They show that the temperature was zero degrees with a wind chill of minus-32. I remember it being minus-40, but maybe it’s warmed up 8 degrees since then.
I was reading about today’s NFC Championship game between the New York football Giants and the Green Bay Packers. The article mentioned that it might turn out to be the coldest game played in NFL history. They say the temperature in Green Bay will be a a balmy 3 degrees tonight at the 5:30 PM CST kickoff.
I’ve never been to Green Bay, but I did once watch a football game in the brutal cold. On January 15, 1994 I went to Orchard Park, New York to watch my beloved Los Angeles Raiders lose to the Buffalo Bills 29-23. Not that I knew before hand that they were going to lose.
I was in the Air Force and stationed at Griffiss Air Force Base located in upstate New York. ESPN shows that it was the 3rd coldest game played in NFL history. They show that the temperature was zero degrees with a windchill of minus-32. I remember it being minus-40, but maybe it’s warmed up 8 degrees since then.
It wasn’t just cold, it was alien planet cold.
The worse part about watching a football game in the brutal cold is sitting in one spot for hours at a time, not moving. You are just sitting there. No matter how much you bundle up, you are going to get cold. The number of layers of clothing you put on only helps to delay the inevitable.
You will get cold and once you do, it’s impossible to get warm.
We had seats on the two-yard line, 13 rows up from the field. I remember things sounding different in the cold. The Raiders moved the ball and scored a touchdown. They then attempted an extra point. When the kicker’s foot hit that ball, it made a bizzare sound. It didn’t sound right. It didn’t sound like a foot making contact with a leather football. The ball failed to go through the uprights and instead bounced off the crossbar. It sounded like a cannon ball hitting the metal crossbar.
I remember a Bills fan sitting in the end zone seating taking off his clothing from the waist up. His bare, pale flesh was exposed to the elements. Security grabbed him and took him off somewhere. I guess he wanted to get on TV. I don’t know if he got on TV, but his stupid stunt earned him a permanent spot in my memory.
I went to the game bundled up in layers of clothing. I wore my Los Angeles Raiders coat under my Air Force extreme weather parka. I wore sweatpants and long underwear under my pants. I even brought my Air Force issued cold weather mummy sleeping bag to sit in while watching the game.
I’m glad I did. That said, it took me about three days to get warm.
The ironic thing about that game was how it contrasted from the prior Raiders game I attended. It was at the Los Angeles Colosseum where they lost to the visiting Browns. The temperature on the field was 100 degrees and I walked away with a nasty sunburn.
Even though the Raiders lost the game, I was glad that I went. It turned out to be Howie Long’s final game. He was always my favorite player.