As the defending Super Bowl champions strive for a consecutive NFL championship, the Kansas City Chiefs are gearing up for a challenging playoff game against the Miami Dolphins, anticipated to be the coldest in Kansas City history.
Scheduled at Arrowhead Stadium on Jan. 13 at 7:00 p.m. CT, the wild card playoff game faces extreme weather conditions, with a winter weather advisory in effect through Jan. 16 and wind chill warnings reaching “as low as 35 below zero,” according to the National Weather Service.
Kansas City, accustomed to frigid temperatures, has an edge over the Miami Dolphins, who have a track record of struggles in colder games. Allen Wright, the Chiefs’ Equipment Director, shared insights on how the team is preparing for the freezing-temperature matchup.
Wright emphasizes that preparation for cold weather varies among NFL teams, with some coaches incorporating it into practices while others focus on maintaining optimal conditions during the week. Chiefs’ head coach Andy Reid adopts a balanced approach, considering the significance of avoiding distractions.
On game day, players are equipped with “Extreme Cold” gear from Reebok, specifically designed for the NFL. These include long- and short-sleeve tops, Extreme Cold bottoms, and optional wetsuits inspired by Tom Brady. The wetsuits, though designed for water, are used by approximately 50% of players in cold conditions.
Maintaining core warmth is crucial, and players are provided with gloves, glove liners, sock liners, and thermal socks. Hand and foot warmers, big mittens, stocking hats, and balaclava face masks are essential to combat the cold during breaks on the sidelines.
Heated benches and various heaters, including bullet heaters and infrared heaters, contribute to keeping the sideline area warmer than the field. Coats and capes are offered, with extra personnel managing players’ coats to prevent an “organized mess.”
Unconventional methods like Warm Skin, a barrier cream offering a temporary warm sensation, are used by some players and coaches. Wright also shared humorous anecdotes about home remedies, including players putting cayenne pepper in their shoes.
As the Chiefs navigate the coldest game in their history, thorough preparation, a range of gear options, and strategic sideline heating ensure they are ready for the challenging playoff matchup against the Miami Dolphins.