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Cold? This Ain’t Nothing!

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Bitter Cold Grips Detroit, Cold But Nothing Compared To 1982, Coldest NFL Playoff Game, Wind Chilld -73

(Photo: Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)

Bob Schuman
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Okay it’s cold right now in Detroit but absolutely nothing compared to what I experienced down in the Queen City of Cincinnati back in 1982.

At the time I was working for Taft Broadcasting Company and we had been meeting in Miami for a corporate convention. On the night of Saturday, January 9th I flew from Miami back home to Cincinnati. My wife picked me up at the airport. It was so cold and windy that even with the defroster on full tilt, ice was still forming on the inside of the car windows. As my wife drove, I used an ice scraper on the inside window to keep the it clear enough so that my wife could navigate our way home.

When we got to the house it was just in time for the 11 o’clock news. I was shocked to learn that the actual air temperature was 25 degrees below zero. Factor in the extremely gusty wind and the wind chill factor was a staggering 73 degrees below zero! The coldest wind chill I have ever experienced even to this day.

The wind was so strong that even with the thermostat jacked up to 80 degrees, the house was still so cold that we slept in sweaters under piles of blankets. The following day the Cincinnati Bengals hosted the San Diego Chargers in the AFC Championship at Riverfront Stadium. It was the coldest playoff game since 1967. At game time the actual air temp was 9 below zero and the wind chill factor was minus-59. It was quickly dubbed the “Freezer Bowl.” That wind chill, by the way, is still the coldest ever for a playoff game although the actual air temperature was colder during a playoff game back in 1967 in Green Bay.

If it was that cold in Cincinnati back then I can only imagine what the folks of Detroit were going through!

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