It’s one of the Coldest Games Ever Played: Coldpocalypse-Ball 2014: NFL on Ice! — Sunday’s Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49s NFC wild-card playoff game in Wisconsin amidst a “polar vortex” winter storm.
So how cold is it, exactly?
Glad you asked. It’s SO COLD that…
— Pre-game: Lambeau Field is supposed to be giving out free coffee and hot chocolate, along with 70,0000 hand warmers to fans.
— There are a lot of Christmas Story references in the pre-game. Fox Sports reporter Erin Andrews says she feels like the little brother who can’t put his arms down because she has so many layers on, while the guys in the warm studio said they hope she’s not licking the goal post.
— Andrews reported that there are engine-powered heaters wrapped around the beer taps at the field to keep the beer flowing. That’s right: It’s so cold they’re actually heating the beer.
— Andrews helpfully demonstrates how cold it is by breathing:
— Andrews thinks Randall Cobb is crazy for going sleeveless.
— Kick-off! The temperature is 5, with wind chill -10 — why, it’s practically tropical! Once the sun goes down, however, things will get a wee bit more chilly.
— Sleeve update: The booth notes most of the players are wearing sleeves. They also note that one player who wasn’t wearing sleeves put a jacket on as soon as a time out was called to try and stay warm.
— Fox gives us a retrospective on 1967’s infamous Ice Bowl, considered the coldest game ever played, which had a wind chill of -48 and resulted in players getting frostbite. Fox’s song choice for the video: “Cold as Ice” by Foreigner. Coldest games of all time graphic:
— There’s so much icy breath it looks like everybody on the field is taking smoke breaks right before the camera cuts to them.
— In the booth, Troy Aikman demonstrates how you grip the ball differently due to cold.
— Temperature update:
— This guy:
— Player jumps in the crowd in order to get warm (or because Green Bay scored a touchdown or something):
— The sun has set. Nothing to stop the cold now:
— He can’t raise his own arm. We’re blaming the cold:
— The Dark Ref Rises! Bane takes the field.
— Half time. In the booth, Troy Aikman is asked if the cold has impacted the gameplay. “No I don’t think that it has,” he says. Shut up, Aikman.
— Following half time, there’s a stretch of time when nobody is talking about how cold it is. But then we get a temp update: Wind chill -12.
— Down to 3 degrees. Crabtree feeling it:
— Game interrupted for a Pantene ad:
— More breath action:
— Cold-game updates withering. Meanwhile here’s a leap fail:
— “Not exactly the Ice Bowl, when it was -13,” Fox tells us helpfully. But it’s closer to 0 now, only 2 degrees, 13 below with wind chill.
— Contrary to predictions, so far Fox hasn’t found any nutty fans willing to go shirtless in the stands.
— Kicker Phil Dawson tells Andrews: “The ball feels like an absolute brick. The footing is going to get worse … in these conditions it is so difficult to kick.”
— At last: We have beard ice! Soon the dogsleds will arrive.
— We’re pretty sure the 49ers won. Andrews interviews sleeveless Colin Kaepernick about the cold. “It’s not that cold,” he says. “COME ON!” yells frustrated Andrews. “Go get warm.” Then she tells NaVorro Bowman: “You are shivering, get inside!”