Whether the game takes place in scorching heat, thick fog, torrential downpour, or a whirling snowstorm, the bottom line is that the game of football will indeed be played. Games have become famous for these conditions, namely the 1967 “Ice Bowl” between the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers, which was played at 13 degrees below zero with a wind chill of about -40 degrees. The ground can be a block of ice or a slip-n-slide. The condition of the field does not matter. The condition of the players and coaches does not matter. The war will wage on, for such is the nature of the gladiator sport that is football.
Due to the fact that weather can play such an integral part on the gridiron, teams and players have made necessary adjustments in order to maintain a high level of performance. Off-season workouts and training regimens are what gets their bodies ready to play the game. But without using the proper equipment in order to withstand the elements, even the mightiest of players stand little to no chance.
Protect your paws
In a game as physical as football, players cannot afford to have unprotected hands during harsh weather games. Not only do football gloves serve to enhance a player’s performance during normal conditions, but they also protect a player’s hands in games that are not-quite-normal.
Specifically in cold weather games, hands are at a high risk of getting numb due to the body’s natural lack of blood flow to those areas. After the numbness happens, players experience reduced dexterity, which inhibits their ability to handle the football and block/tackle. This is not a problem simply for ball-handlers, but for all players who use their hands in some way.
Various companies have taken to producing gloves that are not only built to perform, but to survive under the harsh conditions that often accompany a football game. Cutters is an example of a brand that aims to produce top-notch gloves that function no matter what Mother Nature brews up. The key component is their C-TACK grip, which is built to be both effective and tough. Regardless of rain or snow, Cutters gloves are built to last, as the grip can be restored with a quick and easy wipe down with a touch of moisture. Those who rock Cutters gloves will be both warm and effective, ensuring that their talent can shine through on the darkest of days.
Though it is clear that quality football gloves are one of the keys to performing on bad weather games, it is a slightly different battle depending on the position. Though everyone is playing on the same field, it is hardly the same type of game for a defensive back compared to an offensive lineman.
Generally, players like wide receivers and defensive backs, who make a living in pursuit of the ball, opt for thinner gloves. Though this lack of protection puts them more at risk to experience the ill effects of a cold game, their extensive running helps them maintain good circulation. This blood flow keeps their hands warmer than they would be if they were in a position with less movement, such as a guard.
On the other end of the spectrum, offensive and defensive linemen tend to wear gloves that are a little thicker. This added padding helps them deal with the pain of the biting cold, as well as help with the physical beating they are aiming to inflict on their opponents. Similarly, running backs often elect to wear gloves with padding. Though they will occasionally assume receiver-like duties out of the backfield, many choose safety over catching ability. It is easy to see why, as a starting running back is usually hit by bigger defenders between twenty and thirty times per game.
The quarterback position is a tough one to really encapsulate into one glove-oriented formula. Though they do not do the running around that wide receivers and defensive backs do throughout the course of a game, they are the ones who need the most feeling in their hands. With any sort of numbness, a quarterback’s throwing accuracy can plummet drastically, which is obviously disastrous for any team. For this reason, some field generals don gloves on their throwing hands during especially cold games. Others just cannot get used to the feeling of a glove between their hands and the ball and choose to throw bare-handed regardless of the weather. They are not completely against protecting their hands in the cold, however, as they often wear gloves on their non-throwing hands.
While gloves during bad-weather games are almost always a must, preference plays a large part in the actual selection of a glove. Many players wear thicker gloves during cold-weather games, as they aim to avoid cold hands. However, they will likely be focused on having as much grip as possible during a rainy game, and therefore might go with a thinner style of gloves. With a multitude of droplets pelting the pigskin at all times, players who handle the ball must focus on securing the slippery projectiles at all costs. Football gloves help facilitate this aim.
All about results
Football is a game involving many things. Excuses is not one of them. Rain or shine, snow or hail, the game will go on. It is up to today’s players to take all of the necessary steps in order to ensure that they are at their best no matter what is falling from the sky. Football gloves are one of the ways that a player can both stay warm in a freezing game, and keep a grip during a wet one. No matter the position, gloves serve as a good way to ensure that the performance level does not drop when the weather is looking bleak.