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OPINION - Cold enough to cancel the game

by Chris Conley

NEWS BLOG (WSAU)  It was colder here in Central Wisconsin than it was at Lambeau Field, and, no, it was not as cold as the legendary 1967 Ice Bowl game. Ultimately the weather forecast wasn’t quite right, and it was just slightly warmer than expected.

But if it wasn’t, I would have been fine if the game was postponed.

The idea of playing in dangerous extreme-cold should be reexamined. We already stop football games because of thunder and lightning. Modern stadiums with their high upper decks and open fields below are lightning rods. The odds of being struck by lightning are very, very small – yet as a matter of safety for players and fans games are delayed during electrical storms.

In my mind, delaying a game because of extreme cold has real safety risks that are greater than lightning. If the temperatures were like they are today (temp -20, wind chill -50) rescheduling a football game is a matter of player and public safety.

No one is proving their toughness by playing football in unsafe conditions. They’re NFL athletes. Their toughness is not in question, with or without sleeves on a very cold day. And the NFL is asking its customers – ticket holders - to sit in bitter cold when it is indeed dangerous to be in the elements for three or four hours at a time.

I know, there will be people who’ll think that the NFL has gone soft if there’s ever a cold-weather postponement. But sometimes doing the right thing needs to win out over tough-guy image. We were a few degrees away from needed that call to be made. Rescheduling would have been the right call.

Chris Conley

Image: By Mike Morbeck (Flickr: Aaron Rodgers) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons