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WHEN SPORTS AND WEATHER COLLIDE

As Debby spins in the gulf, we have weather on our minds. A look back at our most memorable weather-impacted sporting events:

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Ice Bowl

Cowboys vs. Packers

Lambeau Field

Dec. 31, 1967

There was the Freezer Bowl between the Chargers and Bengals in the 1981 AFC Championship Game when temperatures dipped to minus-9, but the Ice Bowl is the most famous cold-weathered football game ever played. The NFL championship game between the Cowboys and Packers was held in temperatures of minus-13 and wind chills of minus-48. The officials' whistles didn't work and many players suffered frostbite. The Packers won 21-17 on Bart Starr's 1-yard QB sneak with 13 seconds left.

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Fog Bowl

Eagles vs. Bears

Soldier Field

Dec. 31, 1988

An infamous New Year's Eve game, this 1988 playoff game between the Eagles and Bears was a typical game until a dense fog started to roll into Chicago's Soldier Field in the second quarter. Visibility was cut to mere yards. Players couldn't find the sidelines. Fans couldn't see the field. The Eagles couldn't find the end zone and the Bears won, 20-12.

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Rain Game

Chiefs vs. Buccaneers

Tampa Stadium

Dec. 16, 1979

The most famous local weather game was the regular-season finale of the 1979 Bucs season. Needing a win to make the playoffs for the first time, the Bucs played the Chiefs under a torrential Florida downpour. Water rushed down the steps of Tampa Stadium like waterfalls. The field was a swamp. The lone score of the game was Neil O'Donoghue's 19-yard field goal with 8:50 left that sent the Bucs to the playoffs.

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Heat Wave

Oilers vs. Bruins

Boston Garden

May 24, 1988

Hard to believe an indoor hockey game could be affected by weather, but Game 4 of the 1988 Stanley Cup final was wiped out because of an unusually sweltering May day in Boston. Late in the second period, with the Oilers and Bruins tied at 3, fog began to rise from the ice because of the heat and humidity. Eventually, the creaky old Boston Garden had a power outage. Calling upon a rarely used bylaw, then-NHL president John Ziegler said the game would be skipped, and the series proceeded to Game 5 back in Edmonton. The Oilers ended up sweeping the series, although the Cup-clinching victory technically came in Game 5.

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Roof Collapse

Giants vs. Vikings

Metrodome

Dec. 12, 2010

In December 2010, more than 17 inches of snow fell on Minneapolis' Metrodome. That, along with high winds that prevented workers from clearing the snow, led to the roof of the dome collapsing the night before the Vikings were to host the Giants. That game was moved to Ford Field in Detroit, while a Dec. 20 game against the Bears was moved to the University of Minnesota's outdoor stadium.

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An All-Star Rain

College all-stars vs. Steelers

Soldier Field

July 23, 1976

From 1934 to 1976, all-stars of college football played the NFL champs at Chicago's Soldier Field. The last game was played on July 23, 1976, when college stars such as Lee Roy Selmon, Chuck Muncie and Mike Pruitt took on the defending champion Steelers. Late in the third quarter, with the Steelers well ahead 24-0, heavy rain began to fall. A delay was called and players left the field, then unruly fans stormed the field and tore down the goalposts. Commissioner Pete Rozelle decided to cancel the rest of what would turn out to be the last game in the series.

- tjones@tampabay.com

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