As the 49ers get set to take on the Packers in the frozen tundra, a lot can be said of both fan bases. Temperatures will be around 10 BELOW zero with wind chills reaching in between -30 and -50. It won’t quite be the “Ice Bowl” but it will be the closest thing the NFL has seen since.
It took a couple extra days, but Lambeau did become a sellout which allowed them to avoid a local blackout. Yes it did take some help from sponsors to buy up a few extra tickets at the last minute, but even still there will be 70,000 plus fans in extreme conditions when a couch and a big screen would be a whole lot more pleasant. There is something respectable and possibly idiotic for any fan in attendance.
The stadium will be handing out hand warmers along with free hot chocolate and coffee. Hopefully they hand out spoons too as those drinks will likely be frozen before you can get back to your seat. Either way a nice gesture from the folks up at Lambeau.
As for the teams the weather will take a toll. The “Ice Bowl” was known for referees getting part of their lips ripped off from getting frozen to their whistle, or the marching band halftime performance getting cancelled because the instruments froze up. While today’s technology will help, such as Under Armor and heaters actually working on the field, cold will still be cold.
Whichever team comes out ahead in Sunday’s game will have beaten 2 opponents, the opposition and the weather. The winner will have to turn around and play in Carolina just a week last for the right to go to the NFC Championship Game. As a 49er fan if we were to somehow lose, I would find it real hard to root against the Packers and their fans the rest of the season.
As for those 70,000 plus fans at the game, good luck, stay warm, and I’ll see you there. I’ll be wearing my red proudly, on top of about 3 other layers.