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Even if no snow, players prep for cold Super Bowl

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 29, 2014 at 5:49 pm •  Published: January 29, 2014
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JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — So much for all the hand-wringing about a snowed-in Super Bowl.

How would freezing spectators deal with the cold at MetLife Stadium?

What sort of havoc would a big storm wreak on transportation and other game-day logistics?

What if the NFL decided to postpone its championship game between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks for 24 hours?

If the National Weather Service's forecast is correct, the buzz about a blizzard at the first cold-weather, outdoor Super Bowl — the official host committee logo features a snowflake — will turn out to be just talk. As of Wednesday, no snow, or even rain, was being predicted for Sunday.

"It would have been cool in the snow," Seattle linebacker Heath Farwell said. "That's, I guess, how football's supposed to be played."

Players on both teams have experienced chilly conditions during games, of course, although they don't regularly brace for the sort of brrrr that's anticipated for this Super Bowl, even if there isn't any snow. Sunday's high temperature is expected to be 38 degrees, which would make it the coldest of the 48 Super Bowls so far.

With the opening kickoff scheduled for about 6:30 p.m., the mercury could drop into the 20s by the time the game ends.

The only time the temperature dropped below 40 degrees for a Super Bowl came when it was 39 in New Orleans in January 1972. The Dallas Cowboys beat the Miami Dolphins 24-3 in that game, and Miami's scoring output remains the lowest for one team in a Super Bowl.

"I was expecting unbearable cold," Broncos safety Duke Ihenacho said, looking ahead to Sunday. "It'll be cold, but it's nothing we haven't seen in Denver."

Similar to the setup for cold-site games during the regular season, there will be 70 feet worth of heated benches on each sideline, half for the offense, half for the defense, according to the NFL. (Attention, kickers: The league did not mention special teams.)

The benches can reach a temperature that is 90 degrees warmer than the air; each club gets to decide how hot it wants to make them, the league said. The seats generate heat in the area surrounding the benches, so even standing nearby can help fight the freeze.

There also will be "heated torpedo fans" on each sideline.

Football uniforms have short sleeves, and only one of the 15 players interviewed for this story, Seattle defensive end Cliff Avril, said he would even consider wearing long sleeves underneath to provide some protection Sunday.

"I'm a 315-pound man. The weather doesn't bother me," Broncos defensive tackle Sylvester Williams said, by way of explaining why he'd never go for the long-sleeved look.

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