Sunday Morning Cup O’Chiefs
Larry Johnson just started laughing.
In light of the brutally cold weather conditions facing the Chiefs on Sunday in their game against the Miami Dolphins at Arrowhead Stadium, Johnson was asked about dealing with the cold. Then he was asked how his fellow running back Jamaal Charles was handling things.
Johnson grew up in Maryland and in the mountains of central Pennsylvania. Charles was born and raised in Port Arthur, Texas. He went to college at the University of Texas. He’s never played in snow. Heck, he’s only seen the stuff a handful of times in his life.
“He’s trying to put warmers on every part of his body,” Johnson said. “He’s trying to tape them anywhere they’ll stay on. He keeps coming up with new places to have warmers.”
When the Chiefs and Dolphins hit the field for kickoff, weather and wind conditions are expected to make the outside air feel like minus 10 degrees. Although the sun is expected to shine, there’s little chance it will provide warmth for players on either side. Both teams will huddle up around the blowers on both benches.
And they will keep telling themselves that the cold is only in their heads.
“It’s a mind game,” said Brian Waters, a Texas native who plans to play without covering on his arms, ,no matter the temperature. “You just have to tell yourself you aren’t cold.”
Come on … sub-zero wind chill and you aren’t cold? Who is going to buy that?
“After a while you don’t really feel it,” said Chiefs tackle Damion McIntosh, who will also go bare armed for the game. “I sweat a lot, even when it’s cold, so I don’t want anything on my arms. That’s worse. If you’ve got sleeves and they get wet; that will really make you feel uncomfortable in the cold weather.”
McIntosh was born in Jamaica and grew up in south Florida … what does he know about dealing with the cold?
“Five years at K-State,” McIntosh said with a smile. “That’s where I learned. I remember the first time we had a cold weather game out there, I didn’t want to play. I was just going to stay in the locker room.
“Once you get out there and start moving around, it’s not that bad.”
Offensive linemen are famous for playing the mind game with the cold and going out with bare arms. But when he played cornerback for the Philadelphia Eagles, California kid Herm Edwards would go without sleeves no matter the temperature.
“It forces you to focus and put it out of your mind,” Edwards said. “I loved it.”
Not so much anymore, as Edwards was wearing at least three layers of clothing on Friday when the team went through an indoor practice session with the doors open and the cold air rushing in. “Wait to you see what I have on for the game,” Edwards laughed. Sounds like it could be one of those Michlen Man down jackets other head coaches have been wearing in cold weather games.
Johnson will be out there without anything on his arms.
“I remember when we were kids we would go out and play football in the snow and we’d only be wearing t-shirts,” Johnson said. “Mom would call us back to the house and make us put on our coats and I remember I hated that. You can’t play football I n the snow with a coat on.
“I don’t know if it comes from playing in Pennsylvania and seeing a lot of bad weather games but snow and cold and stuff like that has never bothered me; I always felt like I had an edge.”
But will he have warmers taped to every part of his body like his buddy Jamaal come kickoff?
“That guy is going to glow in the dark before he’s done,” Johnson said with a smile.
HERE’S THE WEATHER REPORT FOR SUNDAY AFTERNOON FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
“Mostly sunny and cold, with a high near 11. Wind chill values between -7 and -15. Blustery, with a northwest wind between 17 and 23 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph.”
SAYING GOOD BYE TO A KANSAS CITY LEGEND
The Chiefs will honor Tony DiPardo and the TD Pack Band at the stadium on Sunday. This will be the group’s last appearance for a Chiefs home game.
For the better part of the last 40 years, DiPardo or his daughter Patti DiPardo-Livergood has lead the band and contributing music as part of the pre-game strategy. It started many years ago when the Dallas Texans moved to Kansas City and became the Chiefs. That was 1963 and Lamar Hunt asked local trumpet player-band leader DiPardo to lead an in-stadium pep band.
With the exception of a period in the 1980s when the TD Pack Band and Chiefs parted ways, DiPardo and his musicians have been providing music to help entertain and fire up the Kansas City football fans. Similar type of bands have come and gone in the NFL and at this moment the Pack Band is the last of the breed.
Along with Tony and Patti, the TD Pack Band features Bob Harvey, Carl Bender, Johnnie Eager, Bob Mais, Curtis Oberle, Tom Pender, Paul Roberts, Jimmy Robinson and Kevin Young. …Read More!