It’s no Ice Bowl II but it will still be the Frozen Tundra come Sunday. The weather is expected to be in the mid to low 20’s at game time which is nothing compared to the negative 13 degrees game temperature back in 1967. The Packers defeated the Cowboys in that game 21-17 and are now looking to do the same this weekend.
By now everybody knows about the Green Bay Packers home record this year, but what is their record when Lambeau is frozen? Do they still have home field advantage in the months of December and January? Since 1992, at home in the months of December and January the Green Bay Packers are 54-12. That means the Packers definitely still have home field advantage even when the temps drop. Why? There are many opinions about what causes some teams and athletes to play well in the cold. Is it a good run game, quarterback has big hands, and players are used to it from their NFL, college or high school days? Back in 2004 former Packers quarterback Brett Favre had a simple answer to how he plays well in the cold, “You can condition your mind to it”. Brett sure did that. From 1992-2007 he went 30-5 in the month of December at home and 8-3 in the playoffs at Lambeau. Favre did not lose a home playoff game until 2002, his 11th year in the league. Brett did have big hands and most of the time a good run game to help him but he did a very good job of conditioning his mind to just play no matter the conditions. Aaron Rodgers has also had success at home during those two months. Overall he is 14-2, 13-1 in December but a mediocre 1-2 in the playoffs. On Tuesday during his weekly radio show on 540 Espn, Rodgers on his playoffs record these past couple years, “not good enough”. Rodgers and the Packers are looking to turn their recent playoff struggles around Sunday.
Another reason why the Packers have thrived at home in the cold is that no matter what the temperature is the fans come out and support their team. For example, at the Ice Bowl where it was negative 13 degrees with a negative 40-degree wind-chill, 50,000 fans still came out to watch their Packers win the 1967 NFL championship. Bad weather doesn’t stop the loyal Packer fans. They throw some feet warmers in their snow boots, hand warmers in their gloves, put on a snowmobile suit with blaze orange jacket on top and they are ready to watch some football. Regardless of the weather Lambeau will be sold out and loud again this Sunday.
When Favre was still playing with the Packers he was asked why the Packers have been so successful in the freezing temperatures. He had this to say, “It’s easy to make mistakes in games like that, and it’s easy to lose your focus. Throughout all these games we’ve played in bad conditions, we’ve focused a little bit better than the next team.” A big key to this weekend’s matchup vs. the Dallas Cowboys will be which team will focus more and history shows that it will be the Packers who will focus better and win yet another cold game in the frozen tundra.