January 20, 2008

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Packers offensive linemen have a tradition of going sleeveless during games. Their resolve will be tested this evening when they face the Giants in the NFC Championship Game at Lambeau Field.

At just before noon local time, the temperature was minus-4, according to the National Weather Service. The wind chill was minus-24. Those readings will fall by kickoff, which will take place about a half hour after sundown.

The coldest postseason game in Lambeau history occurred 40 years ago, in the Packers' 21-17 legendary "Ice Bowl" victory over the Cowboys in the NFL Championship Game. The temperature at kickoff was minus-13 degrees, with a wind chill of minus-46. Tonight's game is not expected to surpass those readings, but it could come close.

Currently, the field is covered by a massive forest green tarp that's being anchored on one sideline by 11 cars and trucks, and held in place on the other by giant cement blocks. Heaters are blowing hot air beneath the tarp to keep the field from freezing.

The winds are unpredictable. One minute they have the flags on the goal posts and at the top of the stadium whipping forcefully. However, at other times the conditions appear calmer on the field.

The last time the Packers hosted the NFC Championship Game was January 1997. They defeated the Panthers 30-13. The weather conditions: 3 degrees at kickoff, with a wind chill of minus-17.

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