- Rich Cimini, ESPN New York Jets reporter
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- From the owner to the head coach to players at the bottom of the roster, the New York Jets are excited about the prospect of co-hosting the 2014 Super Bowl at their new Meadowlands Stadium. The company line: Cold is the new hot.
Too bad they didn't pass along the memo to wide receiver Santonio Holmes, who became the first nonconformist Thursday by saying he'd rather not play a Super Bowl in a cold-weather site such as New York.
Then again, maybe Holmes didn't hear the message because he was wearing his infamous iPod.
"I like a Super Bowl where the elements don't have any factor in the game," Holmes said after practice, addressing the New York media for the first time since his trade last month from the Pittsburgh Steelers. "I would prefer to keep all Super Bowls somewhere in the South. I don't want to play anywhere where it's cold. We play in it enough during the season."
That comment probably sent chills through the organization.
The Jets, along with the New York Giants, have been campaigning for months to host the first outdoor, cold-weather Super Bowl in NFL history. Their official bid was submitted last week to the league office, and the 32 team owners will vote Tuesday at the spring meetings in Dallas. Miami and Tampa are the other finalists, with New York/New Jersey considered the favorite to land the game.
Holmes is one of only three players on the Jets' roster who have played in a Super Bowl. The others are tackle Damien Woody (New England Patriots) and defensive tackle Kris Jenkins (Carolina Panthers). Only 15 months ago, Holmes was the Super Bowl MVP in the Steelers' win over the Arizona Cardinals -- a game played in Tampa.
Holmes grew up in Florida, so that probably explains his preference for warm weather. But the Jets have several players from the South, yet Holmes was the only lone dissenter.
"New York is the best city in the world," Rex Ryan said. "I don't see how it's not played here. It should be played here."
Holmes, less than two months into his Jets career, has managed to make a couple of big headlines. The day after the trade, he received a four-game suspension by the league for violating the substance-abuse policy. He will sit out the first four games of the season.
Just recently, he was in the news for the iPod incident on a flight from Newark to Pittsburgh, where he was questioned by police for refusing to turn off his iPod during the landing. He described that as misunderstanding, claiming the flight attendant "scrutinized me just because of who I am."
In terms of actual football, Holmes said he's thrilled to be a member of the Jets' revamped offense, and he doesn't anticipate any problems fitting in with fellow receivers Jerricho Cotchery and Braylon Edwards. After an ugly divorce from the Steelers, who sent him packing after a string of off-the-field incidents, Holmes sees this as a fresh start.
"I felt like a kid on the first day of school," he said, reflecting on his emotions before the first practice Monday. "I kept waking up in the middle of the night."
Jets receiver Santonio Holmes became the first nonconformist Thursday by saying he'd rather not play a Super Bowl in a cold-weather site such as New York.