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mesaSteeler
01-22-2011, 12:06 AM
Chilling out in black and gold
Steelers, Jets could face coldest playoff game ever in Pittsburgh
Saturday, January 22, 2011
By Dan Majors, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11022/1119912-53.stm

The AFC championship game on Sunday might be a great matchup between two of the NFL's best teams, but there isn't a lot of bad blood between the Steelers and the New York Jets. You wouldn't call it a heated rivalry.

Especially this weekend.

The National Weather Service is predicting single-digit temperatures Sunday evening, making it possible that the players -- and the freezing fans huddled in Heinz Field -- might be experiencing the coldest Steelers home playoff game on record.

It's expected to be colder in Pittsburgh than it will be in Chicago for the Bears' afternoon game against the Green Bay Packers.

"It's shaping up as one of the coldest games here that I can remember," meteorologist Brad Rehak of the National Weather Service in Pittsburgh said Friday. "Going back to the 1970s with the Raiders-Steelers games."

The coldest playoff game in Pittsburgh was the AFC championship game of Jan. 23, 2005, when the temperature dropped to 9 degrees and the New England Patriots soared to the Super Bowl. But the famous "Pittsburgh Ice Bowl" against the Oakland Raiders, on Jan. 4, 1976, was played in worse conditions, even though the temperature was a crisp 18.

The story goes that the tarp over the Three Rivers Stadium turf the night before the game leaked and the rain that fell overnight became trapped and turned to ice. Players slid all over the field, and the score was 3-0 Steelers in the third quarter before a flurry of scoring late in the game gave the Steelers a 16-10 win.

"Every time I'd take off, I'd slip," Raiders receiver Cliff Branch said at the time. "The coverage wasn't a problem. It was the field."

"The ball felt like a rock," said Raiders linebacker Phil Villapiano.

"The elements were the big factor," Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw said. "It was slippery, and we were frozen. I was losing the feeling in my fingers."

Keith Brewster, 50, a meteorologist and researcher at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Okla., lists the "Pittsburgh Ice Bowl" among the games cited at his NFL Weather Hall of Fame website. Other standouts include the original "Ice Bowl" between the Packers and the Dallas Cowboys, the "Snowplow Game" in which the Patriots used a plow to clear a spot for a game-winning field goal, and "Leon Lett's Skating Rink" game in Dallas.

Other games mentioned exposed the gridiron to elements such as fog, rain and even a tornado watch.

"I was born and raised in Wisconsin, so I grew up a Packers fan," said Mr. Brewster, who started noting weather conditions at games when he was young. Eventually, he said, he made up his list and shared it with friends. He set up the website about 10 years ago.

"It's my ranking, but I don't consider it authoritative," he said.

The site features brief summaries of the games. His commentaries include the occasional jab at games played in domed stadiums.

Some of the games he didn't see, but he has heard the stories about them.

"Historically, football is an all-weather game, and both teams have to deal with that," he said. "It adds to the color of the game. Does it subtract from the athleticism? I'm not sure. If a team is going to go all the way, I think they should play well even when the weather isn't perfect."

The NFL schedules most of its Super Bowls in warm-weather cities, so the event becomes more of an outdoor celebration. But teams play all season long for the right to host playoff games on their home fields.

The Steelers have a reputation of thriving in cold weather. The team has played 27 playoff games in Pittsburgh since the NFL merger in the late 1960s, boasting a 19-8 record in those games. The average game-time temperature is 32.5 degrees.

But in conference championship games in Pittsburgh, the team's record is just 5-5. Three of the losses came when the temperature was above 36 degrees. So maybe weather will work to the home team's advantage.

The cold might be more of a problem for the fans in the stands than for the players, who will have access to heaters on the sidelines.

"And with the modern clothing, I think they'll be all right," Mr. Brewster said. "And you always have a couple of guys who are old-school, who show that they're tough by coming out in short sleeves."

Perhaps with all this chattering about the cold, the Steelers would do well to remember the words of Hall of Fame linebacker Jack Lambert after the local Ice Bowl in 1976.

"I've never minded playing in the cold," he said. "Actually, I think it's all in your mind. You condition yourself to block out the weather factor and just concentrate on what you're doing out there."

Dan Majors: dmajors@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1456. The Associated Press contributed

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11022/1119912-53.stm#ixzz1Bk27Q2Hj

mcg24
01-22-2011, 12:08 AM
Oh please. The wind chill here in Wisconsin was -34 when I went out to my car this morning. Why do I live here? :doh:

mesaSteeler
01-22-2011, 12:14 AM
Reading this reminds me of no matter how much I miss city, the neighborhoods, and of course the Steelers, (which is a lot) but I could not easily move back. I could never take the cold again. I won't torture you by telling you how nice it was here today. The older I get the more I hate cold.

sarahpalinhater
01-22-2011, 12:20 AM
I think the first game went off at 26 degrees if I remember right. So it was cold. But come 7 PM sunday night, it will be at highest at 13 degrees, and wind chill around 3 degrees. And with Sanchez having what is considered as really small hands for a QB, that realy cold and freezing weather could be a problem we can take advantage of. Also, I wonder if the steelers have done anything to the field since last saturday. Cause if not, the field conditions will be alot tougher for the Jet RB's then ours.


But I'm just glad there won't be any really bad storms in the area come game time cause I could totally see Goodell delaying this game til Monday, when the weather is supposed to jump like 22 degrees to 35. I mean anything to give the Jets an advantage....right ?

mcg24
01-22-2011, 12:20 AM
Hahaha, you know what the great part about -34 degree wind chill days is though? When the temperature is around 32 degrees I can toss on shorts and a T-shirt no problem :thumbsup:

mesaSteeler
01-22-2011, 12:21 AM
Hahaha, you know what the great part about -34 degree wind chill days is though? When the temperature is around 32 degrees I can toss on shorts and a T-shirt no problem :thumbsup:

That's I what I wore today but the temperature wasn't any near 32 degrees.

mcg24
01-22-2011, 12:25 AM
That's I what I wore today but the temperature wasn't any near 32 degrees.

No doubt. I'm a young guy still so I have a lot more time to do in the cold up here, but you better believe when I get the chance I'll be down south with ya.

zsheik22
01-22-2011, 05:03 AM
Oh please. The wind chill here in Wisconsin was -34 when I went out to my car this morning. Why do I live here? :doh:



Brrrrrr. I think the coldest I remember it being here was about -22 below, we went on a winter trip to the zoo a few days later and the guy who worked at the polar bear exhibit said the bears were swimming in that weather.

grward
01-22-2011, 07:31 AM
Does anyone know if Tomlin had the guys practicing outside? He normally doesn't, but in this case I think it would be a good idea. Get them acclamated and used to the rock.

Kanata-Steeler
01-22-2011, 08:21 AM
Oh please. The wind chill here in Wisconsin was -34 when I went out to my car this morning. Why do I live here? :doh:

-34 ! Geezus that is pretty dam cold, even by Canadian standards :)

mesaSteeler
01-22-2011, 08:44 AM
No doubt. I'm a young guy still so I have a lot more time to do in the cold up here, but you better believe when I get the chance I'll be down south with ya.

When I was a young man I spent three years in Madison WI. I still remember the year I left it snowed on April 30th. I left the week after that and have been in Valley of Sun every since.