ROUND 1: Patriots shuffle off to Buffalo

Dotrat

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Prisco is an idiot, has been for decades. I can't believe he's gainfully employed to talk about football. What a country!
Thank you. He was still calling Brady a system QB after his third Super Bowl. He's a moron's moron. He makes Peter King sound like @SMU_Sox. He's so dumb that I feel at least 5x better about the Pats' chances knowing how confident he is in a Buffalo victory.
 

Cellar-Door

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Economically depressed area as well. And Covid. But still, that's crazy low.
Also have to wonder if a lot of their Canadian season ticket holders are dumping them because the procedures to get out of and back into Canada are gonna suck. Have to go to BUF, likely stay the night, get a PCR test done then return.
 

cornwalls@6

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Also have to wonder if a lot of their Canadian season ticket holders are dumping them because the procedures to get out of and back into Canada are gonna suck. Have to go to BUF, likely stay the night, get a PCR test done then return.
Good point. That's a lot of labor, and I think their Canadian ticket base is not insubstantial.
 

Hector Salamanca

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I was at the MNF wind game, and in chatting during the tailgate I was told that the secondary market has been tanked all year due to the vaccine mandate. SS of 1 but he was a lifer there so have to assume he had something to go off of and I imagine that's a factor here too.
 

Cellar-Door

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I was at the MNF wind game, and in chatting during the tailgate I was told that the secondary market has been tanked all year due to the vaccine mandate. SS of 1 but he was a lifer there so have to assume he had something to go off of and I imagine that's a factor here too.
yeah, I bet it's 3 steps:
1. Candians not gonna bother
2. Vaccine mandate probably hits NFL fans harder than many other demographics
3. The weather is gonna suck
 

BaseballJones

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I posted yesterday that the Pats, in their last three losses, made really nice, strong comebacks after falling way behind. That tells me they have the ability to come back (even though they didn't win any of those three).

However...

I really think it's imperative Saturday that they get off to a good start. Playing this Buffalo team down 14-17 points is a recipe for getting absolutely blown out. I'd like to see an early Pats score, an early stop of Buffalo, and let this team play from ahead for a change.
 

Jimbodandy

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I posted yesterday that the Pats, in their last three losses, made really nice, strong comebacks after falling way behind. That tells me they have the ability to come back (even though they didn't win any of those three).

However...

I really think it's imperative Saturday that they get off to a good start. Playing this Buffalo team down 14-17 points is a recipe for getting absolutely blown out. I'd like to see an early Pats score, an early stop of Buffalo, and let this team play from ahead for a change.
This.

We ran the ball just fine against them both times, but everything changes if Buffalo knows that we have to throw. If we fall behind by more than one score, I see no reason to be optimistic.
 

Saints Rest

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I posted yesterday that the Pats, in their last three losses, made really nice, strong comebacks after falling way behind. That tells me they have the ability to come back (even though they didn't win any of those three).

However...

I really think it's imperative Saturday that they get off to a good start. Playing this Buffalo team down 14-17 points is a recipe for getting absolutely blown out. I'd like to see an early Pats score, an early stop of Buffalo, and let this team play from ahead for a change.
The flip side to this is make Buffalo play from behind. I saw a stat on ESPN this morning that the Bills played with a lead more than any other team this season (or maybe it was that they trailed LESS than any other team).

It also showed that Josh Allen has the worst record in freezing temps (they didn't specify, or if they did I missed it, but I'm guessing <32º) of any QB in the league over the last 5 years. Apparently he told the ESPN reporter that that was because he suffered from poor blood circulation to his fingers and toes. (Then Bart Scott went off on a tangent about how when he played, players all took Viagra to help with circulation when it was cold, which got all the panelists giggling like 13 year old boys.)
 

Rook05

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I’m not sure how I feel about Wynn. I mean, I’d rather he play, but he hasn’t really stood out this year. Lack of OL depth could be problem if they want to go super heavy, but it’s weird to be kind of indifferent to their starting left tackle.

Separately, the Bankroll Boys on Toucher & Rich mentioned that they’ve heard that Mac is banged up—shoulder, knee, hand were mentioned. I’d usually dismiss that but they have decent team sources. It’s not a surprise given his long season and frame, but it’s the first I’d heard of it.
 

