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Hottest NFL Game Ever? (Regular Season)


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#1 BD Sullivan

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 03:33 PM

Part of the NFL's lore is recounting the coldest games in league history. The NFL even puts (or did put) a list of the coldest games ever: Ice Bowl, 1981 AFC Championship, etc. Taking the opposite approach, I was wondering if anyone has ever put together a list of the hottest games in NFL regular season history. My guess is that an early-season game in Dallas or Miami (during the artificial turf era) would top the list, but I've done minimal research on the topic.

The 1958 opener between the Rams and Browns in LA reportedly was played in oppressively hot conditions, while a September 1963 game between the Browns and Cowboys also mentioned the Boys "wilting"--of course, Jim Brown was able to run for 232 yards, so not every one was affected. One other game I found was the 9/16/90 Cowboys-Giants game in which the Dallas field temp was 104.

One game-related death, the 10/9/60 death of New York Titan Howard Glenn, wasn't attributed to the heat, even though it was approximately 90 degrees in their game at Houston. He left the game early in the second half after being shaken up, and died from a cerebral hemorrhage that followed what was diagnosed as a concussion. The NYT account of the game mentions that the week before, Glenn had been injured the week before and "it was quite a while before he was revived"-- a likely indicator that the successive concussions were the culprit.

#2 anome8

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 05:56 PM

On Oct 4, 1987, the Raiders and Chiefs played a strike game in LA where the reported temperature at kickoff was 106. I doubt if there was much general sympathy for the players and those black jerseys must have been hellish.

#3 Mark

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 08:05 PM

Seems to me I remember reading that the 49ers at Dolphins game to open the 1973 season was the hottest on record but I have nothing to back that up, just a questionable memory. I knwo it was very hot but whether it was truly the hottest.

I would think Arizona would have the hottest days but until recently I think the NFL tried to do the schedule to keep teams from playing in the middle of the day in Phoenix in September.

#4 Guest_SPTO_*

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 08:28 PM

I was watching the NFLN top ten home field advantages and one thing they noted about the Orange Bowl was that it was the hottest stadium ever for players to play in.

I know not much help but it seemed like a Miami game at the Orange Bowl would have to be among the tops at the very least.

#5 rhickok1109

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 08:57 PM

I remember the Packers playing at Arizona a few years back when the temp was 117 at kickoff.

#6 rhickok1109

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 09:35 PM

I remember the Packers playing at Arizona a few years back when the temp was 117 at kickoff.

Here I am talking to myself again. According to the Packer website, that game was played on Sept. 21, 2003, but it says the temperature at kickoff was "only" 102, though it went up to 106 by the fourth quarter. (I swear the radio announcers said 117.)

But, according to the Eagles Encyclopedia, the hottest game in NFL was played at Dallas on Sept. 3, 2000, between the Eagles and Cowboys. It was officially 109 degrees at kickoff, but a thermometer on the artificial turf read 150 degrees.

#7 Bob Gill

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 10:43 PM

>Here I am talking to myself again. According to the Packer website, that game was played on Sept. 21, 2003, but it says the temperature at kickoff was "only" 102, though it went up to 106 by the fourth quarter. (I swear the radio announcers said 117.)

>But, according to the Eagles Encyclopedia, the hottest game in NFL was played at Dallas on Sept. 3, 2000, between the Eagles and Cowboys. It was officially 109 degrees at kickoff, but a thermometer on the artificial turf read 150 degrees.


I wonder if that temperature of 117 for the Packers game was also recorded on the field. That might account for the discrepancy.

#8 Citizen

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 10:38 AM

Here I am talking to myself again. According to the Packer website, that game was played on Sept. 21, 2003, but it says the temperature at kickoff was "only" 102, though it went up to 106 by the fourth quarter. (I swear the radio announcers said 117.)


I think the air temp at kickoff is what they go by. That game and a 1978 game at San Diego are tied for the two hottest Packers games (102).

#9 BD Sullivan

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 02:53 PM

Seems to me I remember reading that the 49ers at Dolphins game to open the 1973 season was the hottest on record but I have nothing to back that up, just a questionable memory. I know it was very hot but whether it was truly the hottest.

That game is certainly up there; the NYT article on the game states that it was 105 degrees, and no doubt was even hotter on the rock-hard artificial turf. The heat definitely got to Johb Brodie and the Niners--Brodie left the game in the third quarter and was replaced by Steve Spurrier, while SF watched its lead disappear.

The 9/19/65 opener at Washington against the Browns specifically referenced the heat and humidity in the opening paragraph of the Cleveland Plain Dealer article on the game.

In a 1994 article about an upcoming game at Arizona, then-Giants coach Dan Reeves recalled a 1966 (9/25) game against the Vikings as being brutally hot. However, I couldn't find any mention of the temperature in a NYT article.

Almost exactly 11 years later (9/25/77), the Boys and Giants played in game that was "only" 98 degrees, but presumably much hotter due to the turf.

#10 andyhdz

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 06:47 PM

Here I am talking to myself again. According to the Packer website, that game was played on Sept. 21, 2003, but it says the temperature at kickoff was "only" 102, though it went up to 106 by the fourth quarter. (I swear the radio announcers said 117.)

But, according to the Eagles Encyclopedia, the hottest game in NFL was played at Dallas on Sept. 3, 2000, between the Eagles and Cowboys. It was officially 109 degrees at kickoff, but a thermometer on the artificial turf read 150 degrees.


oh god don't remind about the infamous pickle juice game. You would think a team from Texas would know about this remedy to help with cramping over a team from the northeast. What irked me was that the news media was all over the Eagles coach who "invented" the thing when I remember my high school coach doing the same thing 7 years earlier.

#11 rhickok1109

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 07:44 PM

oh god don't remind about the infamous pickle juice game. You would think a team from Texas would know about this remedy to help with cramping over a team from the northeast. What irked me was that the news media was all over the Eagles coach who "invented" the thing when I remember my high school coach doing the same thing 7 years earlier.

Actually, I think it was the Eagles' trainer who got all the credit.

#12 BD Sullivan

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 04:45 PM

In last Sunday's Chicago @ Carolina game, the "heat index" temperature was at roughly 100 degrees.

#13 bquinn

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 05:45 PM

Does anyone know of boxscores that list the gametime temps and weather conditions? I'm trying to find the weather for the 1990 NFC Divisional Playoff when the Bears played at the Giants, but I'd also like to look up other games in the future if this is available somewhere.

Thanks!