What was the coldest game in NFL history?

Never have National Football League fans and players shivered as much as they did on January 10, 1982, when the Cincinnati Bengals hosted the San Diego Chargers in the AFC Championship Game. With a kickoff temperature of nine degrees below zero and a minus 59-degree wind chill, what would be dubbed the “Freezer Bowl” was the coldest game in NFL history.

It was so cold…(How cold was it??)…It was so cold that:

  • Players pulled on pantyhose and layered Saran Wrap between pairs of socks for better insulation.
  • 13,000 fans stayed home and watched on television
  • Tight end M.L. Harris caught a touchdown wearing the same brown, leather winter gloves he wore to the stadium.
  • During a timeout, back judge Jim Poole got a little too toasty near a heater and his shirt began to burn
  • A 36-yard field goal attempt by Chargers kicker Rolf Benirschke didn’t even reach the uprights.
  • Bengals wide receiver Cris Collinsworth reported that his breath formed a smokescreen when he would reach up to catch a ball

For more details on the Freezer Bowl, click here to read my article on History.com.

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