The truth about cold weather football

They show 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 it might turn out to be the coldest game played in NFL history. They say the temperature in Green Bay will be 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 the Los Angeles Raiders lose to the Buffalo Bills 29-23.

Back in my Air Force Days

I was in the Air Force and stationed at Griffiss Air Force Base located in upstate New York. ESPN shows it was the 3rd coldest game played in NFL history. They show 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 the ball, it made a bizarre sound. It didn’t sound right. It didn’t sound like a shoe making contact with a leather football. The ball failed to go through the uprights and instead bounced off the crossbar. It sounded like a cannonball hitting the metal crossbar.

Buffalo Bills fans are stupid

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 personal memory banks.

Looking back at this photo, I wonder how many of these Bills fans are still alive and how many died in horrific snowmobile accidents.

I went to the game bundled in layers of clothing:

  • Los Angeles Raiders Starter pullover jacket
  • Air Force extreme weather parka
  • Sweatpants and long underwear under my pants
  • Air Force issued cold weather mummy sleeping bag

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 with the prior Raiders game I attended. It was at the Los Angeles Colosseum where they lost to the visiting Cleveland Browns. I think it was the last road game the Browns ever won. 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 I went. It turned out to be Howie Long’s final game. He was always my favorite player.

More proof Thomas Edison was a dick

When Thomas Edison wasn’t running around stealing inventions that weren’t his own, he was publicly electrocuting defenseless animals. He was trying to make Nikola Tesla’s Alternating Current (AC) look somehow more dangerous than his own Direct Current (DC). He would normally electrocute stray dogs and cats, but one time he got to fry an elephant.

Boing Boing has a link to a YouTube video of Edison’s elephant electrocution. I’m not into animal cruelty so I’m not posting a link to the video.

Thomas Edison was an asshole

Not only was Thomas Edison a major asshole, he was wrong. AC voltage is no more dangerous than DC. It’s current that is deadly, not voltage. High voltage normally means high current. It doesn’t matter what version of voltage it is.

The worst I’ve ever been shocked was not with AC, but good old DC. I once accidentally brushed up against high-current 28 volts and it felt like I was hit with a baseball bat. I’ve done the same with AC voltage as high as 460 volts and it didn’t hurt nearly as bad. Current kills, not voltage.

I think most people associate DC voltage as being safer than AC voltage because most of the DC they are familiar with is the low voltage, low current variety. For instance, the voltage found on a computer’s USB bus. It’s normally at around 5 volts with around 500 mA in current. Wall socket AC voltage, on the other hand, is around 120 volts with around 10 to 20 amps on each circuit.

ConEdison ends DC electrical power in New York City

I didn’t even know DC electrical power was still available anywhere, let alone in New York City. ConEdison still had one lone DC power station still up and running and feeding DC to customers. It was finally converted over to Nikola Tesla’s AC electricity on November 14.

Good. Now if we could only get New York City to stop making inferior salsa despised by hardworking cowboys.

Thomas Edison vs. Nikola Tesla

Back in the day Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla had a long standing feud over which current was better, DC or AC. Edison pushed the idea of using inefficient DC while Tesla campaigned for the much more efficient AC current. Edison denounced AC as being too dangerous. He would even publicly electrocute live cows and other large animals with AC to try to show just how scary dangerous AC current supposedly was.

DC electrical power vs. AC electrical power

In reality, DC is much more dangerous then AC. I’ve been shocked numerous times by both AC and DC. It’s Edison’s DC that felt like Czernobog’s killing hammer.

For getting electrical power from one place to another, AC is the superior form of current. It’s not even debatable.

Nikola Tesla was truly a genius and he was one of the most important men to ever live. Of course he died penniless and in debt because that is just the way life works.

1/18 scale diecast Mad Max Interceptor

This is a 1/18 scale diecast model of the car used by Mel Gibson’s character in the movies Mad Max and The Road Warrior. Its made by the Japanese company AutoArt.

