Teams, fans adapt as deep freeze hits U.S By Reuters

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© Reuters. Dec 24, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Andy Dalton (14) throws the ball against the Cleveland Browns during the first quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

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By Amy Tennery

(Reuters) – The National Football League (NFL) was hit by the cold that pummeled the United States on Saturday as fans bundled up to watch late-season showdowns in punishing conditions.

Cities from Pennsylvania to Georgia were expected to experience their coldest-ever Christmas Eve as an arctic blast gripped much the United States, roiling travel plans during the busy holiday season.

The Tennessee Titans postponed their home game against the Houston Texans for an hour to 2:02 p.m. CT (2002 GMT), citing “extreme weather and power outages” in the region.

“We are exploring every possibility to minimize non-essential power around the stadium,” the team said in a statement on Twitter. “At all times, the operation of the game remained secondary to the well-being of our community.”

The Cleveland Browns relaxed rules for fans, allowing them to bring additional items to the final home game of the regular season against the New Orleans Saints including thermoses, blankets and approved batteries for power-heated apparel.

It proved to be the Browns’ coldest regular-season home game since 1981, the team said on Saturday, with the temperature at a teeth-chattering 6 degrees Fahrenheit (-14.4°C) at kickoff.

For some, however, the numbing cold was little deterrent.

A handful of players for the Seattle Seahawks showed up shirt-less for warm-up exercises at Arrowhead Stadium, where temperatures hovered around 12 degrees Fahrenheit (-11.1°C) for their showdown against the Kansas City Chiefs.

For three-time Pro Bowl cornerback Marlon Humphrey, a balaclava ski mask and trousers were sufficient for warm-ups in sub-zero Baltimore, Maryland, where his Ravens are fighting to keep their post-season hopes on track against Atlanta Falcons.

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