It is cold all across the country this weekend, especially in Green Bay. From the Midwest’s record freezing temperatures to the northeast’s winter storm Hercules the weather is proving to be a large influence on this weekend’s NFL playoff matchups. Some cities are having a surprisingly difficult time selling out their first round match-ups, including the Green Bay Packers, who have every regular season game sold out for the next fifty years it seems, but needed to work to sell out Sundays match-up with the 49ers. Now the Green Bay Packers have announced they will offer free coffee to fans who brave the subzero temperatures.
The temperature for Sunday’s first round match-up between Aaron Rodgers and the Packers and Colin Kapernick and the 49ers is expected to be -2 degrees. The coldest game in the history of the NFL also took place at Green Bay’s historic Lambeau Field, but that day temperatures were an even more unbelievable -13.
Green Bay plans to pass out a total of 70,000 hand warmers to fans who brave the cold temperatures Sunday. These warmers are small packets that stay warm for nearly 10 hours and can be slipped inside gloves and shoes to your digits warms. The team has also announced that it will offer free coffee and hot chocolate for all fans that brave the negative temperatures and come out to cheer on the Packers.
Troubles with the weather are not solely reserved for Green Bay however. Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Philadelphia are all experiencing troubles with the winter weather and only Philadelphia sold out there game without outside help.
Still Philadelphia has other problems they must deal with. In Philadelphia, where the Eagles will face the New Orleans Saints on Saturday night, officials must remove two to three million pounds of snow from the winter storm Hercules that was dropped on the city Thursday.
Officials started clearing the field on Friday morning as almost 600 additional workers were hired to help the stadium staff prepare the field for the game and the surrounding areas for fan use.
Unlike Green Bay, Philadelphia had no problem selling out their match-up despite the winter conditions. In defense of the Packer fan the temperature will be in the 20’s in Philadelphia with the wind chill falling somewhere in the 10’s. The wind chill in Green Bay could be as cold as -15.
If all of this sounds absurd to you and you are wondering how this could possibly be humane, it is maybe not quite as bad as it sounds for the players. Lambeau field has a state of the art heating system underneath the field that keeps the ground from freezing. However, there may be no respite for fans except for their complimentary hand warmers and free cups of coffee and hot chocolate.
This weekend’s match-ups could either be enhanced or compromised based on the weather and depending on who you talk to. There are some great match-ups that could be given an added dose of excitement by seeing the best the NFL has to offer trying to tackle unfavorable circumstances. In Green Bay conditions will be anything but pleasant, but now fans have something to look forward to as the Packers have announced they will offer free coffee to all of the fans that will brave the cold temperatures Sunday and come to the game.
By Nick Manai