Just chillin"

O, BY THE WAY

For Sunday: 4 degrees of refrigeration

On cold-weather football

Last Word

January 18, 2008|By BILL ORDINE

It snowed yesterday. You know what that means. There's nothing more important to talk about than the weather (unless you're looking for a new head football coach, but that's being addressed elsewhere on these pages).

So back to the weather.

New York Giants-Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Sunday. Temperature forecast: a high of 4 degrees. And with the wind, who knows?

A couple of years ago, I was in Green Bay a week or so before Christmas to work on an article about the Packers not doing so well. In fact, they were about to get pummeled by the Ravens in a Monday night game and go on to finish the season 4-12.

There was a lot of talk about Brett Favre being washed up, and that to preserve his legacy, he probably should retire. Yeah, right.

Well, what I remember about that trip was hanging out at Fuzzy Thurston's bar; being in the diner where Ray Nitschke used to eat blueberry pancakes (his chair has his name on it); visiting the Packers Hall of Fame; having dinner in Favre's restaurant; buying a Johnny Blood Ale T-shirt at the Titletown Brewing Co. - AND HOW FREAKIN' COLD IT WAS.

I mean, it was so bloody cold, it hurt to walk across the parking lot to get to your car.

But it appears I'm just a wuss. Because when the Packers beat the Seattle Seahawks at Lambeau in a snowstorm last weekend, Favre's record for games where it has been 34 degrees or colder at kickoff improved to a torrid 43-5. The game highlight was Favre, on third-and-eight, stumbling to his right like a guy trying to get the hang of ice skates and tossing an underhand flutter-ball to Donald Lee, who then ran for an 11-yard gain to the Seattle 3-yard line. On the next play, the Packers scored a touchdown and had an 11-point halftime lead that basically finished the Seahawks.

So that's how Favre handles bitter-cold weather. We'll see about the Giants' Eli Manning.

The coldest game I ever attended was Jan. 11, 1981, at Veterans Stadium. Dallas Cowboys-Philadelphia Eagles for the NFC championship. Philly won. It was frigid, and the wind was blowing about 25 mph, so the wind-chill was minus-20.

The Vet had an enclosed press box, but it didn't matter. There were all kinds of cracks and crevices in that place, and the air that came whistling through turned the press box into a wind tunnel with an icy blast straight out of Siberia.

But the fans, as usual, had it much worse. Especially at halftime. That's when about 70,000 people found out pretty much at the same time that the toilets had frozen.

bill.ordine@baltsun.com

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