BY Art Thiel 04:38PM 01/11/2020

Thiel: Seahawks will survive cold, not Packers

Lambeau in January. No better theater for pro football. But the weather will be far less of a factor than the Seahawks being worn down and beat up.

Compared to the below-zero conditions Russell Wilson and teammates faced in Minnesota during the 2015 playoffs, Green Bay will be a beach walk. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

MILWAUKEE — Ascending degrees of harshness in a Wisconsin winter:

  • Nose hairs freeze and fall out and nostrils bleed, adding accent colors to the “SOS” you’ve stamped out in the snow
  • Sneak onto a dairy farm, kill and gut a cow and crawl into the warm carcass
  • Aaron Rodgers says WTF and demands a trade to the Miami Dolphins

Since none of those lake effects have happened as of Saturday afternoon, and since the storm is predicted to pass by 6 a.m. CT Sunday, and since the good people of Green Bay know shovels like James Bond knows weapons, I’m going to trust that conditions will have only modest impacts on the Packers-Seahawks playoff game (3:40 p.m. PT, FOX).

As far as the Seahawks, the few survivors remaining on the roster from the Jan. 10, 2016 outdoor playoff game in Minneapolis can tell manly-man stories to the newbies that begin with something like ” . . . when I was your age, I walked to school five miles in the snow, uphill both ways . . .”

The Seahawks prevailed 10-9 in the coldest pro football game in Vikings history. It was so cold . . . well, let grandpa Russell Wilson tell it:

“Yeah, that Minnesota playoff game, that’s as cold as it gets,” he said this week. “I think it was -10 on the thermometer. It was -31 or whatever wind chill. It was pretty cold. I don’t think it gets any colder than that.

“For us, it’s just another football game. We had to go outside (Thursday at practice). It’s pretty chilly out here today. Just playing football outside, it’s what you love. It’s what you’ve done ever since you were a little kid playing in it. So, if it snows, we’ll be ready. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. The ball will still spin the same and we’ll still make plays.”

Spoken like a guy who spent a year at the University of Wisconsin.

The good news is that the winner of Sunday’s game will draw the 49ers in the the NFC championship next week in balmy Santa Clara, where Saturday the Niners crushed the Vikings 27-10. Of course, the news is good only in terms of weather. The 49ers, with nearly all their injured players back, looked a lot like bad news.

Meanwhile, in Green Bay, the Seahawks will lean valiantly upon the stars of their past successes, Wilson and Marshawn Lynch. They will try to work around an injured offensive line that could start up to three backups. They will try to count on a defense that last week in Philadelphia had trouble with a 40-year-old backup quarterback who played the final series with a pulled hamstring, yet had a shot to force overtime.

And the Seahawks will try to beat a 13-3 team coming off a bye at Lambeau Field, which they have done once in the franchise’s 43-year history, 20 years ago.

It’s been a hugely entertaining season.

Packers 20, Seahawks 16.


  • coug73

    PT 3:40 for the Seahawks vs Packers, FOX 13, here in the PNW. May the brats sizzle and the beer overflow. Go Hawks.

  • 2nd place is 1st loser

    Art, you’re really going full on Jim Moore? I guess given the Hawks history in Lambeau it’s an easy pick. But at some point the tide has to change, heck even the mighty Pat’s have fallen by the wayside. It’s time for the Hawks to rise up an smite the Packers. Of course only to be boat raced by the whiners. Go Hawks….

    • art thiel

      Full on Jim? Cruel, dude. Cruel.

  • Tim

    Boo…your headline gave me hope…thought you were calling the Hawks to prevail.
    I’m happy to inform you that you’re dead wrong. DK Metcalf and Travis Homer will be the subjects of heavy discussion this evening as Green Bay unpacks all that went wrong today. Hawks 31 Packers 24

    • Tim

      But you’re still my all-time favorite sports writer.

      • art thiel

        Hurt me, then love me.

        I still come back for more.

  • Kevin Lynch

    If the Seahawks can win this one it will be absolutely legendary. Grandpas will tell the young ones about the heart and resolve it took. But when I think about heart and resolve I think back to the killer elite Seattle defenses of 2013 and 2014 and the offensive line Hasselback had to play with on that Super Bowl run. Mainly I think about the home field advantages each of those teams had. Packers 24, Hawks 20.

    • art thiel

      Beyond Wilson, there wasn’t a lot of greatness. But the belief in him was remarkable.

  • Paul Sherman

    Having grown up in the suburbs of Chicago, one of my fondest memories is playing football in a snowstorm. It was a laugh fest of falls and slides. Course, we had on clothes.

    • art thiel

      There’ growing up in it, then there’s driving in it.

  • Gene B

    Et tu, Art? Et tu?

  • Husky73

    I don’t sense a lot of optimism for this game. I am sensing, “We had a good run, exceeding expectations, but it stops here.”

    • art thiel

      Yes, as it turned out.

  • federal_law

    Good article, Art. You called it. Hawks played pretty well, all things considered.

    • art thiel

      They did. Thanks.

  • Kevin Lynch

    Russell Wilson is worth his weight in gold. He nearly did it. Down 21-3 at the half he nearly brought them back. Pesky Seahawks. Give them credit. They nearly got the legendary win. Great credit to Carroll and the staff, the fight of the team was exemplary.

    • art thiel

      That’s why they paid him gold. World-class athlete and leader.

  • Charley Blaine

    close on the final spread