Fall is out and it looks like it will be a snowy Senior day at the Lavell Edwards Stadium tomorrow. The cold weather doesn’t change the fundamentals of football, but there’s no doubt that it does have an effect on the game.
Senior defensive back Preston Hadley says that the worst part is giving or taking a hit, “It hurts to hit. Any time you’re cold you’re going to feel the hits a little more. It’s hard to stay loose on the sidelines. Say offense has a long drive, you just sit on the sidelines and tighten right up.”
The equipment managers have parkas, hand warmers, and heaters for the players to use to keep warm, but they can only use them when they’re on the sidelines. Junior offensive lineman Manaaki Vaitai isn’t sure whether the heaters help or hurt, “We try our best to huddle by the heater. I don’t know if it’s better or worse. We stand by the heater and it feels good, but then we run away from it and it’s freezing again.”
The heaters are to keep their exteriors warm, but the athletic trainers use a cool trick for keeping the players warm on the inside, too. There are warm drinks available on the sidelines and they aren’t hot chocolate or hot cider…. It’s chicken broth! Athletic Trainer Jeff Hurst explained, “We found that chicken broth, which has a high salt content, gives them the warmth that they need and replaces some electrolytes that they lose.”
Hurst gave some advice for fans that are going to brave the cold tomorrow. He suggested that they wear a lot of layers, and bring someone that they don’t mind sitting very close to. He said that the more fans, the merrier; if the stadium is filled to capacity, it will be much warmer!
Sophomore student Brett Bertola is planning on attending the game and says that he will definitely be layering up, “I’ll definitely wear my under armour and I’ll definitely have a sweatshirt on. I really enjoy the football games, and…(the snow) adds an extra level of excitement.”
The fans at home on the couch are also affected by the cold. They need the camera men and announcers to stay warm, so they can broadcast the game well. BYU Alum and current Green Bay Packers announcer Drew Smith knows this all too well and shared some of his secrets, “In the breaks I’ll take the hand warmers and put them over my face, breathe in and out of them so I get warm air in. You have to get really creative. Sometimes I resort to running up and down the sidelines during commercials, just to keep the body heat going.”
There are a lot of different ways to stay warm; exactly how you do it is up to you. But it’s a cold hard fact that you’ll have to do something! At the coldest game last season, 1200 gallons of hot chocolate were sold by BYU food services, and this game is expected to be at least 10 degrees colder.