SportsProf

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Friday, January 03, 2014

Sunday at 4:40 P.M. in Green Bay, Wisconsin

From the weather channel:

The high on Sunday in Green Bay will be 4 degrees.

The low will be -23 degrees.

This is not a misprint.

Now, 49er fans will tell you that watching a night game at the stick when it's 45 degrees in December with 30 mile-an-hour winds coming off the SF Bay will be enough to chill your bones.  And they are right.

But there is California cold and then there is Wisconsin cold.  You just have to harken back to when the Giants went into Lambeau Field several years back and beat the Packers in a night game in 5-degree weather to remember how cold it was.  The Giants' offensive line was so tough that most, if not all, of them only wore their short-sleeved jerseys.  But all you have to do is remember the bright red blotches on Coach Tom Coughlin's face -- what looked to be the beginning of frostbite -- to remember how brutally cold it was.

Seemingly, it will be worse Sunday night in Wisconsin.

Worse than that, the 49ers play generally in a balmy climate.  They are not a dome team, but California teams play in much more predictable climates than say teams in the Northeast, when it can be scorching in September and brutal in December.  Come to think of it, that can happen in the Midwest too.

I am sure that many will be watching if for no other reason than to see how cold it is in Green Bay and how all players fare in this new Ice Bowl.

And then think about the Super Bowl, at the Meadowlands (or whatever the heck they are calling it now) in February.  Think snow, think ice, think cold, and then, watch, it will be forty-four degrees without a breeze and everyone will remark how nice and comfortable the climate is.

I remember in the early 1980's when the Bengals hosted the Chargers for the AFC title game.  It was so cold in Cincinnati that the wind chill was amazingly below zero -- double digit-wise, something like minus twenty or minus thirty.  Yet, the stadium was full.  And that caused Steve Kreider, a wide receiver from Lehigh, to remark, "I don't know who this day said more about -- that we all played in this weather, or that 65,000 people sat outside and watched it."  Great point.  It was that cold.

So, the NFL seemingly has what it wants.  Two good teams in an Ice Bowl, battling each other and the elements.  That will guarantee a broad audience, if for no other reason that all will want to know how they play football in zero degrees.

No wonder why they had trouble selling out Lambeau Field.  Those benefitting from the sellout will be watching the game in the comfort of their own home, wearing perhaps a sweater, but no thermal boots, no heavy scarves, sweaters, hats, gloves and the works.  Oh, sure, their brats will be cooked on a stove, but does it really matter?  At some point, many will realize that they can see better at home, feel warmer while still placing their bets on-line.

Minus four?

That's normally a point spread.

Sunday afternoon in Green Bay, that will be the temperature.

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