Ben McAdoo does not give a frozen cheese curd what the temperature is in Green Bay on Sunday.
Every time this week he’s been faced with a question about the single-digit temperatures, the wind chills or any of the other frigid forecasts and facts waiting for the Giants at Lambeau Field, he simply has smiled.
“Good,” he says. “We’re looking forward to it.”
So much so that McAdoo has not addressed the topic with the team.
“The weather is like ‘Fight Club,’ ” McAdoo said. “The first and second rule is we don’t talk about ‘Fight Club.’ It’s good. The weather is what it is.”
It’s an attitude that spread throughout the locker room as the Giants packed for the Packers on Friday. They’re giving the cold shoulder to the cold weather, and some of them — particularly on the offensive line — will be playing in short sleeves, just as the 2007 Giants did.
“It’s a mentality,” center Wes ton Richburg said of his wardrobe decision. “Just roll with it.”
Justin Pugh said he will wear the three-quarter-sleeved T-shirt he usually wears under his uniform for games.
Is it a way of “proving” to the weather that it won’t beat them? That they can out-tough the tundra?
“It’s kind of crazy,” Richburg said, “but I do think it’s a little bit of that.”
The Giants practiced outdoors this week and felt a good punch from the below-freezing temperatures and winds that usually whip around the Meadowlands. Of course, it could be about 30 degrees colder than that on Sunday.
“I think it’s more challenging in a practice environment than it is in a game environment,” McAdoo said of the cold. “In a game environment, you’re out there for short bursts and then you’re on the bench. The benches are heated and the sidelines are somewhat warmer.”
Just because they are embracing the chill does not mean the Giants are not preparing for the arctic conditions.
Running back Paul Perkins, who grew up in Arizona and played at UCLA, said Thursday’s practice might have been the coldest weather in which he has ever played football.
“I’m not accustomed to too cold of weather, but it’s not going to be a big deal,” he said after the workout. “We’re focused on the game plan. The weather is secondary.”
To help make his point, Perkins took the field in short pants and short sleeves on Thursday. When asked why, he laughed and said, “You have to get used to being uncomfortable. It wasn’t too bad.”
Not everyone is willing to expose flesh to the freeze on Sunday. Asked by reporters if he will wear sleeves, tackle Bobby Hart fired back: “What would you do?”
Sleeves was the unanimous answer. He said he’ll do the same.
There will be plenty who follow that logic. On both teams. The head coaches, though, might be there in tank tops and flip-flops in a game of one-upmanship. Mike McCarthy had his team practice outdoors on Thursday in what folks in Green Bay called the coldest practice in team history.
“That was the consensus of the team,” McCarthy said. “Didn’t realize it was that cold until we got out there. Wind took it to a different level, minus-20, minus-25 with the wind. As far as creating a tough atmosphere, I thought we hit the target.”
It’s a target both teams are aiming for.
“The most important thing is just focusing on the game,” McAdoo said. “It’s not about the elements, it’s about preparing, anticipating, executing and then being ready to adjust during the course of the game. That’s what makes these games so special. It could come down to one play. One play changes the game, changes your season, changes the course of history. You have to be really dialed into what we’re doing.”
And that means not worrying about weather.
The weather forecast at kickoff Sunday afternoon:
TEMPERATURE: 11 degrees
FEELS LIKE: 3 degrees
WIND: SSW 8 mph
CHANCE OF PRECIPITATION: 5 percent