I don’t generally talk about my assignments before they’re published, but I don’t think I’m giving any secrets away to say that some of them have touched on the Super Bowl. Super Bowl XL, of course.
Which, if you follow football, you know will be held in our fair city in February.
This is only the third SB to be held in a northern climate, and the question I keep hearing is, “But what if there’s snow?” As though snow is something so horrible, so incompatible with human gathering, that it must be feared and battled with incantations or, at the very least, flamethrowers aimed at the sky.
First. Trust me on this: Detroit is a city improved by snow. You simply cannot imagine what a dusting of powder does to spruce this joint up, especially in winter. (Needless to say, Ford Field is not an open-air stadium.)
Second. Winter, in general, is improved by snow. You want a depressing winter? Order up one where the temperature hovers in the mid-30s, and either it never snows or snows and melts and doesn’t stick. You want a sucking black hole of depression? That’s it, right there.
Finally. It has occurred to people putting on the Super Bowl that it could, theoretically, snow at this latitude during Super Bowl week. They are, in fact, prepared for it, and welcoming it. An adjacent downtown festival, the Motown Winter Blast, will benefit enormously from a healthy snowfall before and during Super Bowl week, and I hope they get it. Nothing like watching huskies pull sleds across slush to say, “It sure would be nice to have a little snow.”
So where did we get this snowphobia, this terror of a natural phenomenon? Certainly, snow presents short-term difficulties; it is a pain to drive in, and it’s a pain (sometimes literally) to remove. But when you’ve gotten where you’re going and shoveled the sidewalk, it’s all about the pretty. And that almost always lasts longer. Why fear this?
TV weatherpeople. That’s who I blame. They spread snow fear wherever they go. Send in the Blackhawk helicopters to bomb their Doppler weather centers. That would be the real war on terror.
Here in Michigan, it snowed the day before Thanksgiving. The forecasts started with 3-5 inches, then dwindled through the day until it matched with what we got — about an inch or two of mostly slush. It’s been a warm fall and the ground wasn’t cold enough for major stickage. But the accompanying TV-weather-reporting hysteria was enough to scare away my sister-in-law, who cancelled her Thanksgiving visit — there was a chance of an additional inch on the holiday, and that was enough to wave her off. (P.S. We had bright sunshine all day on Thanksgiving.) My friends John and Sam were elsewhere in Michigan that day, and Sam talked to a woman who didn’t want to “be out there traveling” in such horrible conditions.
Where did she have to travel? Sam asked.
About 15 miles. A lifelong Michigan resident, fearful of travelling 15 miles, through snowy conditions, in a car probably better-suited to snowy conditions than any she’s ever owned before. (Remember Delta 88s with rear-wheel drive? I do. Wheeee! That was a car that could spin.)
And I’m hoping for snow during Super Bowl week.
Oops, almost forgot:
As a piece of music, “My Humps” is a stunning assemblage of awful ideas. …The “humps” in question belong to Fergie, who brandishes her “lovely lady lumps” for the purpose of procuring various gifts from men who, one would assume, find the prospect of “lumps” very exciting�one lump begetting another lump, if you will.
While arguing with the pop music charts is like arguing with, well, TV weatherpeople, this is a pretty amusing takedown of a pretty awful hit.