Lambeau Field's first playoff game in four years has brought natural expectations and discussion about the proverbial Frozen Tundra and the presumed extreme cold awaiting the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants. So let's take this opportunity to remind everyone of the facts -- and fiction -- of the likely playing conditions Sunday.
The turf at Lambeau is neither frozen nor is it tundra, at least not any more. There are more than 30 miles of radiant heating pipe under the field, keeping a root zone temperature of 55 degrees, according to the Packers. You historians know that Vince Lombardi tried to install a heating system in 1967, but it failed for the infamous Ice Bowl game.
The "tundra" is actually a natural/synthetic mix known as DD GrassMaster. The grass is Kentucky bluegrass, and the synthetic portion is similar to stitched-in FieldTurf. As a result, the field might be a bit slippery but otherwise is in pretty good shape for January in Wisconsin.
Snow is expected Thursday and Friday in Green Bay, but the weather should clear by the weekend. Total accumulations are expected to be 4-6 inches. Current forecasts call for a high of 24 degrees, and a low of 20, on Sunday with partly sunny skies. That's balmy. The average low on Jan. 15 in Green Bay is nine degrees. It's been a mild, mild winter in the Upper Midwest.
As we've noted before, the Packers have a quirky history when it comes to home playoff games. They are 15-3 all-time at home in the postseason, including games played in Milwaukee. But those three losses have come in their past five games. One of those two victories, against the Seattle Seahawks in 2003, came in overtime.
For my next trick, I'll explain the differences between igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rock. Don't miss it.