INDIANAPOLIS — Eli Manning jerseys are all over the place at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Peyton Manning’s little brother has been popular all week in Peyton’s town, and Colts fans seem to be rooting more for Eli’s Giants than Tom Brady’s New England Patriots in Sunday’s Super Bowl.
While Eli jerseys were prominent, it didn’t take much walking around to find Colts blue Peyton Manning jerseys. Those wearing them were Giants fans for a day.
“I’m pulling for Eli,” Colts fan Harry Dimitriaois said. “And it has something to do with Peyton.”
Dave Demlow, a Colts season ticket holder, also wearing a blue No. 18 jersey, didn’t want to see the Patriots celebrate on Indy’s home field. The Colts and Patriots have had one of the NFL’s most intense rivalries for the past decade.
“We love Eli, we love the Giants,” Demlow said. “Anybody but the Patriots.”
It’s still two years away, but there should be optimism that a cold-weather Super Bowl in northern New Jersey in 2014 won’t be a frigid one — at least based on the past two years.
Once again, the weather at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. on Sunday was perfect for a Super Bowl: sunny, with temperatures around 40 degrees and almost no wind.
The weather was even better last year. It was sunny, with a high of 46 and winds out of the northwest at 10 to 15 mph — and that happened during one of the worst winters in the New York metropolitan area.
As for Sunday’s game between the Giants and Patriots, it’s a pleasant, sunny day with temperatures in the mid 40’s in Indianapolis. Then again, Lucas Oil Stadium has a roof and MetLife Stadium doesn’t.
League owners voted in May 2010 to play the title game in the $1.6 billion stadium co-owned by the Jets and Giants, deciding to play the first outdoor title game at a northern site.
There have been memorable cold-weather playoff games. The Giants beat the Packers 23-20 in overtime in the NFC title game on Jan. 21, 2008, in Green Bay, Wis., with the temperatures at minus 3 — and a wind chill of minus 24.
Cincinnati beat San Diego 27-7 in the 1981 AFC title game known as the Freezer Bowl. The temperature in Ohio was minus 9, with 35 mph winds making it feel like minus 59.
Of course, there’s the 1967 NFL title game — the Ice Bowl in Green Bay. The Packers beat Dallas 21-17 in a game played with the temperature at minus 13 and a wind chill of minus 48.
The coldest kickoff temperature in Super Bowl history was 39 degrees at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans for the 1972 Super Bowl, when Dallas beat Miami 24-3. It’s been at least 57 degrees for every outdoor Super Bowl since 1975, when it was 46 degrees.
No Super Bowl for Tiquan Underwood. A Super Bowl ring? Maybe.
The seldom-used wide receiver, cut on the eve of Sunday’s title game against the New York Giants, would be eligible for a championship ring should the New England Patriots win their fourth Super Bowl in 11 years.
The move came Saturday night to make room for defensive end Alex Silvestro, who was signed from the practice squad. He played in one game this season but found himself with a chance to appear in the Super Bowl.
Underwood seems to be handling his release well.
“Im Fine, This Will Only Make Me Stronger,” the 24-year-old said on his Twitter feed. “Tough Times Never Last But Tough Ppl Do.”
And in an earlier tweet: “This Is Nothing But MOTIVATION….”
The Patriots signed Underwood on Aug. 29 after he was released by Jacksonville. They released, signed and released him again before he rejoined them on Nov. 24. In five regular season games he had three receptions. He had none in two playoff games.
The move allowed the Patriots to active wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, who was for the AFC championship game.
The Super Bowl MVP usually walks away with a shiny new ring and a trip to Disney World.
Sunday’s losing team may have its day in the sun, too.
The Aruba Tourism Authority wants the team that loses Sunday’s game between the Giants and Patriots to visit the island nation and is offering an all-expenses-paid trip to lure them.
There’s no word on whether either team will accept the offer, but it’s unlikely any players will be shouting “We’re going to Aruba.”
The space on the north end outside of Lucas Oil Stadium which normally has a large photo of Colts quarterback Peyton Manning instead has a Patriots logo.
Just to the left of that spot: a photo of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.