The Cold Hard Facts of Bad-Weather Football

When Reeves played in the famed Ice Bowl game in Green Bay back in 1967 -- he was a running back on the Dallas Cowboys team that lost to the Packers in that year's NFL Championship game -- players used cotton gloves and long underwear to combat temperatures that fell to a frigid 13 degrees below zero. And as Reeves noted, "Nobody can prepare for the weather when it's that cold."

Of course, Reeves' Atlanta team did catch a great break in 2002. Instead of facing the typical sub-zero weather that can hit Green Bay in January, the Falcons played in conditions that were far more optimal (the game-time temperature at kickoff was 31 degrees and the wind registered at just 4 mph). -- Jeffri Chadiha (additional reporting by William Bendetson)

3. Should a quarterback wear a glove on his throwing hand in cold weather?

This one all comes down to personal preference. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has worn gloves during some cold weather games and it obviously hasn't hurt his postseason record. Other players -- like Favre and the New York Giants' Eli Manning -- have never had much use for the extra equipment. They'd rather risk comfort than lose their feel on the football.

Then there's the case of Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger. He started wearing gloves in cold weather when he played at Miami (Ohio), but that habit created plenty of controversy during his rookie season in 2004. Though he became the first quarterback to go 13-0 in the regular season, critics wondered if his gloves were the reason for his erratic play during that year's postseason.

Of course, nobody was complaining a year later when Roethlisberger led Pittsburgh to a Super Bowl victory. And now that he's a Pro Bowl quarterback, his preference for gloves probably will never be questioned again.

So what we're saying here is that quarterbacks should go with what feels right. As former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher told The New York Times when asked about Roethlisberger's preference for gloves during the 2004 season: "Just throw the ball to a receiver, with or without a glove. I don't want to get into all the idiosyncrasies. If the guy's open, just throw it to him, and whatever that entails, that's what you wear." -- Jeffri Chadiha

4. Hey, Len Pasquarelli, will the Super Bowl ever be played outdoors in a cold-weather city?

Because the Super Bowl is a week-long corporate event, as much as it is a football game, the NFL owners will always be reluctant to position the game is a so-called "Northern Tier" city. And playing the game in a city with an open-air stadium is probably never going to happen.

Of course, if some league precinct ever builds a non-domed stadium with a 100,000-seat capacity, anything is possible. Owners demonstrated last spring, when they awarded Dallas a title game over Indianapolis, that the millions in extra revenues created by all those extra seats definitely counts for something.

Essentially, there are 12 cold-weather cities with open-air stadiums (the Giants and Jets continuing to play in the same building). Here are our five favorites if the Super Bowl was ever awarded to one of them:

1. Chicago: The new Soldier Field looks like a space ship that landed along the shore of Lake Michigan, but the game is only one day anyway. Great neighborhoods, terrific restaurants in every price range, and visitors could spend days touring the Museum Campus alone, not to mention dropping big bucks shopping along the Magnificent Mile.

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