two inches of snow to get to class-every day.