SMU_Sox

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I have those issues too with circulation. So now Viagra helps for when the moment is right on and off the field? Good to know. I’ll have to share the good news with my partner. The Patriots are one of those teams where if they play a turnover free game with few penalties they have the roster to be competitive and beat anyone. Unfortunately if they don’t play like that they can and have lost to anyone including two times against an I would argue inferior Miami team.
I wonder if we see Ross playing a role as slot corner this game. Phillips and Dugger are good against tight ends but haven’t been as effective against shiftier slot types. Bryant is a great role player but he’s not the guy you can put on an island against a twitched up slot type especially if that guy is going to be going sideline to sideline on routes.
As for the defensive line. They’ve been inconsistent this year. Some games they absolutely dominant the LOS and the pressure is coming every other snap. Other times they can’t get their acts together as individuals and as a unit and the secondary eventually gets picked apart. Unless they disrupt the timing of faster spread teams they are asking for trouble. I hope we see guys like Judon, High, KVN, chucking the slots before they have a chance for a free release.
Without Mills they are down to the bottom of the barrel at outside corner. JJW and Wade are both press-man types but I would hate to see either try and cover Diggs or Sanders. I could see JJW or Wade being ok on Gabe Davis though. And really I think it’s on JJW as he is ahead in the pecking order. JJW has had some good games but he’s also been atrocious like against Houston. Ultimately I fear the offense is going to have to do some heavy lifting and I am unsure that they can handle that task. Buffalo has one of the best defenses in the NFL and has more time to stew together as a team the last few years whereas while the Patriots have some core players they still play like a team that is in its first year together. I don’t think the Patriots win and I worry it could get ugly but you never know and if, again, they play a clean game they have a 35-40% chance to win.
Let’s hope for Buffalo turnovers, no Patriot penalties, and Mac playing like he did in the early to middle part of the season and not like he has since week 12 or so. Winning a single playoff game would turn a very good season into a great one for me. Let’s. Fucking. Go.
 

Ferm Sheller

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I feel as though if everything goes right for the Pats, they win a close game something like 20-17. But if things go right for the Bills, they win a blowout, like 41-10.
Could happen, but the Pats typically don't get blown out like that (by five scores!). I think a comedy of errors would need to occur to see a blowout by either team.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Could happen, but the Pats typically don't get blown out like that (by five scores!). I think a comedy of errors would need to occur to see a blowout by either team.
Agreed. The Patriots played a terrible game at Gillette and still would have had a chance to win the game if their ballhawk DB could hang onto an easy interception (or if Jamie Collins had made a play on that 4th down). I really have a difficult time imagining them losing by 30 points. The Bills are deservedly favored but they're not some unstoppable juggernaut that you have to play a perfect game to have a chance against.
 

joe dokes

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Separately, the Bankroll Boys on Toucher & Rich mentioned that they’ve heard that Mac is banged up—shoulder, knee, hand were mentioned. I’d usually dismiss that but they have decent team sources. It’s not a surprise given his long season and frame, but it’s the first I’d heard of it.
I've never heard about the shoulder, but he was testing knee braces in the summer, and his hand was banged up a few weeks ago. He even made a joke at a press conference about it, IIRC.
 

BaseballJones

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Mac has taken some hellacious hits this year so it wouldn't surprise me in the least if he has got some nagging health issues. It would also explain a lot about his recent performance, actually.
 
Aug 9, 2015
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I have those issues too with circulation. So now Viagra helps for when the moment is right on and off the field? Good to know. I’ll have to share the good news with my partner. The Patriots are one of those teams where if they play a turnover free game with few penalties they have the roster to be competitive and beat anyone. Unfortunately if they don’t play like that they can and have lost to anyone including two times against an I would argue inferior Miami team.
I wonder if we see Ross playing a role as slot corner this game. Phillips and Dugger are good against tight ends but haven’t been as effective against shiftier slot types. Bryant is a great role player but he’s not the guy you can put on an island against a twitched up slot type especially if that guy is going to be going sideline to sideline on routes.
As for the defensive line. They’ve been inconsistent this year. Some games they absolutely dominant the LOS and the pressure is coming every other snap. Other times they can’t get their acts together as individuals and as a unit and the secondary eventually gets picked apart. Unless they disrupt the timing of faster spread teams they are asking for trouble. I hope we see guys like Judon, High, KVN, chucking the slots before they have a chance for a free release.
Without Mills they are down to the bottom of the barrel at outside corner. JJW and Wade are both press-man types but I would hate to see either try and cover Diggs or Sanders. I could see JJW or Wade being ok on Gabe Davis though. And really I think it’s on JJW as he is ahead in the pecking order. JJW has had some good games but he’s also been atrocious like against Houston. Ultimately I fear the offense is going to have to do some heavy lifting and I am unsure that they can handle that task. Buffalo has one of the best defenses in the NFL and has more time to stew together as a team the last few years whereas while the Patriots have some core players they still play like a team that is in its first year together. I don’t think the Patriots win and I worry it could get ugly but you never know and if, again, they play a clean game they have a 35-40% chance to win.
Let’s hope for Buffalo turnovers, no Patriot penalties, and Mac playing like he did in the early to middle part of the season and not like he has since week 12 or so. Winning a single playoff game would turn a very good season into a great one for me. Let’s. Fucking. Go.
I wonder if part of why Allen suffers in cold weather is because of the velocity on his throws. Seemed to be the issue when Knox dropped a few in the wind game. I’d suggest the TB12 scuba gear approach over Viagra, but what do I know.

