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Cold snap on minds of players at media day

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By Keith Schleiden

ARLINGTON, Texas — While the cold, snowy weather that greeted members of the Packers and Steelers on Tuesday morning came as no surprise, given the powerful winter storm that swept through Dallas overnight had been widely anticipated, it still was a shock to the system of the players attending Media Day in Cowboys Stadium.

After a weekend that saw high temperatures in the mid 70s, the North Texas region was blanketed with a sheet of sleet followed by an inch or two of snow, making travel around the area a significant challenge.

Yes, the two teams playing in the Super Bowl hail from regions of the country accustomed to such weather. Yet the arctic blast remained a big topic of conversation between reporters and players.

Packers WR Donald Driver, sitting on a podium at one end of Cowboys Stadium that had a serious breeze flowing through it — despite the roof being closed — was visibly chilled. Fielding questions, he at times was visibly shivering.

"The good part about it is we play indoors; we don't have to play outside," said Driver. "I'm over here shaking. I'm chattering teeth. I need some heat. Where's my guys when I need them?"

Packers OLB Clay Matthews, located in a slightly less blustery section of the stadium, was also feeling the chill.

"We left Green Bay to get away from the snow, and it's followed us down here," said Matthews, a California native. "It's a good thing we're playing indoors, but, rain, snow, sleet — whatever the expression is — you know, (we'll have to deal with it). It does make it feel like home, but that doesn't mean we have to enjoy it."

Packers CB Charles Woodson agreed that the cold weather did remind him of being back in Green Bay, but it would do nothing to take away from his Super Bowl experience.

"I am in the Super Bowl. I could care less," said Woodson. "I am cold. I am shaking up here right now, but I am in the Super Bowl, so that trumps everything."

When Steelers DE Brett Keisel was asked if he had ever witnessed a Super Bowl host city undergo such a dramatic weather change, which might make visiting fans feel more at home, he laughed and said, "Yeah, man, we call this Steeler weather. It's pretty crazy. I mean, it's a sheet of ice everywhere you go, so hopefully the weather will bring us some love."

While the forecast in North Texas calls for cold temps to remain for much of the week, game day is expected to see a high in the mid 50s. The NFL announced more than a week ago, though, that the roof on Cowboys Stadium would be closed for Super Bowl XLV, so the weather will not play a factor in the game.

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