TAMPA -- Can you imagine how different NFL history would be if the Super Bowl wasn't played at a neutral, warm-weather site? The Giants might not be defending champs, the Bills probably would have finally won one, and Lambeau would have rightly hosted more championship games.
The Cardinals are luckier than any team in history that the Super Bowl isn't played at the venue of the team with the better record. Same goes for the NFC Championship Game. No Super Bowl team has ever played as poorly in bad weather as the Cards.
Is it fair that there's no homefield advantage in the NFL's most important game? Some teams have to build everything for a certain climate, and if they succeed in those conditions, that work goes for naught. That's not the case in baseball, where teams build for small or big parks, and get to use that advantage for at least part of the World Series.
Nothing would ever change in this regard, since the league has such key business concerns in choosing Super Bowl cities. When the game is set in cold-weather cities like Detroit, the media and the sponsors flips out. No one really wants to be in frigid Pittsburgh right now.
But something is lost by playing in warm weather. This is the NFL. The league that was built on the frozen tundra and the rain-soaked turf of Three Rivers Stadium. Weather conditions are part of the competitive landscape. Why should that factor just disappear in the final game of the season?
The Cardinals are walking around Tampa like it's their backyard. A far cry from when they took the field against the Patriots at a snowy Gillette Stadium in Week 16. I would have liked to see how they responded in a cold-weather game. Would they man up or is this team only good in temperate weather? We'll never know.
Check SI.com's Super Blog regularly for more dispatches from Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa.