In the game between Indianapolis Colts and Buffalo Bills on the weekend, the match was played in a blizzard. There was no hyperbole needed for journalists as the pictures spoke for themselves. While the Bills won 13-7 in overtime my mind turned to some of the other memorable games that were dogged by the snow. While it might ruin the play of matches there is something iconic about football in the snow, especially around Christmas.
Seattle Seahawks vs Green Bay Packers – 2008
This was a classic image of Lambeau field filled with snow and with Brett Favre at the helm. The main man threw three touchdown passes in near-blinding situations. You truly know you’re a top quarterback when you can do it on a day like this just as much as a hot day in Miami. The Packers won the game 42-20 and reach the NFC Championship game in the process. This game is even more iconic as being the last game Brett Favre won with the gold and green. It was immortalised in a cover of Sports Illustrated magazine.
Miami Dolphins vs Dallas Cowboys – 1993
This infamous game took place on Thanksgiving in a very rare day of snow in Texas. Trailing 14-13 the Dolphins came from behind late on in dramatic moments. A field goal from 40 yards was bolacked in the dying seconds however linesman Leon Lett touched the ball in the ensuing play making it a live ball. Miami regained possession at a much shorter distance for a field goal and made it! Blocking a kick is not always the best thing.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Green Bay Packers – 1985
Yet another game in Wisconsin where Lambeau field looked more like a snow globe than a football stadium. This times it was a 16-inch deep snowfall which the players from Tampa must have been shocked by. Understandably only the fans with snowmobiles could get to the stadium and therefore it was 2/3 empty. Those that did manage to get in were treated to a 21-0 win over the Buccaneers. This included 4 turnovers, 512 rushing yards and 31 first downs. The boys from sunny Florida clearly were not used to such conditions.
Miami Dolphins vs New England Patriots – 1983
Yet another game where the men from Miami were stuck in freezing temperatures. This time however they found themselves on the losing side from a 33-yard field goal by Patriots kicker John Smith. The most notable part of this game was that Patriot called on a snow plough to the pitch to clear space for their kicker to have a clean hit at the ball. Understandably Miami were furious at this being allowed as it showed clear favouritism to the home team. They were not afforded the luxury. The game was won 3-0 and is forever in the annals of time as the ‘Snow Plow Game’.
Chicago Cardinals vs Philadelphia Eagles – 1948
This game was famous as it was the first game ever to be televised in the NFL. As you can guess a black and white television struggled with the snow-covered pitches. Showing the games time as well the ground crew had to get the help of the players before the game to get the pitch covers off. The players were probably shattered before the game had even started! Another sign of the times is that this was Chicago Cardinals! The game was scoreless right until the end of the final quarter when after a fumble in the freezing conditions was pounced on by the Eagles who converted a short 5 yard touchdown for a 7-0 victory.
Snow in the NFL at Christmas time always reinvigorates my passion for the sport. Even though the games are usually a bit rubbish and anyone could win on the day, causing chaos for my betting tips, it is a time of the year that I cherish as much as the Christmas presents and food.