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Jets-Bengals won't be nearly as cold as Freezer Bowl

The game was played 28 years ago Sunday, but some players' hands still might be thawing out.

Whatever coldness the Jets encounter in Cincinnati vs. the Bengals tomorrow, it will not compare to what the Chargers faced there in the AFC Championship Game after the 1981 season.

It was called the Freezer Bowl, and if you account for wind-chill factor, it made the Ice Bowl in Green Bay 14 years earlier seem downright toasty.

The Bengals won, 27-7. At the time it was said to feel like 59 degrees below zero.

"I didn't deal with it very well at all,'' said Cris Collinsworth, then a rookie receiver for Cincinnati and now an NBC analyst. "It was the first time I had ever worn gloves in a game. I wore these big scuba gloves. We had players wearing pantyhose."

Collinsworth said the key was the quarterbacks. "[The Bengals'] Kenny Anderson can throw a really tight spiral, which helps when it's 10 below and a 35-mph wind,'' he said. "Dan Fouts . . . he didn't throw a real tight spiral, so some of the plays where the ball got up in the air, it was like a Frisbee. It was getting blown right back to them.''

Collinsworth said the Jets should enjoy bad weather. "I would think the Jets would pray every game is the absolute worst possible weather conditions,'' he said, "because then it becomes more about defense and the running game and less about quarterback play, which is really where they're trying to get to.''

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