Congratulations to the New York Giants! After playing gutsy football against the Patriots, dominating in Tampa, and then going into Dallas and making T.O. cry, you Giants are red hot and for real; and Manning the Younger has found his genetics.
The greater Cheesehead nation was all pulling for you, for a day, in Dallas. We kind of think our overall support might have been what tipped the balance in favor of the Giants, but that is just speculation; albeit highly dependable. And now our arms are open and we heartily welcome you to the frozen tundra. By the way, did anybody mention to you it was January here?
So in the spirit of hospitality and full-disclosure, we thought it might be a good idea to tell you what to expect up here in this foreboding climate, how to prepare, and share with you what things all the NY Giants players and coaches will need to bring with them to be able to survive.
First of all, let's talk about Lambeau Field in January. You've heard all the terrible stories about how cold and nasty it is; well, unfortunately, they're true. All of them. Did you know that it is actually warmer in Siberia? Be warned, in last weekend's snow-storm game against the Seahawks, there was an unconfirmed report that a polar bear was actually over by Seattle's sideline heater trying to warm himself up. Another witness claims that it was just a grumpy, snow-covered Mike Holmgren, but either way this place is not fit for man nor beast. You might want to pick up some bear repellent.
As a matter of fact, there are still about eighty-five Packer fans who are still at Lambeau from that game who accidentally spilled beers on their laps and are frozen solid to their seats. Several hundred have already been freed as rescue workers are working around the clock. (We have our crisis' here too.)
Now as far as the things that you will need to go get to be able to endure here, you can easily fill this shopping list out at any Shopko or Farm & Fleet, if you happen to have any there in downtown New York.
1. The first thing you will have to get is a parka, some nice warm hunting clothes, or even a snowmobile-suit. If you get a parka, make sure it is large enough to fit over your shoulder pads; a 4XL ought to do it. Also, check to see to it that the lined hood is big enough for your helmets to fit into. Don't worry about your jersey numbers, we'll paint those on the outside of the jacket so that you don't have to take it off when you go onto the playing field.
If you go for the hunting clothes, unfortunately, you cannot just wear the cammo by itself; you must also display blaze orange (state law) on 50% of your body. We can't have you disappearing back there in the secondary; that would be cheating (and we know that the cheaters live north of you, not in New York). We will go ahead and paint your number right on top of that blaze-orange.
Now the snowmobile-suit might be your best option. After all, you can move around in it pretty well (until you have to go to the bathroom) and you will likely be needing one anyway to get from the airport to Lambeau field since you will all be taking snowmobiles. You see, the roads are too slippery for buses, so a fleet of Polaris's will be shuttling you from right outside the baggage claim directly to the Lambeau parking lot. Unfortunately, you cannot drive snowmobiles into motel parking lots, so you will all be staying in RV's outside the stadium for the night; eight men to an RV. Then in the morning, the snowmobiles will be shuttling you from the RV's right up to the entrance of Lambeau. Again, we can paint your numbers on the snowmobile-suit so you can wear it the whole game and try to stay warm.
2. Boots are not an option, they are simply essential. The big, thick insulated ones are the only way to go. Try the Sorel's first and see how they feel. Your linemen will love 'em. Though you might lose a tiny bit of speed out there on the field in them, you could make up for that with added traction if you can get your equipment guy to attach cleats to the bottoms of those boots. Also, get a package or two of some chemically-activated foot-warmers. Heck get a few dozen; during the game you might need them. If you get out there and can't figure out how to activate them, the referees will probably be glad to help you between plays.
3. Gloves and mittens will also be required if you want to go home with all your fingers. The best way to get 'er done is to wear a pair of knit gloves and then over the top of those you put on some heavy insulated over-sized mittens. If you want, you can get the kind with those little rubber-grippy things on the outside of the finger and the thumb areas for added ball control. Some of the insulated mittens even have little trigger-finger slits used for hunting. You could poke one of your gloved fingers out and use it to chip away your iced-up nostril holes so that you can breathe again. Rumor has it that that is the only reason that Green Bay Packer Jerry Kramer was able to push Dallas' Jethro Pugh out of the way - allowing Bart Starr to get in for the winning score - in the Ice Bowl. Pugh had not chipped the ice out of his nose in a play or two and was only breathing through his mouth. Might have made all the difference. So get a pair with the trigger-finger slit.
And if it gets really, really cold, you might need some hand warmers too. They work like the feet warmers. Might be a little bulky for your receivers under those gloves and mittens, but if they practice with them before the game a little, they should get used to it by game time.
4. Don't forget the stocking cap and scarf. Oh, you probably don't know what stocking cap means; so how about this - get a beanie and a scarf. But not just a skull-cap, get the whole full-blown, bank-robber face mask. With wind-chills expected to be way, waaay below zero, here's a good reminder: only cover those parts of your face you want to keep.
5. Long-johns. You may know these as thermals. Get a pair or two. Wear both pairs under your uniform. They will save your life. And maybe your career and reputation as well. Jethro Pugh wasn't wearing two pairs of long-johns that day, either.
6. Hot-Seats. These are insulated seat-cushion-type gizmos that you sit on and they react to your own body heat and warm up real nice. Feels real good unless you're out there on the cold, cold field. Your offense might get the most use out of these, as they will be sitting idly, doing nothing, except rapidly losing precious body heat, while Brett Favre is leading the Green Bay Packers downfield long scoring drives.
7. As an optional purchase, you could pick up some ice-fishing gear. This way, while Favre and crew are on offense, your offensive guys can sneak out to one of the local ponds and get a little ice-fishing in to pass some time. Fortunately for you, most of the citizens of Green Bay will be inside the stadium cheering, so there should be plenty of room on the ice. Your kicker gets the best deal of all; after his opening kickoff, you guys probably won't need him the rest of the day, so he has time to catch a bunch of fish. Just make sure he keeps his worms warm so they don't freeze. Best way to do that is to keep them in your mouth.
And, finally, we all know that the guys who wear yellow hats in New York are the FDNY fellas. We appreciate all they have done and all, and respect them as we do you, but for the record, such guys won't be allowed to wear their fireman's hats in Lambeau. The only yellow hats allowed on the frozen tundra are Cheeseheads. You may want to bring them along, however, so they can be helping with the resuscitation of your players when some of your players' bodies start going into shock because of the weather. We will only have about a dozen EMT's here and they might be a little busy.
So good luck Giants!
And don't think about the bitter, frigid cold. Just put all that out of your minds.