Green Bay, already host to four of the ten coldest games in NFL history, prepares for what may become the most frigid contest in the league’s 94 years of existence.
Sunday’s game between the Packers and ’49ers, scheduled for 3:40 p.m Central time, faces a forecast cold enough to raise John Facenda from the grave and proclaim Lambeau Field a “frozen tundra.” Forecasters expect the day’s high, which will likely to already have been reached by kickoff, to hit -5. Meteorologists expect the mercury to hit a low of -20.
The unpleasant conditions have already sparked hesitations among the Packer faithful in buying tickets for the game. The Green Bay area faces a television blackout because Lambeau Field has yet to sell all its seats. The arctic front threatens to break the team’s 319-game sellout streak.
It also threatens to break the record for the NFL’s coldest game, famously immortalized by NFL Films, between the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers on New Year’s Eve in 1967. The thermometer read -20 at one point, which resulted in linebacker Ray Nitschike losing his toenails from frostbite. The home-field advantage proved too much for Dallas to overcome, and the Packers won 21-17 en route to a victory over Oakland in Super Bowl II.