Cold moments: When weather and sports collide
1. NFL Championship Game
Date: Dec. 31, 1967
Weather: minus 13 degrees with a wind chill of minus 48 at game time; field frozen
What happened: The Packers had installed 14 miles of wiring under the field to keep the turf warm and soft. The wiring failed, but only after it had had enough time to turn snow to water. When the wires cooled off, that water became ice: hence the Ice Bowl, not "The Freakin' Cold Bowl." The Packers beat the Cowboys 21-17 after Green Bay QB Bart Starr sneaked over the line from about a foot away for a touchdown with 13 seconds remaining. Packers coach Vince Lombardi let Starr run the play even though a field goal attempt would have been the less-risky move and likely would have tied the game and sent it into overtime.
Lombardi, a risk taker? No, but something even less likely: Lombardi, the compassionate. Referring to the crowd of 50,861 who'd stuck around Lambeau throughout the frigid afternoon, he said, "I didn't figure all those people could stay on in the stands. You can't say I'm always without compassion." Literary lineman Jerry Kramer said the goal-line turf was "solid like cement."
Here's some more trivia: Q) How was the Packers' D able to figure out, for certain, when Bob Hayes was Don Meredith's primary receiver? A) He took his hands out of his pants at the line of scrimmage. Q) What is the sound of a ref's frozen whistle? A) Silence.
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan
16. Yankees' 1996 home opener
Date: April 9, 1996
Weather: 37 degrees with swirling snow
What happened: The stinging wind and snow got so bad that third-base umpire Ken Kaiser and some of the players donned ski masks out on the field. The Yankees won 7-3 in an inauspicious official Yankee Stadium debut for both Joe Torre and Derek Jeter. Andy Pettitte managed to stay warm enough to pitch 6 1/3 innings and pick up the win. Yankees right fielder Paul O'Neill said he'd played in bad weather before, "but never in snow to the point where you couldn't see the ball." Wade Boggs picked up just one hit in five at-bats. "These conditions couldn't get much worse," he said. "It was the worst day I've ever played in. If you're out in it, it's just miserable."
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