The Green Bay Packers have an indoor practice facility, yet when team practiced today it dialed it down to 22. That’s not celsius. It reached -3 degrees on Wednesday in Green Bay, and a mildly brisk minus-22 with the windchill. In a single word: Hell on earth.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy, to prepare for Sunday’s NFC divisional playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, went with Stupid Cold rather than settle for Miserable Cold for his team’s practice today. McCarthy said he thinks the 22-degree practice time temp’ is a Green Bay Packers record for an indoor practice. This was deliberate. The Hudson Practice Facility where the Packers work out is climate controlled. They could have been nice and warm, but elected for miserable and freezing.
“I swear they didn’t turn on any heat in there,” Packers tight end Andrew Quarless said after practice. “It hurts. Not gonna lie.”
A horrid cold front blasted much of the United States on Wednesday, and Green Bay in January is normally not a place that requires a lot of help to be decidedly cold at this time of year.
The forecast calls for kickoff on Sunday to be about 20 degrees. Both teams have to play in it, but the Packers have an advantage in that they are at least semi-used to these God awful temperatures, and a field that is harder than Astroturf ever was.
I asked veteran Packers receiver Randall Cobb how he can tell if there is any advantage to playing a dome or warm-climate team in Green Bay.
“You can see it in their eyes. You can see it in their face,” he said. “The eyes tell a lot. The way they respond to it in certain situations and how they are reacting to it. If it’s a long drive, how do they respond to that? Are they worried about the cold, or are they worried about making plays?”
At least on Wednesday, when even the heartiest Green Bay native admitted this bitter cold was unusually brutal, there was no shame in being worried about the cold.
Mac Engel, 817-390-7760