Super Bowl XLVIII will be blimp-free next February

September 23, 2013

A MetLife Super Bowl will be missing the MetLife blimp. (Carlo Allegri / Reuters)

What’s a Super Bowl without a blimp?

We may well find out next February when the cold weather of northern New Jersey grounds the iconic hoverers

“We won’t have a blimp up there,” Goodyear pilot Greg Poppenhouse told the Newark Star-Ledger. “We put our ship in the hangar in the winter.”

The problem, according to Poppenhouse, is the possibile accumulation of snow, rain and/or ice. A rainstorm can add as much as 400 pounds to the blimp’s load, so imagine what snow and ice would do at Super Bowl XLVIII.

Not even the MetLife blimp will hover over MetLife Stadium.

“They won’t be there,” MetLife spokesman Shane Winn said . “Even if the weather was fairly decent, usually by mid-November both Snoopy One and Snoopy Two are put on a program that keeps them to largely warm-weather states.”

Nor will DirecTV’s blimp be there. “It was a nonstarter,” Jon Gieselman, senior vice-president of marketing, said. “It’s too dangerous to fly. It wouldn’t be safe for the ship or the pilots.”

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren | September 23, 2013