As I write this I’m sitting in balmy Toronto, a city where the temperature has reached a record high for this particular day in history. It’s now climbed to 14 degrees in Canadian weather language. For our American friends, that’s about 57 Fahrenheit, and as I look outside I can see well-constructed igloos melting. Truly a tragic day.
But it’s a much different story deep in the Colorado mountains, where a playoff game is starting in about an hour.
It’s currently 14 degrees Fahrenheit in Denver (or in Canadian, -13), which may or may not rise to 17 by kickoff. When Peyton Manning signed in Denver, one of the immediate concerns was his status as a dome quarterback, both in Indianapolis, and also in a division that had another dome team (Houston). That means cold-weather games have been rare for him, as at minimum nine of Manning’s games every year were played while sheltered from the elements in a cozy and warm football superstructure. Now, there’s a strong possibility that he could be preparing to play in the coldest post-season game ever in Denver (the previous record was 18 degrees in the 1977 AFC championship game).
In advance of the upcoming wintry conditions, Manning has worn a glove on his throwing had during Denver’s last two games. As Grantland’s Bill Barnwell noted, Manning’s played only one quarter of one game with the temperature below 21 degrees in his career, and his teams are 0-3 when the mercury drops lower than 40 degrees.
Baltimore, of course, has much more experience with old man winter, and they’re 10-7 under John Harbaugh when the temperature is lower than 40 degrees. It’s an advantage, but only a mild one, and certainly not enough to fully equalize this matchup and help the Ravens overcome their underdog status.
UPDATE: Now Manning has gloves on both hands. OH GAWD.
Peyton comes out to start warming up. Wearing gloves on both hands.
— Judy Battista (@judybattista) January 12, 2013