By: Jason Rentner
The Minnesota Vikings and the Seattle Seahawks are set to face off in the NFC Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs. The two teams will have to bare the frigid cold before moving a step closer to the coveted Lombardi Trophy. According to Accuweather, temperatures could drop as low as 20 below zero (with wind chill) in Minnesota.
Believe it or not it could be worse. If temperatures do drop that low, it would tie for the fourth coldest game in history (with wind chill).
Gold Jacket Anthony Muñoz played in the coldest game in NFL history (with wind chill) on Jan. 10, 1982 when the played the San Diego Chargers in the AFC championship game. Temperatures reached as low as -59 degrees in Cincinnati. He recalled the game.
“It was painfully cold,” said the former Bengals offensive tackle while laughing. “Especially playing on the Astroturf out on the river.”
The weather was deceiving on the day of the game. It was a sunny beautiful day with blue skies, but the Bengals knew the weather was going to be an issue when they stepped outside the hotel and their cars wouldn’t start. The team had to take the hotel bus to the stadium.
Inside the stadium they debated how many layers of clothing they should wear to protect them from the cold. The more layers the players wore, the more it would restrict their motion causing them to slow down on the field. Some players even went as far as rubbing Vaseline on their arms.
The Bengals linemen decided to brave it out with only a gray t-shirt under their shoulder pads and jersey.
“You had to keep your helmet on at all times or else the pads inside would freeze up. We put a piece of tape over the ear hole, but there was still frost inside of the facemask,” explained Muñoz.
Luckily things worked out for the Bengals. The team endured the weather and defeated the San Diego Chargers 27-7 to earn a trip to the Super Bowl XVI. The AFC championship game was one of the most painful games Muñoz ever played in.
“That first hit I thought I was cracking from the top of my head down to my toes.”
Here’s a look at some of the coldest games in NFL history:
-13 degrees (-48 degree wind chill) - Dec. 31, 1967, Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wis., NFL Championship (Green Bay 21, Dallas 17)
-9 degrees (-59 degree wind chill) - Jan. 10, 1982, Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio, AFC Championship (Cincinnati 21, San Diego 7)
-1 degrees (-23 degree wind chill) - Jan. 20, 2008, Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wis., NFC Championship (New York Giants 23, Green Bay 20)
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