Everybody knows there are not so much sports experiences that are better than watching football games in the snow, especially when you’re sitting in front of the TV with a cup of hot tea. It reminds you of childhood, when you’d bundle up in snow pants, jackets, hats and mittens and play in the backyard.
However, while it’s great for viewers, it’s equally frustrating for those who are struggling for the victory on fields covered with snow. Just like in those backyard games of yore, you only have a loose grasp on what’s actually happening in snow games.
“The white-out conditions at NFL stadiums on Sunday, particularly in Philadelphia for the Lions-Eagles game, left viewers completely confused about distances, yard lines and field position,” writes USA Today.
“With snow covering the hashmarks and yardage numbers on the field, viewers and announcers were left to make educated guesses. Is it a first down? Did the player go out of bounds? Where’s the goal line?” the publication wonders.
Fox did everything possible to resist the confusion using a new technology that was designed to allow the yardage numbers to be superimposed over the snow, sort of like a photo negative.
However, unlike the first down lines that appear on the grounf, these numbers made players appear blurry when they walked over them, sort of like a weatherman standing in front of a cheap green screen.
Still, the worst weather conditions are said to be in Philly, where meteorologists predicted a bit of snow later in the day, not a full-scale squall.
Referee Ed Hochuli even told the players during the coin toss before the game that he would improvise if the coin landed on an angle. However, as it appeared later there was no need for that.
But there was need to bundle up. Lions and Eagles both tried to get warm using portable sideline heaters. Even the cheerleaders wore winter vests.
“The Lions fumbled four times, losing one, in the first quarter alone. But after scoring in the second period, they went for a 2-point conversion – and made it – because trying a placement kick was too treacherous,” Global News reports.
“But Detroit called a timeout after going ahead 20-14 to attempt an extra point kick by David Akers, a former Eagles kicker. The Lions had been penalized 5 yards for a false start before trying a 2-point conversion, so opted for the kick. It was blocked.”
Those who came to enjoy the game and that stuck this one out appeared to be having fun – and for sure, they weren’t playing snowballs. But with low temperatures at the stadium, there were some huge gaps in the second level and upper deck.
According to sources, with fans covered with snow and hit by the terrible winds, the weather conditions seemed more or less appropriate for outdoors in Minnesota than Maryland.