SOUTH BEND, IND., JAN. 7 -- Jim McMahon is the only quarterback who plays football in golf gloves, but he's also the only Chicago Bear to wear his hood during team meetings.

As for Washington Redskins quarterback Doug Williams, he's been practicing this week in golf gloves for the first time and says he might wear them during Sunday's Bears-Redskins playoff game at Soldier Field. Weatherman Tom Skilling of Chicago's WGN-TV said today that it might snow in Chicago Saturday night, but Sunday's forecast is for partly sunny skies with a temperature of 18 degrees and southwest winds between 10 and 22 mph.

Williams, a southerner, says he's never played or practiced in weather that cold, so he's thinking Eskimo. Apparently, neither he nor McMahon have trouble throwing a spiral with gloves on.

"I'm not in love with it," Williams said of cold weather. "Give me some humidity."

Chicago is known for wind, which has gusted away many hats and football games. Sunday's wind-chill factor is predicted to be approximately 12 degrees below zero, which the Bears and Redskins say is a concern. They say they can take the cold; it's the wind that makes quarterbacks throw with caution.

Soldier Field, sitting alongside Lake Michigan, apparently is a difficult place to figure. Bears kicker Kevin Butler said field goals there "have got to be the toughest, because of the wind." Just when the wind's blowing north, it gets finicky and heads south.

"No pattern at all," he said.

Reserve quarterback Mike Tomczak agreed, saying "the wind swirls." This could create havoc on the opening coin toss, which is usually important in games like this. In last season's Giants-Redskins NFC title game, it was 39 degrees in New York with 17-mph winds and gusts up to 25 mph. Coach Joe Gibbs felt the coin flip was pivotal. He was willing to kick off and take the wind, but the Giants won the coin flip and took the wind and the game.

This year's coin flip could be meaningless, with the peculiar wind stream at Soldier Field. The Redskins could give up the ball in favor of the wind in the first quarter only to have the wind change directions. It's a gamble.

But Gibbs remembers that Giants game all too well. "I laughed when they said there was going to be a 50-mph wind. And then it seemed like it must've been 70."

Other than McMahon, the Bears players don't take too many precautions for the cold, only because it's second (not to mention mother) nature by now. Linebacker Mike Singletary was asked today to name the coldest Bears game ever and answered: "I can't. They're all cold to me at a certain time of year."

The Bears came to South Bend to get in out of the cold. Practices have taken place on an indoor artificial turf field, and running back Walter Payton says that's improved their concentration.

"Let me ask you this," Payton said when asked if he likes playing in the cold. "If somebody said, 'Would you like to go to Hawaii for about three weeks or Anchorage, Alaska, for about three weeks,' which one would you go to? Hawaii? Thank you, you answered that question for me.

"But if I can turn a disadvantage around for my advantage, then I'm going to use it, whether it's playing with no lights, playing in a monsoon or playing during a hurricane."

By heritage, the Bears ignore the wind and cold. That all started with team founder George Halas, who couldn't understand all the fuss.

"It could be 20 degrees and Halas wouldn't allow gloves," said Denver line coach Stan Jones, a Bears player from 1954 to 1965. "And if you had long sleeves, he'd make you roll them up. And you couldn't wear long underwear. If he caught you wearing long underwear, he'd make you take it off."

The coldest temperature ever for an NFL game was Green Bay's "Ice Bowl" in 1967, which was minus-13 at kickoff. Frank Gifford broadcasted the game and remembers having a hot cup of coffee freeze.

Still, the wind-chill factor that day wasn't as bad as the 1981 Cincinnati-San Diego AFC Championship game, which reached 59 below zero. The temperature was minus-9, but the wind gusted over 25 mph. Bengals defender Eddie Edwards wore short sleeves that day, but an intoxicated fan took off his shirt, collapsed and died. There actually was some discussion whether to postpone the game to Monday night and move it indoors to the Pontiac Silverdome or the New Orleans Superdome.

The early '70s was the era of the pouch, not the golf glove. Quarterbacks sewed them onto their jerseys. Nowadays, some quarterbacks like Jay Schroeder have worn wraparound pouches attached to their belt buckle.

Still, Bears Coach Mike Ditka warns his players to keep their hands out of their pockets.

"We practiced last Saturday," Ditka said, "and I saw a lot of guys who never got their hands out of their pockets. So, I don't know about us. If we play that way Sunday, it could revert back to that Ice Bowl game in Green Bay, because I remember a lot of guys that day never got their hands out of their pockets."

Meanwhile, Williams reasoned: "It's not that bad being outside. You're not on the field for 2, 2 1/2 straight hours. I don't think Eskimos just go out there to stand in it. But even Eskimos don't get used to it. They're all hooded over."

Bears linebacker Ron Rivera said he thinks the Bears don't intimidate people like they did in their 1985 Super Bowl year season. "It used to be people thought they had to get breaks to beat the Bears," he said. "Now they feel they can {win} without breaks."

Staff writer Christine Brennan contributed to this report.