(Reuters) – Frigid temperatures are forecast for a slew of National Football League games this weekend, and Sunday’s meeting between the Bears and Green Bay Packers in Chicago could set a bone-chilling record low. The Bears and Packers are scheduled to kick off at 1 p.m. ET (1800 GMT) at Soldier Field where the temperature is predicted to climb no higher than minus 16 Celsius (3 Fahrenheit).
This week, the Chicago players have been trying to replicate Sunday’s likely temperatures during practice sessions, though coach John Fox felt it was impossible to ever get accustomed to Arctic-like weather for a league game. “I’ve known a lot of people that grew up in very cold-weather places,” Fox was quoted as saying on the Bears website. “I don’t think they’ve gotten used to it. You just deal with it. “That’s pretty much been the approach you take in the NFL, in my experience. You don’t want the shock value to be the day they (the players) arrive. Sometimes if it is, you can’t control it. But I don’t think you ever get used to it.” Chicago defensive end Akiem Hicks, who played college football at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan, Canada, said: “You’ve just got to push through. It’s going to be cold. You’re just going to have to suck it up. “You can’t do anything about it. You want to play the game, so you’ve just got to take it.” The coldest ever league game played at Soldier Field took place on Dec. 22, 2008 when the temperature at kickoff was minus 16.7C (2F) before the Bears went on to clinch a 20-17 overtime win over the Packers. As for the coldest ever league game in Chicago, that is believed to have occurred on Dec. 16, 1951 when the mercury dipped to minus 18C (minus 1F) at Wrigley Field for a 24-14 loss to the Chicago Cardinals. Other games this Sunday where frigid temperatures have been forecast include the matchups between the New England Patriots and the Broncos in Denver and the meeting between the Tennessee Titans and the Chiefs in Kansas City.
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in St. Augustine, Florida; Editing by Andrew Both)