Baby it’s cold.
While temperatures at kickoff for Sunday’s Jets game in Buffalo are expected to be in mid-40s, well-above the freezing mark, the recent record snowfall in upstate New York has wreaked havoc on the Bills practice plans. The team missed two practices already this week and the game has been moved to Monday in Detroit.
The Jets have been preparing for cold conditions including blowing snow and a hard artificial surface in Buffalo. For those like rookie Jace Amaro, a tight end out of Texas Tech, he’s seen and played in snow but nothing like he might see in upstate New York. He admits that the biggest factor is the gameday preparation and how to try be as comfortable as possible in the cold, wind and blowing snow from atop the stadium.
“It’s the extra gear, honestly. I like to go light, I don’t like to wear too much but you have to do what you have to do,” Amaro told Metro.
“I really like to keep my arms clear of cloth so I’ll probably just wear a three-quarter long sleeve then some cold gear leggings. Wouldn’t normally wear that.
The constriction is the toughest part. It’s not as comfortable.”
Some forecasts have the potential for up eight-feet of snow on the ground in Buffalo by the time the weekend rolls around. Then with warmer temperatures on the way, there’s the possibility of melting followed by flooding and then refreezing overnight. Sunday’s game might not happen on time but the Jets have to practice and prepare as such.
It could be worse, wide receiver Greg Salas said. It could be raining.
“I’d rather it be sunny and nice, perfect conditions but it’s not raining. I don’t like playing in the rain. Snow isn’t as bad but rain, that effects things and the ball gets wet,” Salas said.
“Today was cold but once you get out there and moving, it isn’t so bad. Is it sunny and warm? No. But it doesn’t distract you when you’re practicing.”
Salas, who said he grew up in California and would regularly snowboard growing up, isn’t bothered by the idea of the extreme weather in Buffalo. He said despite his familiarity with the cold that he will wear long sleeves and maybe some long tights underneath his uniform.
Some, like Jeremey Kerley “never get used to it.” The wide receiver has worn a cold-weather thermal ski mask the last two practices and sat in the locker room on Thursday with heat warmers on his exposed feet.
“You never get used to it. Nope,” Kerley said. He still had the thermal ski mask on roughly 30 minutes after practice.
His eyes grow wide and he just shakes his head. Cold and Kerley don’t mix.
He said on Sunday before the game that he plans to “Vaseline my pours” in an effort to keep the heat in, a process he says will keep him somewhat warm until halftime. He will then reapply more Vaseline at halftime, in addition to using specially designed warmers for his cleats.
The man clearly doesn’t like the cold. Not everyone falls into this same category.
Those in the locker room who hail from the northeast are fans of this weather, reminiscent of youth football games and touch football played in the park with friends. Some like starting left guard Oday Aboushi, are looking forward to the bone-chilling weather.
There are drawbacks, Aboushi said, but it’s still football weather.
“I love the cold personally but I think for the most part, you’re just not as loose, not as fluid. Takes a little extra to get the muscles ready and going,” Aboushi said.
“But I’m all about the cold. Most of us are bigger guys so we’re not as affected as the smaller guys. So for us it’s great.”
On the other side of the locker room sits Kerley, still with the thermal ski mask on, still with hand warmers placed on his feet. Still shaking from the cold.