Sunday’s wild card game in Minnesota will be the coldest ever for the Seahawks

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football-forecastThe forecast for Minneapolis on Sunday is hovering around a high of 1 degree Fahrenheit. And that doesn't even factor in the wind chill.

So how does that affect the status of Sunday's Seattle Seahawks-Minnesota Vikings wild-card playoff game at TCF Bank Stadium?

Answer: It doesn't.

"Nobody likes being cold, but you've got to be comfortable being uncomfortable," Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs said Wednesday.

Extreme cold doesn't stop the NFL. In fact, the league doesn't have a temperature threshold that would force an outdoor game to be postponed. Some may think that sounds crazy, as even winter sports such as professional skiing have temperature limits.

While it may seem insane to play in zero-degree weather, it's still not the coldest of all time. Based on kickoff times, the coldest game in NFL history was the iconic "Ice Bowl" at Lambeau Field. It was -13 degrees (wind chill -48) when the Green Bay Packers hosted the Dallas Cowboys on December 31, 1967.

Other arctic games in NFL history include:

  • January 10, 1982, San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals -- Temperature: -9 degrees, wind chill: -59 degrees
  • January 7, 1996, Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs -- Temperature: -6 degrees
  • January 4, 1981, Oakland Raiders at Cleveland Browns -- Temperature: -5 degrees
  • January 20, 2008, New York Giants at Green Bay Packers -- Temperature: -4 degrees, wind chill: -24 degrees
  • December 3, 1972, Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings -- Temperature: -2 degrees, wind chill: -26 degrees

But technology has come a long way from the days of the "frozen tundra." TCF Bank Stadium, among others, has a heated field. Sidelines are equipped with heaters and heated benches.

No team wants to concede the other has an advantage, so, not surprisingly, the Vikings and Seahawks have downplayed the cold.

"We're well aware of what we're heading towards and everybody's prepared," Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday. "It's not going to be an issue for us going forward. We're just going to go play football and do the things that we know how to do and try to do them really well regardless of what the conditions are."

It's not the cold to worry about, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said Wednesday. It's the wind.

"The wind affects things more than anything does," Zimmer said. "The cold is the cold, but the ball is going to be harder, a little more slippery. ... A lot of concentration when guys are out on the field. They gotta concentrate, and really, don't worry about the cold. You worry about playing."

Last, but certainly not least, there are the diehard fans in attendance. Sitting in the stands, perhaps they're the coldest of all. But aside from wearing multiple layers, Zimmer mentioned one other method for them to be comfortable in the harsh elements.

"They need to be loud and make sure they have some tailgating before they come out so they stay warm," Zimmer said.

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