In Iowa, Northwestern is no stranger to freezing temperatures and snow. The home football game on Oct. 28 was no different, with its forecast of 28 degrees for a high and a projected two inches of snow. By the end of the game, the field was if not all, but mostly covered in an inch or two of snow. That made for a rather cold, but interesting game to attend.
“I think that other than wearing more layers, it is all mental. You cannot let the cold impact how you play. Practicing in the cold leading up to games helps build the tolerance for it,” said Elijah Stader, the team’s kicker.
Most of the athletic band was at the game until halftime, with the director Steve Connell dismissing those whose instruments were most likely to be affected by the weather the worst.
“We in the athletic band did not realize how bad the snow was going to be at the game against Morningside, so we didn’t prepare at all. My sousaphone froze before the game even started, I had to keep pouring hot water on it to keep the valves moving,” said Alissa Hugen.
The snow didn’t stop the band from making the most of it, and there was a snowball fight before it got too cold for the band to continue to play. The football team was also affected by the snow and cold, as they still had to play their game against Morningside. In order for the game to continue past halftime, the maintenance crew had to do a lot of snow removal with shovels and a plow attached to an ATV. Even after the field was cleared, the team had a difficult time with traction and seeing where yard lines and the end zones were.
“I kick, and it (the cold) greatly affects my performance personally. When it is cold the ball gets cold and hard and not only is it harder to kick, but it hurts to kick as well. It is basically like kicking a rock. Because the ball is hard, it does not compress off of the foot, so it does not go as far and is not as responsive to how my foot contacts it,” said Stader.
None of that stopped the team from beating Morningside 34 to 20 and continuing their undefeated season.