Go Green Bay

Posted on Fri Jan 3rd, 2014 at 1:35 pm

Ice Bowl Part 2?

This weekend, the Green Bay Packers will take on the San Francisco 49ers for the NFC Wild Card playoff game.


It's reported to be pretty cold for that game....possibly colder than it was for the famed Ice Bowl of 1967. As Wisconsinites and true Packer Fans, we certainly hope and believe the Packers can pull out a victory.


But the media coverage caused us to take another look for Ice Bowl info. To that end, we did some poking around and found this on Wikipedia about it. We took just the part about the weather from that article. It made us laugh and question why we still live in Wisconsin, all at the same time. We hope you enjoy it.


Dubbed by the sports media as "The Ice Bowl", the game-time temperature at Lambeau Field was about −15 °F (−26 °C), with a wind chill around −48 °F (−44 °C). Lambeau Field's turf-heating system malfunctioned, and when the tarpaulin was removed from the field before the game, it left moisture on the field, which flash-froze in the extreme cold, leaving an icy surface that got worse as more and more of the field fell into the shadow of the stadium. The heating system, made by General Electric, cost $80,000 and was bought from the nephew of George Halas, George Halas Jr. On the sidelines before the game, some Dallas players believed that Lombardi had purposely removed power to the heating coils. The heating system would eventually be given the moniker Lombardi's Folly. The prior convention to prevent the football field from icing up was to cover the field with dozens of tons of hay.


The University of Wisconsin–La Crosse (then Wisconsin State University–La Crosse) Marching Chiefs band were scheduled to perform the pre-game and half-time shows. However, during warm-ups in the brutal cold, the woodwind instruments froze and would not play; the mouthpieces of brass instruments got stuck to the players' lips; and seven members of the band were transported to local hospitals for hypothermia. The band's further performances were canceled for the day. During the game, an elderly spectator in the stands died from exposure.


Prior to the game, many of the Green Bay players were unable to start their cars in the freezing weather, forcing them to make alternate travel arrangements to make it to the stadium on time. Linebacker Dave Robinson had to flag down a random passing motorist for a ride. The referees for the game found they did not have sufficient clothing for the cold, and had to make an early trip to a sporting goods store for earmuffs, heavy gloves, and thermal underwear. Packers quarterback Bart Starr attended an early church service with his father, who had visited for the game, and as Starr later said, "It was so cold that neither of us talked about it. Nobody wanted to bring it up."


The officials were unable to use their whistles after the opening kick-off. As referee Norm Schachter blew his metal whistle to signal the start of play, it froze to his lips. As he attempted to free the whistle from his lips, the skin ripped off and his lips began to bleed. The conditions were so hostile that instead of forming a scab, the blood simply froze to his lip. For the rest of the game, the officials used voice commands and calls to end plays and officiate the game. At one point during the game, CBS announcer Frank Gifford said on air, "I'm going to take a bite of my coffee."


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