Maybe it won’t be so cold in Green Bay after all.
The forecast from the Green Bay Press-Gazette now calls for a temperature of 5-to-6 degrees (above zero!) for the 3:40 CT kickoff of the NFC wild-card game against the San Francisco 49ers at Lambeau Field. That will dip to 1 below by the time the game ends, but may not crack the record set by the 1967 Ice Bowl — not that anyone’s complaining. The team will help fans combat the cold by distributing free hand warmers, hot chocolate and coffee, but at least one player is embracing it.
“Winter is coming,” Aaron Rodgers, “Game of Thrones” aficionado fan and Packers quarterback, said with a sly smile. “It’s here in Green Bay.”
Pity the poor sideline reporter, this week Fox’s Erin Andrews. At least she has the footwarmers, key equipment for someone who has to stand on the field for around four hours. “I don’t use the toe warmers, I use the full foot because that’s far more effective,” Michele Tafoya of NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” told USA Today’s For the Win. “That’s where I start. It’s always a pair of UGG boots because those tend to be warmer. And then, not 75 layers, but close. Probably a good three or four layers underneath what I’m actually wearing. Vanity goes out the window. I wear ski pants on the sideline when it’s that cold. I now speak fluent parka, because I have learned about every kind of parka there is on the planet. You do want to be presentable. You don’t want to look like you’re on an Arctic hunt. I also take a little hint from Shaq [O’Neal] and get those ThermaCare heat wraps and put one on my back and on my neck so there are some extra heaters around you. And then you just keep moving.”
The offensive linemen are expected to wear shirts with sleeves, the quarterbacks (as the moment) are not expected to wear gloves.
The field itself at Lambeau has a heating element under it, an innovation of which the legendary coach Vince Lombardi was unduly proud. It’s less likely to be “frozen tundra” than mud bowl today.