As for the game, I’m optimistic the Pats won’t beat themselves. It’s been a strange funk since the bye, but I think they’ll be ready to play. Then comes down to talent and execution, and they’ll have a good chance. CB worries me, as does Allen’s playmaking ability and our lumbering LBs. Would be nice to see a bounce to two go our way.
 

Saints Rest

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Could happen, but the Pats typically don't get blown out like that (by five scores!). I think a comedy of errors would need to occur to see a blowout by either team.
Here’s a scenario that is fairly realistic, I fear.
Pre-game:
1. Dugger and Mills can’t play (injury and COVID).
2. Herron has to play the entire game for Wynn.

In-game:
1. Without 2 of their top DBs, Allen, Diggs and company run wild.
2. Trailing the whole game, the Pats have to abandon the run and throw on every down. Herron gets repeatedly blown up, Jones has the worst game of his career. Pick-6 and a strip-sack/scoop-and-score.
3. Special Teams give up another TD somehow.
 

Silverdude2167

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Here’s a scenario that is fairly realistic, I fear.
Pre-game:
1. Dugger and Mills can’t play (injury and COVID).
2. Herron has to play the entire game for Wynn.

In-game:
1. Without 2 of their top DBs, Allen, Diggs and company run wild.
2. Trailing the whole game, the Pats have to abandon the run and throw on every down. Herron gets repeatedly blown up, Jones has the worst game of his career. Pick-6 and a strip-sack/scoop-and-score.
3. Special Teams give up another TD somehow.
Ha so everything that could go wrong does...nice.

How about the Pats take the ball and have a 13 play drive score at TD and have the Bills playing from behind the entire game.

That seems just as likely.
 

Saints Rest

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Ha so everything that could go wrong does...nice.

How about the Pats take the ball and have a 13 play drive score at TD and have the Bills playing from behind the entire game.

That seems just as likely.
I was just replying to the idea that it would take a comedy of errors to yield a blowout. My point was simply that some injuries that are already limiting practice participation could force the Pats to scrap their strength, leading to some plays we’ve already seen happen a few times this season. And that this could snowball to a blowout.
 

Ferm Sheller

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I was just replying to the idea that it would take a comedy of errors to yield a blowout. My point was simply that some injuries that are already limiting practice participation could force the Pats to scrap their strength, leading to some plays we’ve already seen happen a few times this season. And that this could snowball to a blowout.
I guess by "comedy of errors" I meant "everything that can go wrong does go wrong", but in hindsight I admit that I used that phrase incorrectly.
 

Saints Rest

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I guess by "comedy of errors" I meant "everything that can go wrong does go wrong", but in hindsight I admit that I used that phrase incorrectly.
Fair point, which is essentially the inverse of what I said in my first post “if things go right for the Bills.” My point being that an early train wreck for the Bills still likely leads to only a narrow Pats win; an early train wreck for the Pats is the probable path to a blowout.
 

Nick Kaufman

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The flip side to this is make Buffalo play from behind. I saw a stat on ESPN this morning that the Bills played with a lead more than any other team this season (or maybe it was that they trailed LESS than any other team).

It also showed that Josh Allen has the worst record in freezing temps (they didn't specify, or if they did I missed it, but I'm guessing <32º) of any QB in the league over the last 5 years. Apparently he told the ESPN reporter that that was because he suffered from poor blood circulation to his fingers and toes. (Then Bart Scott went off on a tangent about how when he played, players all took Viagra to help with circulation when it was cold, which got all the panelists giggling like 13 year old boys.)
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fo_yK4J2L4I
 

Nick Kaufman

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There's a dildo joke here, but I'm not clever enough to find it.
If there's a dildo there, then the viagra isn't working, so it's definitely a comedy of errors.

