Anyone that's a weather aficionado knows that forecast models are finicky things. They can change each time a new run comes out for any number of reasons. About 24 hours ago, we gave you the forecast for Sunday's NFC Wild Card game at TCF Bank Stadium between the Seattle Seahawks and your NFC North Champion Minnesota Vikings, and the forecast we gave you was based on the information we had at that time.
Well, since then, the forecast has changed. . .it's a matter of perspective whether it's for better or for worse.
After looking at three different sites. . .Weather Underground, Accuweather, and The Weather Channel. . .the forecast for Sunday is now significantly colder than it was. While we were looking at temperatures in the 12-degree range yesterday, the current forecast for Sunday shows a temperature at kickoff of anywhere from +1 to -1 degree.
That's Fahrenheit, not Celsius. On the Celsius scale, we're looking at anywhere from -17 to -18. With the wind chill factored in, considering there will be winds coming out of the north-northwest at around 10 miles an hour, it will feel like it's anywhere from -15 to -19 Fahrenheit, depending on what forecast you're looking at. (On the Celsius scale, that's anywhere from -26 to -28.)
If that holds true, the question will no longer be whether or not this is the coldest game in the history of TCF Bank Stadium, but is it the coldest game in the history of the Minnesota Vikings?
The Vikings have played in two of the coldest games in NFL history, and they played them in back-to-back weeks at the old Metropolitan Stadium. On 3 December 1972, the Vikings hosted the Chicago Bears, and the temperature that day was two degrees below zero, with the winds pushing the wind chill down to 26 below zero. The next week, when they hosted the Green Bay Packers, the temperature warmed all the way up to zero degrees, and the wind chill was "only" 18 below zero.
It's still a pretty far cry from the two coldest games in NFL history. The coldest game the NFL has recorded was the famous Ice Bowl between the Packers and the Dallas Cowboys on 31 December 1967. The mercury that day was at minus-13, with the winds pushing the wind chill down to 48 degrees below zero. With the wind chill factored in, the coldest game in NFL history was an AFC playoff game on 10 January 1982, where the Cincinnati Bengals played host to the San Diego Chargers. The temperature that day was nine degrees below zero, but some hellacious winds in Cincinnati (nearly 30 miles an hour) pushed the wind chill down to minus-59 in a game was actually dubbed the Freezer Bowl. The Chargers lost that game 27-7. . .it probably didn't help that they played in what might have been the greatest playoff game in NFL history the week before.
We told you yesterday that Sunday at TCF Bank Stadium was going to be a cold one, and this just reinforces that. If you're making the trek, make sure that you're safe and that you're clothed properly. Don't be the doofus running around shirtless or anything. . .frostbite isn't terribly attractive. Hypothermia even less so.