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The NFL’s Answer to ‘Frozen’

December 15th, 2019 · No Comments · Football, NFL

Perhaps you have heard about the successful Disney movie entitled “Frozen II” — a thing with princesses of a northern kingdom, spirits, trolls, a magic salamander and lots of ice.

The National Football League, which appeals to a slightly different demographic, has a similarly successful sub-zero event.

It’s called Chicago at Green Bay.

It is the oldest rivalry in the NFL — renewed today for the 200th time — and holds a variety of records. Definitely including lots and lots of games played out of doors in two of the league’s coldest cities.

Generic football fans tend to be interested in this match-up no matter how the two teams are doing in the standings. Because it has a plot line that fans like to follow.

The weather.

It is noon, here in Southern California, and we have the Packers and Bears on TV, and gleeful Fox announcers are giving us updates on the weather outside which, appropriate to the season, is frightful.

“It’s a day where we’ve got old rivals playing with temperatures in the teens.” Like, 19.

At least it is “teens” above zero.

That would be considered a balmy day when compared to the conditions for the 1967 NFL championship game, in Green Bay, which was played at minus-15 degrees Fahrenheit and forever known as The Ice Bowl.

And we sit and watch. Wondering first about the players. How much must it hurt to have bare skin exposed to collisions?

The guys inside the lines probably are mostly fine, because they are exerting. But backups and coaches standing around have to be freezing.

And the fans?

Count them as the most numerous of those the “standing around as their snot freezes”. It seems like a form of fan abuse.

All 80,000 fans at Lambeau Field in Green Bay can see their breath, as they sit in the open. And, apparently, most of them are happy to be there.

Moi? You would have to kidnap me and lash me to a seat to get me inside that stadium in December.

I covered enough NFL to have encountered “frozen” conditions. Three late-season games that I recall without any effort — the Rams at Cleveland in consecutive seasons, 1977 and 1978, played on November 27 and 26, respectively, and a surprisingly frigid (to me) game at the old Meadowlands Stadium, on December 3, 1978, featuring the Rams and New York Giants.

I suffered getting in and out of the stadium, and also while waiting on the field during the final minutes, because I dressed poorly and because I am a sissy about sun — I need quite a bit of it or my teeth will begin chattering. (Right around 45 Fahrenheit.) For that Giants game, my main article of clothing was a corduroy coat that was nearly useless. Especially in wind. Only a dopey SoCal kid would not know that.

So, again, my sympathies are extended toward the players and sports writers … but especially the fans.

I hope they really do love it in arctic climes because I have a lot of trouble imagining it.


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