Super Bowl is Coming Out Party for this Snowless Winter

And the final score was . . .

Wait, you thought we were going to talk about Sunday night’s football game? That small clash between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 46, watched by more than 100 million fans in the U.S.?

Well, we are. Sort of. Because Sunday’s Super Bowl in Indianapolis capped this snowless winter’s coming-out party. Thanks to the winter that wasn't, Indy was a big hit. Temperatures in the city averaged approximately 25 degrees higher than normal this week. Mild, snowless winters like this one may be more common as the world continues to warm, as will extreme variations in weather patterns. Much of Europe has been enduring that kind of variation as severe cold and snow has killed hundreds across the continent the past few days.

When Indianapolis was awarded the Super Bowl several years ago, the groans from the football congnoscenti were audible. Indianapolis? A hick town in the Midwest? Do they have any other restaurants other than St. Elmo's? And did anyone tell them the Super Bowl is in February?! The logo should have been a set of snowblowers.

Some of the whining came from the party crowd that would rather have every Super Bowl in Miami or New Orleans, but almost everyone prefers sunshine and beaches to ice scrapers and rock salt. The game wouldn't be affected because the Colts had the good sense to build a dome over Lucas Oil Stadium, but the city's week-long party leading up to it is always colored by the weather.

But once the moaning stopped and people arrived in Indy this past week, they were treated to mild temperatures that were pushing 60 degrees. All the gloom and doom about ice and snow, about how it would snarl traffic and keep people from flocking downtown to celebrate the event? That happened last year, when the Super Bowl was in Dallas.

So the locals in Indy celebrated the unseasonably balmy weather by throwing a great party, with hundreds of thousands flocking downtown to see a city transformed by the NFL's big show. There was even a temporary zip line over downtown that people slid down without gathering icicles. The national media gushed over the atmosphere.

Locals in Indy celebrated the unseasonably balmy weather by throwing a great party, with hundreds of thousands flocking downtown to see a city transformed by the NFL's big show. Credit: Carl Van Rooy/flickr.

“It's at the top of the list. It's one of the best Super Bowls I have ever covered,” said Rick Gosselin, a columnist for the Dallas Morning News. “Indianapolis got a break because of the weather. This has not been a cold winter. I have always thought this is a great big event town.”

This year, the first dip in the weather came the day before the big game, when it rained.

Colts owner Jim Irsay joked that it was all part of the plan. “I know the way we're preparing and the way we've controlled the weather, which is hard to do. But we've had certain techniques that we're going to keep hidden,” he said.

And what's the next cold-weather, turned warm-weather venue seeking Super Bowl stardom? Two years from now when it comes to the greater New York area. It gets a big opportunity to show off then because not only is some of the fun outdoors, but so is the game.

Oh yeah. One more thing. The final score was New York 21, New England 17.

Additional Online Resources:

Super Bowl Revelers Flock Downtown — The Indy Channel

Reaction: What Super Bowl 2012 journalists are saying about Indy —

Super Bowl week begins in Indianapolis; ice and snow no-shows — Pittsburgh Tribune-Review