Sunday Could Be Coldest Game in Vikings History
The forecast here in Minnesota this weekend calls for highs only in the single digits, which could make Sunday's Wildcard playoff game with Seattle the coldest in Vikings history.
Yes, when you've played nearly 30 years of home games inside, as the Vikings did when they called the Metrodome home, you don't often get the chance to play outside when it's really cold, as it's forecast to be Sunday. And despite having played outside for many years at the old Metropolitan Stadium, Sunday's game could be the coldest in team history.
A quick check of the records shows that if the temperature is below zero at TCF Bank Stadium on Sunday, that would make it just the second time ever the Vikings have kicked-off in sub-zero temperatures. The first was on December 3rd, 1972 when the Vikings hosted the Bears at the Met and the temperature at kickoff was -2˚.
And while the cold can certainly affect the Vikings, one would think it might be more of an issue for the Seahawks, who are used to playing in the much more temperate climate found in Seattle. That might be true, except for the fact that the Seahawks' head coach, Pete Carroll, spent five years here in Minnesota, as an assistant coach with the Vikings under Bud Grant and Jerry Burns. But that was during the Metrodome era, when the weather didn't matter.
According to this ESPN story, Carroll is actually looking forward to Sunday's cold weather, saying, "'I'm glad we're getting a chance to play outside there, just because of all the days I missed at the Met,' Carroll said. 'We were in the Dome the whole time, and I know we're not getting all the weather that can be had there, but I think the Vikings were always known back in the days, when Bud was there, for playing in the freezing cold and all that stuff. Getting a chance to play them outdoors is good.'"
According to the Seattle Times, Sunday's game, while cold, isn't too close to setting any NFL records, though. The story says, "The temperature would have to drop drastically to break the league record of minus-13 set by the fabled Green Bay Ice Bowl game between the Packers and Cowboys in the 1967 NFL Championship Game."
I've always thought football was meant to be played outside, in the elements. And while this could be the last game the Vikings play at TCF Bank Stadium before moving back inside to the palatial new US Bank Stadium next year, I'll be content to watch the proceedings from the warmth of my living room, in front of the fire place.
Are you going to brave the cold for Sunday's game?