Super Bowl or super brrr? Big game coming to NY

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Super Bowl or super brrr? Big game coming to NY

NEW YORK (AP) Amy Freeze can talk football and forecasts.

So with the Super Bowl coming to New York next year, and with local temperatures stuck in the teens, the WABC-TV meteorologist was all set to look ahead.

``Football fans like a little winter weather,'' she offered on a windy Wednesday.

OK, but exactly how wintry?

Try this long-range reckoning for the matchup at MetLife Stadium, from the soon-to-be printed Farmers' Almanac: ``An intense storm, heavy rain, snow and strong winds. This could seriously impact Super Bowl XLVIII.''

Predicts editor Pete Geiger: ``This is going to be one for the ages.''

``Hey, it goes with the territory,'' he said by phone from Lewiston, Maine.

Way too early to say for sure what awaits fans and players in the first outdoor Super Bowl at a cold-weather site. It'll be held Feb. 2, 2014, at the building shared by the Giants and Jets in East Rutherford, N.J.

The record low for a Super Bowl kickoff is 39 degrees when Dallas beat Miami in January 1972 at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans. It will be a lot warmer back in the Big Easy when the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers tangle in less than two weeks. They'll be inside the Superdome.

The NFL was aware next year's Super Bowl could be a super brrr.

``Creating a plan for staging a Super Bowl in winter weather is not reinventing the wheel,'' NFL senior vice president for events Frank Supovitz said two years ago. ``Super Bowls have often been played in cities that can experience winter storms, including Detroit, Minneapolis ...''

``Coordinated snow and ice removal plans for travel routes, major event facilities, the stadium campus, and parking have always been part of our planning protocol,'' he said then.

Remember, no city is immune to rugged weather. Even though Green Bay and Pittsburgh played inside Cowboys Stadium two years, snow and ice blanketed the lead-up events.

Besides, a blizzard isn't likely. The National Weather Service said the average high in nearby Newark, N.J., on Feb. 2 is 39.8 degrees and the low is 24.2. The average precipitation on that date going back to 1931 is about one-eighth of an inch.

The only significant precipitation during a Super Bowl came in February 2007 at Miami. Playing in a rainstorm, Indianapolis and Chicago committed four turnovers in the first quarter.

Expect ticket sales to be brisk next year, StubHub spokesman Glenn Lehrman said. Ticket prices are running about $3,100 for the Ravens-49ers game, and Lehrman predicted the 2014 Super Bowl would create the largest demand ``we've ever had.''

``I think people want to be part of a first-time experience. Whatever it is,'' he said.

Lehrman said because so many people live on the East Coast - within driving distance of the stadium, not needing pricey hotel rooms - cold weather wouldn't have a chilling effect.

It certainly had an effect in New York on Wednesday. The radio hosts on WFAN began their noontime show talking about the weather; at De Witt Clinton Park in Manhattan, the artificial turf fields often occupied by pickup football games were empty.

But for a chance to see a Super Bowl, fans might sit for a few hours in a raw setting.

``You can see in Lambeau Field how they endure the cold there. They sell out there all the time, and in the Giants' and Jets' stadium they do the same,'' New York Rangers captain Ryan Callahan said before Wednesday night's NHL game at Madison Square Garden against the Boston Bruins.

``For an event like that I don't think the cold weather is going to deter anybody,'' said Callahan, a native of Rochester, N.Y.

Peggy Beisel-McIlwaine agreed. Her grandfather was the Packers' first president and she recalled being in the stands for the famed Ice Bowl - the 1967 NFL championship between Green Bay and Dallas when the game-time temperature at Lambeau Field was minus-13 degrees.

``I've got sitting in the cold weather down to a science,'' she said in an email. ``Sitting at Lambeau in subzero weather is all about the clothes: Cashmere, fleece and down and, of course, Ugg boots.''

Come next year, Freeze (''that's my real name,'' she added) said the wintry conditions might be a factor. She's seen that up close - while working four years in Chicago, she was a team meteorologist for the Bears, consulting with coaches, special teams members and equipment personnel.

``I'm always for the home-field advantage,'' she said. ``I think the weather will play into it.''

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AP Sports Writer Ira Podell contributed to this report.

Warren Sapp does not want Ravens' Timmy Jernigan to wear his number

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Warren Sapp does not want Ravens' Timmy Jernigan to wear his number

Ravens' second-year defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan decided to change jersey numbers this offseason, switching from No. 97 to No. 99.

The reason for the change?

First, Chris Canty, the former owner of No. 99 is no longer with the team. But Jernigan wants to wear No. 99 in honor of NFL Hall of Famer Warren Sapp.

The only problem? Sapp wants nothing to do with it.

There may be a simple answer for this.

Jernigan played college football at Florida State. Sapp spent his time in college at Miami.

Perhaps Sapp just doesn't want anyone to try and replace him.

But covnentional wisdom suggests this has everything to do with the in-state rivalry between the two historic football programs.

RELATED: RAY RICE RETURNS TO SPEAK TO FORMER TEAMMATES

Harbaugh takes full blame for Ravens punishment from NFL

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Harbaugh takes full blame for Ravens punishment from NFL

OWINGS MILLS – Ravens coach John Harbaugh said the blame rests solely with him for the Ravens losing a week of OTA’s, and being fined by the NFL for their rookie minicamp practice violation.

Paraphrasing what he told the team, Harbaugh said Thursday, “There’s not one person in this room that should worry about it for one second, because it’s on me. It’s completely on me. It’s my decision, it’s my effort. That’s the situation that we’re in. We’ll adjust. We’ll adapt. We’ll still become the best football team that we can be. We’ll figure out ways to get our work done. Maybe the rest will be good for us.”

MORE RAVENS: BALTIMORE PUNISHED FOR OTA VIOLATION

Losing valuable practice time at this time of year surely bothers Harbaugh. But it was pretty clear that the Ravens would be punished once it was learned they put players in pads briefly during rookie camp, which violated the CBA.

Asked how the Ravens managed to violate the rules, Harbaugh said he misinterpreted them.

Said Harbaugh, “I read it the wrong way, and it’s on me.”

As a result, the Ravens will have catching up to do when they return to the practice field the second week of June.

Ray Rice speaks to Ravens' rookies and shares good, bad, and ugly

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Ray Rice speaks to Ravens' rookies and shares good, bad, and ugly

OWINGS MILLS - Former Ravens running back Ray Rice was back at team headquarters Wednesday, speaking to the team’s rookies following their OTA practice.

Most, if not all of the Ravens’ rookies, had never met Rice, who was released in September of 2014 after a video surfaced of him striking his wife, who was then his fiancée. Rice has never gotten another chance in the NFL, despite being a star for years, and becoming one of the franchise’s most popular players. Not only did Rice help the Ravens win a Super Bowl, he was one of the team’s most active players in the community.

Rice’s story is another example of how quickly a person’s life can change after a major mistake.  The Ravens tweeted out several statements about Rice’s visit.

MORE RAVENS: HARBAUGH TAKES BLAME FOR OTA VIOLATION

“Our 27 sessions to our rookies through our player engagement program review and teach life management and life lessons,” the tweets began. “Rice, who played for the Ravens from 2008-14, delivered an important message that included his story, both the good and the bad. He clearly had the attention of our rookies.”

Rice received $1.588 million settlement from the Ravens in March of 2015, which concluded his wrongful-termination grievance. Rice and Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti built a close relationship, and Bisciotti has never ruled out Rice returning to the organization in a player development role at some point.