Okay, campers, rise and shine and don’t forget your booties cuz it’s cooooooooold out there today!
So, uh, it’s very cold out today in basically everywhere most of the people who are B1G fans live. Today (Wednesday) the high in Madison is NEGATIVE FIFTEEN DEGREES. And I imagine it’s even colder in other B1G locales. Even here in North Carolina it was a balmy 17 when I woke up.
I’m sure many of you are tired of reading about/hearing about/living through Polar Vortex 2019: The Vortexing, but there’s no time like the present to take advantage of this weather to create some #content.
Question: What is your Cold Weather sports story, whether spectating, playing, or some third option?
Beez: I attended the 2008 NFC Championship game in Green Bay between the Packers and the New York Giants. Due to reasons, most likely television things, this was a night game (and Brett Favre’s last game as a Packers. Packer?). My friends and I drove through the night from Virginia, stopping only briefly in Sheboygan to nap at a hotel. When we got out of the car in Sheboygan, we got to experience that crazy sensation of your nostrils, sinuses, and lungs insta-freezing like in The Day After Tomorrow. Our memory foam pillows were frozen as solid as concrete. It was miserable.
It got worse though. The temperature at the start of the NIGHT GAME was zero. We bundled up with something like sweatpants over windpants over jeans over long underwear, four-plus layers beneath a winter coat, multiple scarves, hot packs in our gloves and shoes, and waddled into the fully-outdoor and terribly-equipped-to-handle-the-cold Lambeau field. When we got to our seats, we saw a bunch of people carrying cardboard. As we quickly learned, concrete is freezing and even just standing on something like a thin sheet of cardboard helped keep your feet from adhering to the stadium.
It was miserable. At halftime everyone went into the bathrooms, stripped down to their socks, and tried to warm up as best we could. Nice of the stadium to at least have heated bathrooms, I guess. On the way back from halftime we bought a couple Cokes and some water. The Cokes froze on the walk from the concession stand to the seats. Tears of pain and anguish were shed. Men and women with mustaches throughout the crowd saw icicles form in their mustaches.
And yet, somehow, there were people shirtless or in bikinis or some crazy nonsense. Wisconsinties be crazy.
Oh also the stupid Giants won the game in overtime (because of course it went to overtime just so we could be cold for longer), Plaxico Burress caught 90 passes for 10,000 yards, and Eli Manning went on to win his first Superbowl.
Going to Lambeau was cool, seeing my first ever Packers game was cool, going to the NFC Championship was cool, but I am never, ever, ever seeing sports outdoors when it’s below like 25 degrees. At least we got all the Taco Bell we could handle before we drove through the night back to Virginia...so we could go to work on Monday morning.
GoForThree: I was at the Dilly Bar Dan game at Minnesota, watching the Buckeyes thrash the Gophers (until Jalin Marshall’s muffed almost blew it) drinking tallboys of Grain Belt and eating DQ chicken fingers. Kickoff was 10 degrees. It was the coldest OSU game in nearly sixty years. It was the coldest Minnesota game in 4 years.
WhiteSpeedReciever: That was a fun game. And because you guys were kind enough to keep it close, Jerry Kill got the B1G COTY instead of future National Championship winning coach Urban Meyer.
Jesse: 2014 Iowa-Nebraska. I thought, “Yeah, let’s go to the damn game on the day after Thanksgiving.” I was an idiot. While I believe it was 24 degrees, and thusly not as cold as Minnesota games, it was really cold and by the end of the stupid loss, all I could think about was finding some hot soup. I moved to Texas the next year.
Stewmonkey: The 2013 Iowa/Michigan game is the coldest game in Kinnick history, but the 2012 game against UNL was worse conditions. The wind was howling, Iowa was bad, and unl had the division wrapped up, so there was more of the unwashed masses of the red horde than was comfortable. My wife refused to come in the weather, and since Iowa still had a chance to steal the game late, I stayed through the entire, miserable, experience.
MNWildcat: Senior year, my team sections tennis match was played in the snow. You know, just a casual day in mid-May when the temperature drops to about 33-34 and it snows, but you’ve lost so many days to weather already that you can’t push the match back any farther. That wasn’t terribly cold, but it’s awkward trying to hold a tennis racquet in that weather.
Coldest game I’ve been at is 2013 Michigan State at Northwestern, when the wind was completely bludgeoning us in the stands while the ranked Spartans bludgeoned a Northwestern team collapsing to a 5-7 finish. That was un-fun, but not even the coldest game of the last five years at Ryan Field. (I missed 2017’s Minnesota shutout.)
Can anyone top MNW’s snow tennis story? Try your best in the comments. Winner gets a Dilly Bar, redeemable only outdoors when it’s below 20 degrees.