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Ask An Expert: How will cold weather affect athletes’ performance during the Super Bowl?



Ask an Expert - Stony Brook football stadium and stands

With the Super Bowl taking place in New Jersey this year, we know one thing is for sure: it’s going to be cold. Since temperatures are expected to reach a low of 29 degrees this Super Bowl Sunday, we wonder if the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos are going to be at a disadvantage due to the cold temperatures during the game. So, if they are, why?

Expert Response

Stony Brook UniversityNames: James Penna, MD; James Paci, MD; Brian Cruickshank, MD; Jennifer Castelli, PA-C; Angelo V Rizzi, PA-C
Capacity: Sports Medicine
Campus: Stony Brook University
Expertise: All of the experts are part of the Division of Sports Medicine at Stony Brook University. Together, they make up the health care teams for Stony Brook University, Suffolk Community College and Dowling College

James Penna, MD is an associate professor, the Director for Orthopaedics, and CAQ certified in sports medicine. James Paci, MD is an assistant professor and CAQ certified in sports medicine. Brian Cruickshank, MD is sports medicine fellowship trained. Jennifer Castelli and Angelo V Rizzi are both physician assistant certified.


Q: Will the cold weather impact the performances of the athletes in the Super Bowl?
A: The weather plays a significant part in an athlete’s performance, but the players must warm up and stretch to decrease the chances of injuries.

The experts explain:

SBU football player dives for the endzoneIn extreme cold weather, soft tissue tends to lose elasticity increasing the possibility of muscle and tendon injuries. Warming up and staying loose is a priority to avoid trouble. On the up side, the severity of injuries are often not as severe since its more difficult to really get moving as quickly and cleats do not bite into the surfaces thus allowing athletes to slip and slide instead of getting stuck and contorted.

Medical conditions such as asthma or reactive airway disease may worsen due to bronchoconstriction in cold weather conditions. Medical teams will encourage early use of rescue inhalers for these athletes, often warmed and humidified O2 will be made available as well.

If you’re like us, you’ll find it interesting to watch the sidelines, look for the jet-heaters and other strategies that will be employed to protect the players and keep performances at a high level.

Another fun activity can be looking for the overweight guys in the first row with no shirts on. They are at far more risk for the consequences of extreme cold than the players since the alcohol, which gives them the courage to paint a Seahawk or Bronco on their chest and stand out in the cold, is constricting the blood flow to their fingers and toes putting them at increased risk for frostbite.


But what if the Super Bowl was played in extreme heat?

Playing the Super Bowl in extreme heat could carry even greater risk. Any athlete playing in temperatures greater then 100 degrees are at risk for serious heat related problems such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Now throw 30 pounds of equipment, clothes and a helmet on and the risk is significantly increased. The medical staff would make sure to pay close attention to fluid intake before, during, and after the game.

Often in high stakes, high stress events, athletes will not complain for fear of showing weakness, the medical staff is charged with looking for many different signs of heat issues, such as decline in physical and/or cognitive performance. In case of emergency, ice baths would be available just under the stands for rapid cooling if necessary.

So, as it turns out, the weather does have an impact on the performances of athletes. And for those on the sidelines this Sunday, take precaution and dress warm!


Olivia Santo

Written by Olivia Santo

Olivia is a former student assistant in the Office of New Media for the State University of New York. She is an undergraduate direct and interactive marketing major with a minor in economics at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, NY.

February 1, 2014

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Mascot Madness Champion, Hugo the Hawk, Speaks on His Victory and Getting Back to Work




SUNY Mascot Madness winner - Hugo Hawk from New PaltzThe first ever SUNY Mascot Madness came to a close yesterday with over 300,000 votes cast over the entire competition.  In a race that was too close to call initially, Hugo the Hawk from New Paltz was declared the winner of the first SUNY Mascot Madness over Wolfie the Seawolf from Stony Brook.  In a race to the finish, he met the library dean, cleaned the campus, and hung out with many students on campus.

We were able to catch up with Hugo and get his thoughts on the final round of the competition.

What responsibilities do you carry as SUNY Mascot Madness 2013 Champion?  What’s next for you?

As the SUNY Mascot Madness 2013 Champion, it is my duty to represent all that this title stands for. I will continue being the best mascot I can possibly be and keep getting better at it each day.

What will you do with all of your free time once SUNY Mascot Madness 2013 is complete?

