When Notre Dame hosts Boston College for senior day on Saturday it will be one of the coldest games in recent memory at Notre Dame Stadium. According to the Notre Dame game notes from the 2013 win over BYU, that particular day was then the coldest game at the stadium since 1991. There have certainly been cold ones since but I haven’t found one officially listed as colder.
Temperature is one thing but wind, rain, snow, and perhaps icy seats can make things significantly worse, even if the temperature is warmer. With this game in mind and the idea of bundling up in my head I threw a question out to the masses on social media. I simply asked: “What is the coldest you’ve ever been at a sporting event? (Not necessarily the air temp but worst physical cold feeling you sat thru)”
I’ve got answers that involve Notre Dame and have nothing to do with Notre Dame. Living around Chicago my entire life has provided plenty of April baseball games and winter football games to freeze my rear-end off at.
Here are some of the best replies to the question. The only ones I posted are related to Notre Dame but my mentions are full of classic memories of fans freezing their fingers off while watching their teams.
MACtion mixed with a bad Notre Dame team
Two come to mind, both mid-November.
2013 NIU/Ball State MACtion on a Wednesday night in Dekalb.
2016 VT at ND. The type of cold if you were really bundled up and took your stocking cap off your head would steam.
— Mitch Stoermer (@mitchstoermer) November 17, 2022
Hat-tip to Mitch for taking in MACtion trophy game action in brutal conditions. And for sitting through a blown lead on senior day in the forgettable 2016 season.
Tailgating in Texas
I’m going with the 2018 Cotton Bowl. Obviously, the game was played indoors so technically I didn’t “sit through it”, but we tailgated for quite some time outdoors. The temp + the wind was not fun. Definitely couldn’t feel my face when I finally got in the stadium.
— 5 Foot Nothin, 100 & Nothin (@5FootNothinPod) November 17, 2022
I too was in Arlington, Tex. that day and it wasn’t enjoyable in the least bit. Like a fool, I just assumed the Metroplex would be warm because, “hey, its way south of here!” so I didn’t even pack a coat. It wasn’t pleasant being outside that day or most of the week in Dallas, honestly. But my man Mike (friend of the site, check out his podcast), that’s nothing like cold South Bend cold.
Another frigid senior day in South Bend
ND-Florida State, like 4 years ago. I even had the hand warmers. I hated it. But also, kind of a b****.
— Chris Rongey (@ChrisRongey) November 17, 2022
3 years ago Notre Dame vs FL St. It was so cold my legs were hurting just walking back to the vehicle after the game.
— TJ Haynes (@TJHaynes10) November 17, 2022
2018 is the game being talking about here and it was essentially over the second Florida State got off the plane and was hit with the freezing temperatures. My favorite part of that night was a number of Notre Dame players warming up either shirtless or in sleeveless t-shirts.
Senior day vs. Syracuse
Syracuse @ ND senior day 09. Coalers at Spring Valley Hall. Coalers state championship in 93.
— Jim Looper (@Jimmy_Pop72) November 17, 2022
Looper is right about the team, wrong about the year. He’s talking about 2008’s senior day when Notre Dame players were pelted with snowballs by their own fans. It didn’t make things any warmer when a flat-out bad Syracuse team upset the Irish.
How on God’s green earth did [autotag]Manti Te’o[/autotag] make his official visit that day and decide Notre Dame was the place for him?
Also shoutout to the Coal City Coalers!
Notre Dame-Stanford Thriller in October
The only right answer to this question is Stanford 2014. Like 34 degrees but pouring the whole game. Literally impossible to stay warm. Hands cold? Put on gloves. 5 minutes later, gloves soaked, hands colder. Feet? Just forget about it and hope you don't have to amputate.
— Billy Goat (@BillyGoatND) November 17, 2022
Hey Billy Goat, at least Ben Koyack came through and the Irish won that day!
2014 Notre Dame debacle vs. Northwestern
ND Vs NU when we fumbled running out the clock and lost and Bears Pats when brady ignored the weather and lit us up for Like 50 plus in a negative temp blizzard
— Always Irish ☘️ (@AlwaysIrishINC) November 17, 2022
Northwestern at Notre Dame, November 2014. South Bend got a blast of lake effect snow out of nowhere night before. I Was underprepared for the elements while basically sitting on ice blocks.
— Patrick (@hags819) November 17, 2022
Yes and yes. I also attended both of these. I never leave Notre Dame games early but was walking down the aisle with my then-girlfriend (a Northwestern grad) when Everett Golson fumbled. She suddenly wanted to stay and I haven’t heard the end of that game’s conclusion since.
As for the Bears-Patriots game, it’s the only time I’ve ever seen snow fall upwards.
Notre Dame's 1987 trip to Happy Valley
ND @ Penn St 1987 and it’s not close.
— Don Gayhardt (@DFG_PA) November 17, 2022
I’m not sure if Don is a Notre Dame fan or not but the Irish losing on a failed two-point conversion would certainly only make things colder.
Notre Dame's most recent trip to the Big House
2019 Notre Dame @ Michigan
Probably wouldn't have felt bad at all if Notre Dame wasn't getting curb stomped by Michigan… https://t.co/SN7U8cmWjm
— Charlie Gilmore (@GilmoreCharles) November 17, 2022
Freezing cold, soaking wet, and your team is getting their tails kicked in by a rival on the road. Sounds like a blast.
Stanford this year
Last night’s NIU game was coldest by temp, but honestly this year’s Stanford @ ND game, which was game 3 in 27 hours and second game of the day was brutal on me, I was delirious and my body wasn’t pleased 😂 https://t.co/qwuPbhM1EX
— Ben Chase (@BenGChase) November 17, 2022
I was surprised to see the Stanford game on the list from this fall. It was cold in the Midwest that evening but nothing overly extreme. Then again, Ben hasn’t slept since August so perhaps that had something to do with it.
Be sure to follow Ben if you’re at all interested in the greatest and longest college football road trip ever known to man because that’s how he’s spending this fall.
Not mentioned but noteworthy (1/5): Final game with real grass
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Notre Dame’s 2013 home game against BYU was the coldest kickoff at Notre Dame Stadium in decades. Random fact – it was also the final game played at the stadium with natural grass.
Not mentioned but noteworthy (2/5): Snow Bowl
(AP Photo/Dave Durochik)
Nobody in my mentions seemed to be at Notre Dame-Penn State in 1992 in what is now remembered as the Snow Bowl. When Notre Dame fans think about cold weather games and playing in the snow this is almost always the first mentioned.
Not mentioned but noteworthy (3/5): 1991 vs. Navy
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
I couldn’t find a photo from it so deal with Notre Dame Stadium under a blanket of snow and ice from 2014 above, but the 1991 home game against Navy is the coldest game at Notre Dame Stadium that I could find on record.
The Irish won 38-0 on the first Saturday of November.
Not mentioned but noteworthy (4/5): Cotton Bowls
(AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
While researching this in regards to Notre Dame I found a few people mention how cold the Cotton Bowl has been to attend as fans. That’s when the game was still played outside of course. The 1993 Cotton Bowl gets mentioned (conclusion of ’92 season) and the list would be invalid if the 1979 Cotton Bowl, the Chicken Soup Game for Joe Montana, wasn’t mentioned.
Not mentioned but noteworthy (5/5):
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Brian Kelly’s first season at Notre Dame concluded with a thrashing of Miami in the Sun Bowl on New Year’s Eve 2010. The Irish were the better team that day as the Hurricanes seemingly had no interest playing football a field covered by ice and snow.