Who's ready for football?? The Texans are back in it, hosting the surging Kansas City Chiefs Saturday afternoon. Of course, weather won't be a factor, even for tailgaters. Friday night's rains are long gone and skies will slowly clear. Temperatures outside will be in the mid 50s.
It's a far cry from the weather at the other Wild Card venues, which are all played in outdoor stadiums. Later tonight, the other AFC contest kicks in Cincinnati as the Bengals host the Steelers in the rain. Wet weather there is due to the same low pressure system that swung across Houston Friday night. Temperatures will be dropping, but the game should be long over before the rain switches briefly to snow.
Touted as one of the coldest games ever, Sunday's matchup between the Seahawks and the Vikings will be played in sub-zero temperatures. If they're lucky, the mercury might get to -3, but likely hover between -4 and -7. At least the wind won't be too extreme - only -10 to -12. The Vikings are playing outside at the University of Minnesota stadium while their new climate-controlled dome is being built.
Over in the nation's capital for the final face-off of the weekend between the Redskins and Packers, the field could be damp. Rain is expected Saturday night, but should clear out well before kickoff. Temperatures will be cool, but not too cold in the low 50s at kickoff dropping to the mid 40s after half-time. There will also be a fairly steady breeze throughout.
Whenever people think of cold football, they normally conjure images of the 1967 Ice Bowl played on New Years Eve at Lambeau Field. That contest, between the Packers and Cowboys, crowned the NFL Champion in the last year before the Super Bowl. The iconic image of Bart Starr's quarterback sneak on a field which was basically a sheet of ice was played with a temperature of -13 and wind chill of -48.
A close argument for the coldest game ever could be made for the AFC Championship matchup at Riverfront stadium between the Bengals and San Diego Chargers. The -9 degree temperatures were accompanied by a whopping -59 wind chill. Yes, the Chargers are used to classic Southern California warmth, but that numbing cold was tough on both sides of the field. Somehow, the Bengals prevailed before losing to the 49ers in the Super Bowl, ironically played indoors in Detroit,
I love football this time of year and admittedly have been spoiled by living in cities where they play indoors. That's where I'll be, comfortable and cozy on my couch cheering on the Texans!