With this free time I will get back to the basics. I will work on my cheers and dances and keep myself in tip-top shape for all the teams I root for. I will work hard to earn my place in next year’s tournament and make sure I do my best to defend my crown.


And we look forward to next year’s competition with you Hugo!

Hugo Hawk with Mascot Madness championship trophy

Emily Schwartz

Written by Emily Schwartz

Emily Schwartz is the Coordinator of Open SUNY Communication and Projects.

April 5, 2013

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Bobby Hurley Named University at Buffalo Men’s Basketball Head Coach




Bobby Hurley has been named the 12th head men's basketball coach at the University at Buffalo.

Bobby Hurley has been named the 12th head men’s basketball coach at the University at Buffalo.

Bobby Hurley, one of the most iconic figures in college basketball history, has been named the 12th head men’s basketball coach at the University at Buffalo.

He joins UB from the University of Rhode Island, where he has been serving as associate head coach. He was hired as an assistant coach at Wagner College in 2010, and spent two seasons with the Seahawks, playing a critical role in rebuilding the men’s basketball team. He helped lead Wagner to a 25-6 record during the 2011-12 season – its best record in school history – before joining Rhode Island.

A first-team All-American in 1993, Hurley is best remembered for being the point guard at Duke. Hurley helped lead the Blue Devils to three Final Four appearances and consecutive national championships in 1991 and 1992. Hurley still holds the NCAA record for career assists with 1,076.

Following his outstanding career at Duke, Hurley was selected by the Sacramento Kings with the seventh pick in the 1993 NBA Draft. He went on to play five years in the NBA with the Kings and Vancouver Grizzlies.

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SUNY Oneonta Senior Sets Off on 4,200-Mile Cross-Country Bike Adventure




Jayme Haynes biking in Central Bridge on her cross country adventure

Jami Haynes sets off from her home in Central Bridge, NY, on Tuesday, May 28.

SUNY Oneonta senior Jami Haynes set off on a 4,200-mile, cross-country bike adventure today with the goal of raising awareness about the Harvest of Hope Foundation, an organization that provides emergency assistance to migrant workers and their families. Haynes, 21, accompanied by her boyfriend and sister, left early Tuesday morning from her home in Central Bridge, N.Y.

An avid runner and hiker, Haynes got the idea for the “Miles for Migrants” bike tour after Harvest of Hope founder and President Phil Kellerman visited one of her education classes, taught by Madeline Berry, this past semester. Her 20-year-old sister, Jena, signed on for the adventure, and then her boyfriend, Caleb Grippin, 23, joined the team.

Jena Haynes, Caleb Grippin, Jami Haynes with bikes

SUNY Oneonta student Jami Haynes (right) with her sister, Jena, and boyfriend, Caleb Grippin.

“I wasn’t very familiar with what a migrant farm worker was and how they contributed to American society, and I was especially touched as a future educator by the support that Harvest of Hope gives to these families and the scholarships that the foundation provides,” Haynes said.

The class did a service-learning project to benefit Harvest of Hope, and Haynes kept the momentum going. She and her sister organized a spaghetti supper, several bake sales and a raffle, as well as giving presentations about Harvest of Hope on campus and in the community. “Spreading awareness of the foundation and how it helps migrant farm workers has been extremely rewarding,” Haynes said. “The community definitely knows a lot more about the contributions of migrant workers because of this project.”

Haynes hopes to continue raising awareness by meeting with media outlets during her journey. The trio plans to ride about 60 to 80 miles per day, camping and staying with friends and family members en route to San Francisco. They have been training for the trip for about three months, logging several hundred miles of short and long rides.

The Harvest of Hope Foundation was established in 1997, when Kellerman worked at ESCORT, a migrant education resource center based at SUNY Oneonta. In addition to its affiliation with ESCORT, SUNY Oneonta has operated a College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) since 2001. Created in 1972, CAMP is a federally-funded scholarship program that helps students from migrant and seasonal farm-working families pursue higher education.

ESCORT senior programmer analyst Bob Thomas, a friend of Kellerman’s, loaned Haynes and her crew three touring bikes and trailers. Thomas, who completed a cross-country bicycling trip himself back in 1976, was on hand for the send-off Tuesday, offering last-minute tips and advice.

An elementary education major with a concentration in social studies, Haynes will share experiences from her trip this fall as a student teacher at Cobleskill Elementary School.

She will also chronicle her adventures throughout the 11-week journey on the blog:


SUNY Oneonta

May 28, 2013

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