As a huge football fan, I’ve always been fascinated by the 1967 NFL Championship game between the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys. The game, affectionately known as the “ICE BOWL,” was contested at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WI on December 31st. Although Green Bay is not known for its temperate climate, game day turned out to be exceptionally brutal, even by Wisconsin standards.
While the weather on December 30th was a balmy 20 degrees, an arctic front swept across the state that evening, dropping temps over 30 degrees in a 12-hour period. By 9 AM on the 31st, the temperature plummeted to -16 degrees Fahrenheit with wind chill values falling to 38 degrees below zero, making it the coldest game in NFL history.
Because the blistering cold temperatures came as a surprise, players, referees and fans alike found themselves unprepared. Many vehicles wouldn’t start, which meant some players had to hitch rides to the stadium. Most players sustained serious frost bite and even resorted to taping the ear holes shut in their helmets to retain what little warmth they could. The referees stopped at a shoe store to purchase boots before heading to the stadium, but still fell victim to their metal whistles freezing to their lips and eventually freezing shut. Many more stories have been documented, some bordering inhumane.
Being fascinated by all this, one of my bucket list items has been to attend a Packers game that’s even colder than the Ice Bowl. I do understand the absurdity of that statement, and yes, I have questioned my own sanity because of it. But for some reason, it’s still on my bucket list. I own winter gear to dress for it, or at least fend off frost bite (I think), and I’m confident the technology in my vehicle will get me to Green Bay and back safely. Unfortunately, the likelihood of the temp dropping to that extreme on the same day that I have tickets to Lambeau is almost zero. I think my odds of winning the lottery are better.
Today is January 30th, 2019 and for better or worse, a polar vortex has once again ventured to the frozen tundra, making its way a bit further south to my hometown of Waukesha. Hearing the weather forecast of -25 degrees with -55 windchill, my thoughts traveled straight to my bucket list and I became excited. I first gave our employees the option of coming in and then asked those who would decide to make the trek, to wear their Packers attire. Out of nearly 50 employees, you can see the few who decided to come in. I called the crew together mid-morning, gathering everyone by the front door. With a solid game plan, we stormed the cold to our sign on the far side of the parking lot, snapped a few pictures, and returned as quickly as we came out. We looked like a bunch of idiots.
As cold as it is, I’m overcome with warmth and gratitude as I feel these people came in just to get me one little step closer to achieving that unobtainable item on my bucket list. Our entire crew here is absolutely amazing. I want to send a heartfelt thank you to those who helped me with my bucket list and to everyone here who works to deliver the highest quality products on the market and still make the workday fun. You guys are the very best! Thank you for everything!
Don Lavrenz, President