The Mad Max Interceptor started out as an Australian 1973 XB GT Ford Falcon Coupe.

roadwarrior6.jpgLike all diecast cars made by AutoArt, the car appears to be very detailed. In fact, it even has a 1/18 scale machete. From the looks of it, the machete appears to come out of it’s scabbard. I wonder if its sharp? Knowing AutoArt’s eye for detail, I wouldn’t be surprised.

Link (HobbyTalk)

In Harms Way

This is an illustration of aircraft B-52G 0248. It’s too small to see, but the nose art shows that this aircraft had the nickname of “In Harms Way”. There is a story that goes along with the nickname. Then again, don’t most nicknames have a story?

This is the B-52G that was accidentally hit with an AGM-88 HARM anti-radiation missile fired from an F-4G Wild Weasel on the first night of operation DESERT STORM. The B-52’s tail gunner mistakenly locked his anti-aircraft radar on the Wild Weasel thinking it was an Iraqi MIG. The Wild Weasel immediately detected the B-52 tail gun radar locking on to him and misidentified the radar signature as that of an Iraqi anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) site. The Wild Weasel crew fired a HARM missile and watched in horror as it headed not towards the nonexistent Iraqi AAA site, but to the B-52 is was tasked with protecting.

Luckily the missile failed to hit the plane but instead detonated directly behind the bomber. These missiles are designed to hit non-moving ground targets, not moving airplanes. The resulting shrapnel and missile debris caused an excessive amount of damage to the tail section of the B-52. It ripped off everything aft of the vertical stabilizer. This included much of the tail gun system, the aft electronic warfare suite, and the drag chute. The B-52 was able to land safely on the island of Diego Garcia in Saudi Arabia.

I don’t know who took this awful photo of aircraft 0248, but it wasn’t me. I’m the guy on the far right.

It was then sent to Anderson Air Force Base on Guam for repair. I was in on the repair of this aircraft shortly after is was damaged. During the first Iraqi war, I was assigned to a squadron that was responsible for repairing B-52’s being used in Iraq and being flown from Diego Garcia. I spent four months back on Guam. I had been stationed there prior for almost three years. I could have been sent to places far worse than Guam. I could have gone to Saudi. I could have spent four months on Diego Garcia. I spent two weeks there once and that was long enough for me. As it was, I loved Guam.


Bob Deasy, the Radar Nav on board this aircraft the night it took a missile was kind enough to stop by and correct me on some of the things I got wrong about this story. His corrections can be found in the comment section. The main issue I got wrong was that the B-52 gunner locked onto the Wild Weasel with his radar.

He did not do that.

Luke Skywalker used to shoot these back home in his T-16

Luke Skywalker used to shoot these back home in his T-16 - Bent Corner
So this is what a wombat looks like. The mystery is finally solved.

I found this photo over on Yahoo in the photo section of Yahoo News. This evidently was one of the most emailed photos for yesterday. I enjoy going there to see what photos people are emailing to each other. The photos usually fall into different categories: fashion models in their underwear or cute baby animals.

These wombats are from the Chicago Zoological Society’s Brookfield Zoo. The baby wombat’s name is “Joey” and the mother’s name is “Kambora”.

Now that I know what a wombat looks like, I have to wonder why Luke Skywalker was bragging about shooting them. When being briefed on the mission to take out the Death Star, he told everyone he used to bullseye wombats in his T-16 back home on the Tatooine, the Rosamond, California of the Star Wars universe. He also claimed that they were not much bigger than two meters. From the photo, they’re a lot smaller than two meters. I think he was exaggerating his story a bit to make it sound somehow more impressive.

Luke Skywalker is a psychopath

Leia_luke_kissI never liked Luke Skywalker. There was just something about him that rubbed me the wrong way. If he wasn’t trying to suck face with his own sister, he was bragging about killing cute defensive animals. I’m surprised he didn’t try to tell everyone about the time he got into a bare knuckle fist fight with a Jawa. He would undoubtedly leave out the part about Jawas only being 3 feet tall or the fact that the Jawa kicked his ass.

Luke Skywalker is a sister kissing, animal killing jerk.