Up-Close View (Sort Of)
The coldest I've ever been was Jan. 5, 1986, when the wind-chilled temperatures at Soldier Field dipped into the minus low teens.
Bears quarterback Jim McMahon wore gloves and one blast of wind caused Giants punter Sean Landeta to whiff on a kick. Chicago beat the Giants 21-0 that brutal day and both teams would go on to win a Super Bowl in the next year or so.
Two years later, as a reporter for the Hartford Courant -- I was back at Soldier Field for the Bears-Eagles divisional playoff game. It was warm by the Midwest standards of winter; I left my hat at the hotel. But by the end of the second quarter the combination of fog and condensation on the glass of the press box windows made it impossible to follow the action.
The Bears' communications staff gave us the option of watching from the sideline and I jumped at the chance. Outside of a few late-fourth quarter finishes, I had never been that close to the action.
It was eerie; because the crowd couldn't see the players very well, it was unusually quiet. Even from 20 yards away, the players seemed like ghostly apparitions. I remember Randall Cunningham's parabolic passes disappearing into the clouds. I recall wondering how the return men could follow the flight of punts and kicks.
After it was over, I remember walking across the field, scribbling notes. I had witnessed one of the NFL's more curious pieces of history from a ringside seat.
-- Greg Garber
Zoom Gallery: Notable
foul-weather NFL games