The student news site of Stone Bridge High School

The Bulldog Tribune

The student news site of Stone Bridge High School

The Bulldog Tribune

The student news site of Stone Bridge High School

The Bulldog Tribune

How Cold is Too Cold?

Severe Weather and the NFL
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Winter weather conditions have proved to be a struggle for teams throughout this NFL playoff season. 

NFL stadiums are built to hold thousands of fans; however, some fields do not protect fans from all elements. In particular, snow and harsh temperatures have had prominent  roles during many playoff games over the past couple weeks. While professionals should be prepared to play regardless of weather, many viewers wonder if it is really fair for anyone to play in these conditions. 

On Jan. 13, the Chiefs and the Dolphins went head-to-head to continue their playoff journey. As the fourth coldest game in NFL history, the temperature dropped to a whopping -4 F with a windchill of -20 F. Not only were these conditions challenging for the players, but some fans were even hospitalized due to the extreme temperatures. 

“So I think that the conditions in Kansas City were extremely dangerous,” Marshall Shepherd, director of the atmospheric sciences program at the University of Georgia, told CNN Sport. “And I would like to see a rethinking of those types of events when we’re seeing temperature wind chills well below zero [degrees Fahrenheit].”

It’s no secret that the Dolphins, who usually play games at an average temperature of 74 F, are used to playing in warm weather. This is different from the Chiefs, who are used to practicing in the cold and know better how to handle it. When something like this is well known to the viewers, it could be possible that the cold actually helped the Chiefs rather than hindered them.

“Everybody out here was playing for each other. So we just put the weather to the side, and knew that our opponents didn’t want to be here — out here in this cold as much as we did,” Chiefs receiver Rashee Rice said in an interview with The Kansas City Star. “So we just took it to the chin and showed our love for the game.”

It is no secret that the Chiefs are a very strong NFL team; however, it is hard to take these wins seriously considering all the other elements at play. This doesn’t just apply to the Chiefs. 62% of Super Bowl participants have been cold weather teams, meaning that teams that play in colder weather have gone to the Super Bowl more than teams who play in warm weather. 

“…We just put the weather to the side, and knew that our opponents didn’t want to be here — out here in this cold as much as we did, so we just took it to the chin and showed our love for the game.”

— Rashee Rice

The Ravens, Bills, Bears and Broncos are just a few other teams with exposed fields in places known for intense winter weather. This may truly be done on purpose. The Bills’ Wild Card game against the Steelers, for example, was postponed due to snowy conditions so extreme that the team called for fans to help shovel the stands. With this knowledge, it seems surprising that the Buffalo stadium wouldn’t have a roof on it. 

All of these teams are used to the cold weather, so it is possible that they use the outdoor stadiums to their advantage when they play teams from warmer areas. 

It is not to say that all of these wins do not count just because of the conditions. All of these teams have their own strengths and weaknesses, however these weaknesses should be exposed by the skill of the other team, not the severity of the weather. Fans will also benefit from a domed stadium so that they can receive the best product of the game without risking a trip to the hospital. 

 

About the Contributor
Angelina Massimo, Staff Writer
Angelina Massimo is a senior and a first year member of the "Bulldog Tribune". She grew up in New York and lived in Bermuda until sophomore year. She enjoys going to school sporting events and driving around Ashburn. She is a part of the Writing Center, as well as a member of the Stone Bridge Varsity Swim Team.