GREEN BAY, Wis. — We’re not in Florida anymore. Sunday’s NFC Championship game in Green Bay between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Green Bay Packers will be cold with sub-freezing temperatures throughout the game at legendary Lambeau Field.
“Just the way the stadium is built, the fans are right on top of you,” Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski said. “It's a football atmosphere. This is what it's all about."
But, do low temps and an increasing chance of snow really present a “degree” of difficulty for the warm-weather Bucs?
“It’s a great environment,” Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady said. “This is one of the coolest places stadiums in the league to play in.”
From the coolest to the coldest game the warm-weather Bucs will play in all season.
“Playing in the cold is just a mindset when it comes down to it,” Buccaneers defensive end Ndamukong Suh said.
“The cold doesn’t bother us, it’s football,” Buccaneers rookie safety Antoine Winfield, Jr. said. “When you’re out there you’re not thinking about how cold it is.”
Bucs tight end Cam Brate played college football at Harvard University, so he also has experience in cold-weather games.
“The only time when you are actually cold is when you are on the field,” Brate said. “But you are playing so you’re not cold. When you’re on the bench you have heated benches, jackets. They provide all this stuff for us.”
For the Packers and their fans, they embrace the cold and likely see it as an advantage.
“When we got a team coming in, I cherish those games more because there is no way to prepare for it,” Packers wide receiver Devante Adams said. “That’s one of those things I definitely use to my advantage. Go out there don’t way sleeves and thug it out.”
“I look at it like we’re going up there to win a championship,” Suh said. “So we’re not going to let weather no matter what the conditions might be.”
The cold never bothered Brady anyway. After 20 seasons in New England, Brady has a 14-2 record in playoff games when the temperature is 32 degrees or below at kickoff.
Sunday’s NFC Championship kicks off at 3:05 p.m. ET.