Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Freezer Bowl

If I had to put together my “perfect” football forecast, it would be 30° at kickoff with cloudy skies and flurries. But I would never, I repeat, NEVER wish -8°F with a wind chill of -34°F upon anyone! That’s just nuts! But it happened, and many Cincinnatians remember that frigid afternoon in football 30 years ago this week!

Good morning, Katy here… and I’m talking about The Freezer Bowl, which took place on January 10th, 1982…30 years ago this week! I’ve actually heard stories of the Freezer Bowl before, from my husband’s parents. They lived in Lima (and still do today) but came down for the game that afternoon. (They were prepared for the cold.. but I don’t know if anyone knew it would be THAT cold!)

When the Bengals and Chargers took to the field, the air temperature was around -8°F. But that wasn’t the half of it. Winds were blowing 20 mph, gusting to 30… making the wind chill an unbearable -34°F. Actually, the wind chills were modified later in 2001 to -34°F using a more modern and realistic math equation to calculate the wind chill. Using the old equation in 1982, wind chills were reported around -55°F, and up to -80°F! Believe it or not..46,000 fans showed up for the game!

Based on the climatology from the National Weather Service, that day went down as the 6th coldest day in Cincinnati history, considering an average temperature of the high and low. (the average from that day was -9°F. The coldest average day on record is a three way tie of -12.5°F all set in January. 20th of January 1985, and the 17th and 18th of January 1977.

Chief Meteorologist Steve Horstmeyer was working at the game that day, and remembers the wind swirling around Riverfront Stadium… and even recalls the San Diego QB yelling out a few “choice” words as he was making his way to the field. Ha. This was pretty cold for Cincinnati, but can you imagine the San Diego Chargers playing in this weather?!

Needless to say, you know how this one ended. Cincinnati won 27-7.

By the way, if you were at that game.. I found a cool t-shirt for you! check it out..

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