Packers vs. Bears could be the coldest football game in Chicago history
Mother nature will play a huge role in this NFC North showdown.
The Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers will collide at Soldier Field in Week 15. They’ll also have to contend with Mother Nature, who’s delivering bitter cold temperatures for Sunday. ,
According to WGN-9 meteorologist Tom Skilling via the Chicago Tribune, the kickoff forecast for the game will be “partly sunny and bitterly cold; 2 degrees with a wind chill of minus 18.”
It could be a new record for an NFL game in Chicago. The Bears’ coldest home game was in December 1983. It was three degrees at the kickoff with a minus 15 wind chill. The coldest game in NFL history is still the Ice Bowl, the 1967 NFL Championship at Lambeau Field, where the temperature was 13 degrees below zero with a windchill of 36 below.
Players are preparing for the temperatures in different ways, and there’s a debate in the locker room about wearing sleeves.
Bears defensive end Akiem Hicks played football for two years at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan, Canada, where December high temps average in the teens. He usually wears long sleeves that are part of a thermal undershirt.
However, Hicks said Bears linebacker Pernell McPhee mentioned that it’s a Bears’ tradition not to wear long sleeves during cold games. Hicks is trying to keep tradition going.
“I tried to abide by it by cutting my sleeve to (just above his elbow). I’m trying to hold that Chicago tradition down.”
Head coach John Fox advised his players not to take that tradition too seriously.
“I’ve told them the macho stuff’s all great,” coach John Fox cracked, “but there comes a point where people might question your intelligence.”
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who is dealing with calf and hamstring injuries, might not have much mobility in this matchup because it’s difficult for players to loosen their muscles during cold games.
To prepare for Sunday’s game against Green Bay, the Bears practiced outside for 75 minutes on Thursday.
#Bears spent about 1 hour and 15 minutes of today’s practice outdoors. Temperature is 1 degree, same as high expected Sunday.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) December 15, 2016
The cold weather will also affect the fans, but they can try to stay warm by purchasing hot chocolate. According to a stadium spokesman, Aramark, Soldier Field’s concessions operator, expects to sell up to 4,000 gallons of hot chocolate.
Hicks is going to have fun this Sunday. “I’m just going to say: You know what? It’s cold. But I’m going to play in it and have fun.”
Even though there will be two teams on the field during this cold game, the third opponent is Mother Nature.