The joy of football and bad weather

Posted by Staff Writer Eric Branch:
I love football, but I won’t watch just any game.
Louisiana-Monroe at Troy State? No thanks.
But Louisiana-Monroe playing Troy State in the mud, or rain, or sleet, or snow, or hail, or in temperatures so cold that guys are wearing ski masks under their helmets? Then I’ll would put down the remote, cancel any previous plans and settle in for a few hours.
What is it about football and cruddy weather? Bad weather with football, like ranch dressing with pizza, makes a great thing even better.
As a little kid, I was fascinated by the Ice Bowl, the 1967 NFL Championship between the Cowboys and Packers played, in effect, in Siberia. My friends read about Christopher Robin or Charlie Brown. I read about Jethro Pugh digging his cleats in the ice in a futile attempt to get traction before Bart Starr’s game-winning sneak.
I still vividly remember watching the Freezer Bowl, the 1981 AFC Championship game between the Chargers and Benagls played in a wind-chill of minus-59. Dan Fouts had icicles hanging from his beard. Ken Anderson had frostbite on his right ear. I was 9. And I was in heaven.
In the following years, I have joyfully watched Elway rolling right on a white-covered field at Mile High, James Wilder running in a monsoon in Tampa Bay and a befuddled Leon Lett sliding through the snow at Texas Stadium.
I bring this up because I’m going to the Montgomery-Maria Carrillo game tonight. It’s been raining this week and Carrillo plays on a grass field.
I don’t care who wins. But I am rooting for mud.