Fans, players ride out the Green Bay freeze 

click to enlarge Jim Harbaugh
  • Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
  • 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, like many others, choose to layer up Sunday.
Jeff Giardinelli embraced the cold outside Lambeau Field dressed in a No. 8 Steve Young jersey, red 49ers knit cap and Candlestick Park-themed scarf.

He’ll remember his first visit to Green Bay for a while, and not just because beloved 49ers beat the Packers 23-20 in the NFC wild-card game Sunday.

An arctic front pushing through the Midwest made the game one of the coldest in NFL history. During its telecast, Fox reported the temperature dipped to 2 degrees and the wind chill was minus-11. The meat-locker conditions put a chill on outdoor tailgating and had fans heading into Lambeau early to warm up with free coffee and hot chocolate.

“Refreshing,” Giardinelli, of Fresno exclaimed as he walked across a parking lot with friend Jeff Morgan. “We suited up, we brought all the snowboarding gear we use out there and added to it.”

It was 5 degrees by kickoff at mid-afternoon, though a northwest wind made it feel like minus-10. Winds increased through the evening.

“I won’t lie to you. It got pretty cold,” 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis said. “But as I said earlier in the week, there’s no better way to warm up than to get this ‘W.’”

The bitter cold apparently meant little to some of the players like Bowman. Each member of the starting offensive line of the Packers went sleeveless under green jerseys. The sleeveless look also fit for Niners QB Colin Kaepernick.

The coldest NFL game on record is the 1967 championship game, known as the “Ice Bowl” won by the Packers 21-17 over the Dallas Cowboys at Lambeau Field on New Year’s Eve. The temperature dipped to minus-13, and the wind chill that day was minus-48.

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