We have been forecasting a major arctic blasts later this week and into the weekend. On Saturday, our lows will likely be in the single digits with highs in the mid 20s. Cold right? Well not as cold as it will be in some parts of the country. This same cold blast will slam the entire Eastern half of the country bringing frigid temperatures to many locations. As a weather nut, I always look at how the weather will affect large sporting events. This coming Sunday the Green Bay Packers and the New England Patriots will respectively host the NFC and AFC Championship games. Here is the deal, both teams play in outdoor stadiums and since both cities are pretty far North, they are no stranger to playing in cold weather. However, I think the weather this weekend will be colder than either home team wants to play in, and it will affect the games quite a bit. They are not going to be dealing with snow, but that is where the good news stops for the players and fans that plan on attending these games. New England hosts San Diego ( a team obviously not used to played in cold weather) and the forecasted high is 22 degrees. The game starts at 3:00PM so, kick off will be as warm as it gets. In the forth quarter temps will be in the middle teens. As if the undefeated Patriots needed any further advantage.
As for the other game, the National Weather Service in Green Bay is forecasting a high on Sunday of 7 degrees, but it gets worse. Kickoff for that game is at 6:30PM, so it will be night when the game starts, and with clear skies expected temperatures will drop quickly, and by the end of the game temperatures very well could be below zero. Now that's cold! It will really come down to which team handles the cold weather the best and at first glance the advantage would have to go to the home teams who play in cold weather much more than the teams they are hosting.
What are your thoughts on how weather can affect the game? Another way of looking at it is that both teams have to play in the same weather, so whats the difference? Either way, I would take a game played in extreme conditions over a game played in a dome any day.