Football Freezing Frenzy

Three Frozen Tundras This Weekend

It’s a weatherman’s dream come true, harsh winter weather and football! Given there are 3 big games this weekend, my talk to the Milton Rotary today focused on the Siberian-like weather that is coming this weekend. If you are a hard core football fan, you will enjoy my 3 brief narratives.

By the way, to the staff at Granny K's, the lunch was out of this world!

Ritter Park Touch Football

As you may know, the jocks here at WSAZ have an informal touch football league in winter every year. Tim Irr is the commissioner and the likes of Keith “Touchdown Tosser” Morehouse and “Broadway” Brad Myers (of Braxton County Eagles fame where he holds the school record for INTs) star every year. For my part, I count alligators as well as anyone, am known to draw up a few witty plays and yes I am a sure shot to pull a hammy.

At 10AM Saturday morning, the air temperature will hover in the 20s as the first pass falls incomplete. Meanwhile and an arctic front, make that AN ARCTIC FRONT, will be barreling thru Illinois and Indiana. As that front arrives in the afternoon and evening a quick burst of snow will coat roads during the finals of the WSAZ Wrestling Invitational at the Big Sandy Arena. Lows by Sunday dawn will range zero to 5 above in rural Ohio to 10 in the Kanawha Valley and Coalfields. For that reason a frozen pipe and space heater watch will be in effect Saturday night. I will talk about both those hazards in tomorrow's blog.

Lambeau Field in Green Bay

As I reminisced at the Milton Rotary today, clips from the famous Ice Bowl of 1967 in Green Bay will be played many times this weekend as the coldest Packer game in 40 years is played on Sunday night.

Turns out this game may have had a profound influence on my choice to be a meteorologist. You see growing up in the Italian Market section in Philadelphia, I was a huge Packer fan because of coach Vince Lombardi. Back then the Packers had a dynasty with Bart Starr, Ray Nitschke and Jerry Kramer among the star-studded cast.

On New Years Eve 1967, the Packers hosted the Dallas Cowboys (Meredith, Hayes, Lily) in the NFL Title game. This game became known as the Ice Bowl and the coldest in NFL history. Game time temperature was -14 degrees with an un-Godly wind chill of -40. How cold is that you ask? Well, think of the coldest you have felt when outside. Now multiple that by 2 and realize this is a game that lasts 3 hours! Wow!

It was so cold that referees had their whistles freeze to their lips and tuba players on the band also had their lips freeze while trying to play. The refs had to use hand signals to signal the end of plays as their whistles proved useless.

This Sunday, the Packers are hosting the NY football Giants at venerable Lambeau. While Saturday’s weather will be even harsher, by Sunday night’s 2nd half kickoff I expect the air temperature to be near zero. At least the winds won’t be howling, but a 12 mile per hour wind will drop the chill factor to -20. Ouch!

Pats Run at Perfection will be Bitter

17-0 and still counting. The NE Patriots are just 2 games from running the table and being dubbed the GREATEST TEAM EVER. But before we coronate the Pats, Tom Brady and Randy Moss must play in a barbarically cold AFC title game on Sunday.

My call for 3:30 Sunday afternoon is an air temperature of 15 deegrees and windchill of -10 at kickoff. The winds will be howling at up to 30 miles per hour rendering passing and kicking into the wind difficult at best.

Make no doubt about it, this will be the coldest game Moss has ever played in. Brady faced these temperatures a few years ago.

If I am Norv Turner, coach of the San Diego Chargers, I would use the wind to my advantage. For the 2 quarters New England is going with the wind, I would RUN EVERY PLAY WHILE ON OFFENSE, RISKING NO INCOMPLETIONS. With a healthy LaDainian and a strong O-Line, the Chargers can totally render the Pats Offense a non-factor BY WORKING THE CLOCK AND KEEPING THE PATS O ON THE SIDELINE.

Then when the Pats are going into the wind, I would stack the line and bring my D-Backs up to play in the face of the Moss and his fellow receivers. The idea would be to shrink the field since Brady will not be able to throw long into the wind.

As Chargers coach, I know my team will be hard pressed to handle the cold as well as New England, so I must play to my strength and use the wind to my advantage.

If this occurs, a low scoring championship game would give me the underdog a chance to knock off the undefeated Pats.

I am going to predict a low scoring game say 16-13. Fingers crossed it's the Chargers with the 16 since I am tired of watching Bill Belichick in those monotone press conferences. He treats the media poorly and baby, I work in the media. GO CHARGERS!

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