NFL playoff dilemma
And that's without the wind chill. The bottom line: this is very dangerous cold where exposed skin can experience frost bite in 15 minutes.
The latest GFSx MOS temperature forecast is now -8 deg. F for game time in Green Bay on Sunday evening for the playoff game between the Packers and the 49ers. This is getting awfully close to the record coldest NFL game temperature of -13 deg. F, set Dec. 31, 1967 at Lambeau Field during "The Ice Bowl", the NFL Championship game between the Packers and Dallas Cowboys.
The 2nd coldest game was Jan. 10, 1982 at Riverfront Stadium during the AFC Championship game between Cincinnati Bengals and San Diego Chargers, at -9 deg. F, so Sundays game might take the #2 spot. The top 10 coldest NFL games are listed here. Makes my hands hurt just thinking about it.
Should the NFL go through with the game? The problem is, it's going to be just as cold for the next few days in Green Bay. Besides, the NFL has no policy about how cold a game can get before they cancel it:
Football routinely is played in the elements. Except when the elements endanger life and limb.
But when it comes to whether the weather will be so cold that it's too cold from a safety standpoint, the NFL has no predetermined temperature reading that would postpone a game.
"We don't have a number, no," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy tells PFT via email.
It's a bit surprising that the league hasn't worked with experts to identify a temperature at which it automatically becomes unsafe to be outdoors for extended periods of time. That's likely because the league has never had to do it.
After Sunday's game at Green Bay, the NFL may have to do it.
No doubt -8 degrees will test the endurance of even the famously stoic Green Bay fans. But don't be surprised if you see some well lubricated Packer fans shirtless at some point during the game. Football brings out the craziness in fans and. combined with alcohol, the stupidity of some fans knows no limits.
Frankly, I wish they could find a way to play the game under better conditions. But as NFL players and coaches are wont to say, "Both sides have to play in the same weather." And the Packers' superior ability to play when the elements are extreme gives a new definition to the term "home field advantage."