The Cold War, Seahawks and the Vikings

January 16, 2016

After going to see the film “The Revenant”, which takes places in harsh weather and where all you had was your animal hid to keep warm, I thought these football players could handle the conditions in Minneapolis. Even though the early pioneers didn’t have heaters on the sidelines, on the other hand they were not constantly getting in pile ups with 300-pound men.  Maybe a bear, but not defensive linemen. The temperature at the University of Minnesota football field on Sunday dipped below 0 degrees. That’s 0 degrees Fahrenheit, where nobody should be outside.  This supposedly was the third coldest game in NFL history, another case of global warming gone cuckoo, or maybe just another typical day in Minnesota.

There is plenty of statistical data that points out that the home team has an advantage in such conditions especially since Seattle doesn’t see this kind of weather. Whatever the advantage is, it can’t be by much when it comes to this low of temperature. Both of these teams in this game were wrapped in the latest but greatest high-tech clothing that is made for these conditions and the coaches looked like Stay Puff Marshmallow Men draped in coats and beanies.   

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll looks at the scoreboard during the first half of an NFL wild-card football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

With the clothing advantage rated at even, the advantages had to be found somewhere else.   The advantage to me would be the Vikings running back Adrian Peterson whom would keep the ball secure and punish the defense with his powerful running. As it turned out, he impacted the game the most with his 4th quarter fumble that allowed Seattle to make a field goal. Both teams attempted to throw the ball because even though it was frigid, there was no snow or blustery wind to strongly affect the passing games.

There were many times when the quarterbacks throws looked like non-spiral hand grenades and the high percentage short passes looked like shot puts.  Overall it looked like both squads were able to adapt about as best you could and it didn’t appear as cold on television as they say.  From my recliner it looked like only, lets say 30 degrees. I wouldn’t say that to the poor Seattle punter who took a face plant in the 1st quarter which must have felt like he was hitting concrete.   Just kicking the football must have been a challenge. Unless the footballs were warmed up before they were place kicked, it must have felt you where kicking a rock. The Minnesota kicker who missed the game winner with 27-yard field goal realistically makes that kick in all other games.

So, it must be stated that no one has the advantage in these types of games unless you are just a flat-out better team. Playing in the extreme cold weather affects muscle reaction, thinking ability and the ball.  Most fans love to watch this game even when it is not your favorite team.  It reminds us of the days of our youth when you went to play football in the mud and you got filthy and yelled at by your mom.   It is also fun to watch the weather impacted games because part of our masochistic inner feelings that want the high paid athletes to earn their salary. I like to see who can adapt and overcome nature like the main character in the Revenant film. The last thing a player wants to hear is the reason they lost was because of the conditions.