(Photo courtesy of Vernon Biever/Green Bay Packers)
What was the worst bad-weather game in recent NFL history?
The Ice Bowl – There’s a reason they call the field at Lambeau the frozen tundra. Because frozen it was for the Dec. 31, 1967 NFL playoff game between Dallas and Green Bay, a contest where the temperature at game time was minus-15, the wind-chill minus-47.2 and everyone so cold that when the referee blew the whistle to start things, it froze to his lips. The game ended with Green Bay scoring the game-winning TD with seconds left, but it’s the weather that was the story here, not the Packers.
The Freezer Bowl – The week before the San Diego Chargers survived a double-overtime defeat of Miami in 88-degree heat. But nobody survived the minus-38-degree wind-chill and 35-mile-an-hour wind gusts of Cincinnati in the 1981 AFC championship game. Air Coryell never got off the ground, held to a second-quarter Kellen Winslow score, and the Bolts were left stone-cold dead in a 27-7 loss.
The Fog Bowl – Normally, you think of snow, sleet or rain when it comes to bad weather. But on Dec. 31, 1988, the Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles met in the NFC playoffs and played in the fog of Soldier Field … or so it was reported. It was so difficult to see that reporters were allowed to watch from the sidelines, and referee Jim Tunney announced each play with a mike. Apparently, it wasn’t difficult for Randall Cunningham to find receivers. He threw for 407 yards.
The Snow Bowl – This playoff game between Oakland and New England will be remembered for three things: 1) The Tuck Rule; 2) Adam Vinatieri’s game-tying field goal and 3) the snow. It was played in a heavy snowstorm, with nearly 10 inches of snow falling. But that’s what made Vinatieri’s kick so compelling. Not only was it driven into a stiff wind; it was done without the aid of Mark Henderson, the snow plow driver who rescued the Patriots two decades before in a 3-0 defeat of Miami.