Power Rankings: Couch Potato's Guide To NFL Stadiums
It doesn't boast Dallas' hi-tech amenities or flamboyance, contrary to what you'd expect from the Big Apple. All MetLife Stadium has to offer is the "Where's Waldo?" effect of Fireman Ed, frozen-blue Victor Cruz aficionados, and turning of the New York tides as the Giants most recently upended the Jets on Christmas Eve.
Admittedly, this is the only current NFL stadium I've been to - I also visited the old Giants Stadium back when the Jets and Packers were each vying for playoff positioning late in 2002, and I witnessed the ant-like shoulder injury of Donald Driver with a cheesy frown on my face.
There are always cases where "less is more" (or at least enough), and when it comes to football home games, the Meadowlands is suprisingly and pleasantly one of them. It's the cold gridiron environment which both encapsulates and postpones the upstate media that makes it a fine destination for Super Bowl XLVIII and the sport's sincerest followers.
Of course, as a New Yorker imprisoned in New Jersey, I am biased in my partiality, but I can simultaneously dream about the wonders of the other 30 stadiums.
The criteria should comprise more than just aesthetics. It's about the intangible atmosphere - the influence a residence and its fans has on the team's success and vice versa. It's about the architectural history combined with present-day stability that enforces the league's varying reputations. Real estate is surely more than fancy powder-blue blazers.
In an era where most of what is obsolete is being imploded up until this moment, here is a poor locked-out fan's guide to ranking the NFL stadiums:
30. Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome (Minnesota Vikings)
After further deliberation, the devotion of Ragnar and Minnesotans isn't as overrated as once...okay, the Vikings will have a new home somewhere by 2016, so I don't need to pretend there's any value in their faulty fiberglass fabric roof.
29. Edward Jones Dome (St. Louis Rams)
Oh, my apologies for the typo - "Wembley Stadium".
The Missouri convention center is equally (if that) a lure for the NCAA, and there is considerable aspiration on the Rams part to escape the lease. At least they had two NFC Championships.
28. EverBank Field (Jacksonville Jaguars)
The best feature is the tarp they use to cover the empty blacked out seats, as few seem to care about the second-smallest market while the Jaguars threaten to leave.
The 78,125 in attendance for Super Bowl XXXIX (New England over Philadelphia) exceeded any recorded regular season contest so far, even if they would open all of the empty seats.
27. Qualcomm Stadium (San Diego Chargers)
Why can't a California fire burn down a voided, outmodeled, ineffective Qualcomm Stadium and release the Super Chargers from their monetary debts to the city?
26. Sun Life Stadium (Miami Dolphins)
Several attempts were made (renaming, tossing the Marlins overboard, etc.) to validate Sun Life as an enticing football site, but the truth remains that since its inception in 1987, the Dolphins are 5-3 in playoff home games with zero rings. Leave the Floridian draw for the Orange Bowl.
25. Georgia Dome (Atlanta Falcons)
There have been issues with the outdated top of the dome, tornado insurance, an overall feeling of cleanliness...the Falcons cannot soar without a retractable roof.
24. Cleveland Browns Stadium (Cleveland Browns)
The Browns lost their first game in this self-righteous venue to Pittsburgh 43-0, it's the lone NFL stadium to never host postseason action, and there's no public parking!
There are actually a few redeeming qualities: the Dawg Pound, heated Kentucky bluegrass, relation to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Drew Carey...no public parking!
23. Ford Field (Detroit Lions)
As a franchise, the Lions also haven't participated in a January home game, although Ford Field granted aboriginal Jerome Bettis with his Lomardi Trophy. Nonetheless, as we already know, the city of Detroit and its skylight for FieldTurf are giving up.
22. LP Field (Tennessee Titans)
So, to be honest, when trying to recall all the names of the stadiums, this was one of the two that temporarily slipped my mind, which is fitting since LP Field was nameless well into construction.
Despite the Music City Miracle and selling out from 1999 on, the statistics and Tifsport Bermuda Sod don't rank as memorably for the common fan outside of Nashville.
21. Bank of America Stadium (Carolina Panthers)
This was the other one I failed to remember. I opened an account with Bank of America in May and I'm generally content, but the NFL venue that sparked the outbreak of Personal Seat Licenses and modernization of various other stadiums has proven to be too ahead of its time.