The temperature on the field as kickoff approached was thirteen below, with an estimated wind chill of minus forty-six. The leather ball felt heavy and airless. The field had already been rendered more dangerous from the warmups. Players said it was as if someone had taken a stucco wall and laid it on the ground. Clumps of mud had coagulated and stuck to the rock-hard ground. Blowers on both sides of the field shot warm air in the direction of the benches, but you had to be right next to one to feel it. Some players huddled in makeshift dugouts constructed from wood and canvas, like duck blinds. Lombardi paced the sidelines in his long winter coat and black fuzzy hat with muffs. No matter how cold the Packers felt, one look across to the other side made them feel superior. The Cowboys, said Chuck Mercein, "looked like earthmen on Mars. The outfits they wore. Most of them had hooded sweatshirts on underneath their helmets, which looked silly as hell. And a kind of scarf thing around their faces with their eyes cut out. They looked like monsters in a grade B movie."
Copyright © 1999 by David Maraniss. Published with the permission of the publisher, Simon & Schuster.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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