Most would want to forget a day where the wind chill made temperatures feel like -59 °F. But not Cincinnati Bengals fans. The 1981 AFC Championship, dubbed the “Freezer Bowl,” resides as one of the greatest moments in Bengals history.
Hosting the San Diego Chargers at Riverfront Stadium January 10, 1982, the Bengals were vying for their first trip to the Super Bowl. And though icicles formed in the beard of Chargers quarterback Dan Fouts as soon as he took the field, the Bengals offensive line refused to acknowledge the suffocatingly frigid temps and opted for short sleeves—a few even going without gloves. The bravado wasn’t an empty gesture, but an indication that nothing would stand in the Bengals’ way, not even the three future Pro Football Hall of Famers that the Chargers started. Cincinnati stormed to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, and ended up surrendering only a single touchdown in the 27-7 win, the second coldest game in NFL history. Pay homage.