NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is unmoved by possible polar conditions at MetLife Stadium on Super Bowl Sunday. He’ll be sitting with fans, not in a suite, he told the New York Daily News. Easy for him to say. He wasn’t at any of these games, among the coldest on record. (No, they’re not Super Bowls. The lowest temp at kickoff in Super Bowl history was 39, at Super Bowl VI. Oh, please.)
The Ice Bowl
Date: Dec. 31, 1967. The teams: Cowboys-Packers. Location: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wis. Game time temp: 15 below zero. What made it even worse: Lambeau’s turf-heating system failed, causing the field to freeze when the tarp was taken off. The Lombardi-led Packers persevered to win the teeth-chattering conference championship, and went on to beat the Raiders in Super Bowl II.
The Freezer Bowl
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Date: Jan. 10, 1982. The teams: Bengals-Chargers. Location: Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati. Game time temp: minus 9. What made it even worse: Hurricane-force winds of 40 mph dragged the wind-chill factor to 59 below. The Bengals won, earning a berth in Super Bowl XVI. The aftermath: “I’m just now finding parts of me hurt that I didn’t know I hurt,” said Bengal fullback Pete Johnson, about an hour after the game.
Met Field Meltdown
Date: Dec. 10, 1972. The teams: Packers-Vikings (regular season). Location: Metropolitan Stadium, Minneapolis. Game time temp: zero, with a windchill of -18. What made it even worse: The Vikings, who lost that day, had beaten the Chicago Bears a week prior — and that game was the coldest game in Vikings history. A fan who was there on Dec. 10 told the St. Paul Pioneer Press, “This was back in the days before Thinsulate, when men were men, and so were the women.”
Melissa Davis, NWArts&Life editor