The road to the Super Bowl may have to be cleared with a snow plow.
The Kansas City Chiefs will open their postseason run against the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday, and the game time weather forecast at Arrowhead Stadium has changed again. Winter storm Gia — yep, it has a name — is now projected in some forecasts to drop more snow on Kansas City than we first thought. Accumulations by kickoff could be as high as eight inches, and snow could continue through the early part of the game.
Here’s what the National Weather Service is saying on Friday morning:
Widespread winter weather with accumulating snowfall is expected this evening into Saturday morning - Roads will become slick and travel hazardous! pic.twitter.com/h3NZvInLfJ— NWS Kansas City (@NWSKansasCity) January 11, 2019
Here’s another take — this one from KSHB-TV:
UPDATE: The winter storm is now trending stronger & will linger into Saturday afternoon. A widespread area of 4-8" of snow expected into Saturday. Higher amounts will fall east of KC. Travel & roads will be especially tricky by tomorrow morning. pic.twitter.com/d1gGxzMTea— Lindsey Anderson (@lnanderson) January 11, 2019
While up to half of a foot of snow could accumulate across the Kansas City area through Saturday morning, only a few flurries will remain when the Colts take on the Chiefs that afternoon: https://t.co/fwAp9U5bg8 pic.twitter.com/pE4EUzFn8h— AccuWeather (@breakingweather) January 11, 2019
None of this is good news for the fans planning to attend the game — but who doesn’t like a game in real football weather?
As for the effect on the game itself... who can say? The conventional wisdom is that adverse weather tends to cause teams to run the ball more, but there are plenty of examples of games that had lots of passing yards in snowy weather — perhaps because teams figure the other side won’t expect it.
For his part, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid had a pretty philosophical answer when asked about the weather forecast on Thursday.
“I am aware of it,” he said. “I can’t do anything about it. Whatever happens, happens. Both teams are playing in it and we will roll.”
On Wednesday, special teams coordinator Dave Toub — who has to worry about the kicking game — was asked if the incoming weather would affect his unit.
“It really does. It affects us probably more so than anybody,” Toub said. “We’ve talked about it. It’s not like we can manufacture snow, but we practice wet ball drills and stuff like that. The good thing is that we’ve got all week outside. That’s going to help us -- especially with the wind.”
Toub was asked if they’d be shoveling snow.
“It won’t be on us to do it. They’ll be on top of it. I would [be out there shoveling snow and] if we need it, I’d clear the spot. But [the officials] don’t allow that. They’ll be on top of it. Even when it’s raining, it’s amazing. They do such a good job. They have a dry ball at the snap every time.”
Offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy said it wouldn’t affect the team’s focus one bit.
“It’s go time. It’s playoff time,” Bieniemy said with great emphasis. “I will say this: these guys have been training their entire lives to be placed in this situation. Regardless... it could be 89 degrees and sunny with high humidity. Or it could be 25 degrees with a 30-below wind chill. It does not matter. You only get a certain amount of opportunities in this profession to go out and prove who you are and what you’re about. So regardless of weather conditions... we don’t care. We’ll go out and play. I know these guys. They’re excited about the opportunity. They’re excited about being in this situation. At kickoff time, we’ll let it all go.”
What’s the over/under on a snow angel from KC Wolf?