At least on the outside. It looks more of a tragedy for the people directly affected.
 

pokey_reese

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This game can't get here soon enough, based on the direction this thread is taking.

We know that wind, or a soupy field, can be conditions that inject a relatively high degree of variance into the game (and thus benefit the underdog, in theory), but other than the anecdotal, 'this guy does/doesn't like playing in the cold' stuff, I haven't seen much that actually looks at whether games played in extreme cold (but dry and relatively windless conditions) tends to skew game scores from their expected distributions, or impact single team performance to a significant degree. Has anyone come across something like this?

Seems like the Pats, if they can clean up the ST mistakes and only turn the ball over once, would certainly not be the biggest upset candidate of the first round (I would say that the Steelers or Eagles would solidly own that title), so I'm not too pessimistic, even if I think the Bills are generally the better team. We can play defense, run the ball, and have an accurate place kicker, which are potentially all extra valuable in a game that could well be low-scoring, so for me it really comes down to how well BB and the coaching staff can come up with a game plan that papers over our shortcomings in a less than ideal matchup. If anyone can do it, it's those guys.
 

tims4wins

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So weather-wise, would it be accurate to say the best comp in terms of a game the Pats played was the 2003 Titans game? F-R shows me that was 4 degrees, 46% relative humidity, wind 10mph, wind chill -10.

At kickoff in Orchard park, looks like 7 degrees, 71% relative humidity, wind 6mph, wind chill -4.
 

EL Jeffe

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I’m not sure how I feel about Wynn. I mean, I’d rather he play, but he hasn’t really stood out this year. Lack of OL depth could be problem if they want to go super heavy, but it’s weird to be kind of indifferent to their starting left tackle.
Wynn has been really good since coming back from COVID. Herron is a definite drop off; he's looked good at times, but he's not as athletic or talented as Wynn and that's shown up too. In the playoffs, on the road, you absolutely want Wynn out there if he can go. (He looked reasonably okay walking off the field last week, so I'm very much hoping they were playing it safe and holding him out of practice with the idea that the extra time off would allow him a chance to play tomorrow night)
 

Mystic Merlin

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So weather-wise, would it be accurate to say the best comp in terms of a game the Pats played was the 2003 Titans game? F-R shows me that was 4 degrees, 46% relative humidity, wind 10mph, wind chill -10.

At kickoff in Orchard park, looks like 7 degrees, 71% relative humidity, wind 6mph, wind chill -4.
No chance I would sit in that Buffalo cold tomorrow. Zero.

Not to mention I’d have to trek to and from Buffalo.
 

RedOctober3829

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Extreme weather forces teams to have an even sharper sense of focus because it usually is harder to execute in those conditions. For a Patriots team that has been making seemingly every mistake in the books since(ironically an extreme weather game), that doesn't bode particularly well. But, as we saw in the first Buffalo game they are capable of playing a clean game and executing in harsh conditions.

The postseason brings with it a clean slate. As we saw in '01 and '18, a team can figure some things out going into the playoffs, get on a hot streak despite ups and downs throughout the regular season, and win a Super Bowl.

In my mind, if the Pats want to win this game they need to do these 2 things on offense: Don't be afraid to be great and Mac needs to make some plays early in the game down the field so Buffalo has to respect the pass. Of course every team wants to do well on 1st down, but if you can get into 2nd and 5 or less it opens up the whole playbook and Buffalo is less likely to send the house at Mac because it's 2nd and 9 or 3rd and 8. Josh needs to be creative early and get Mac some opportunities to make plays. Get the ball to your playmakers in space. Outside of the usual suspects, I want to see Bourne and Jonnu get chances to make someone miss in space and get a big gainer. Jonnu has been a disappointment, but I don't think Josh has used him in situations where his skillset can be taken advantage of. When he's been successful he's gotten the ball on screens/dump offs, made one guy miss, and turned a 5 yard gain into a 15/20 yard gain. Bourne should be getting the ball on more end arounds/bubble screens/quick strike throws. These kinds of plays on 1st down can get you into advantageous situations. Be aggressive and let it loose this week. This is the week to venture off script because Buffalo has seen them twice in a month. They know your tendencies and what you usually do in every type of situation. Don't be too conservative because you're afraid of losing. Take some shot plays, do different things than you have all season. Then, if you are able to catch Buffalo off guard and you can get a lead you can use your running game to run clock and play the game on your terms.
 

tims4wins

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Extreme weather forces teams to have an even sharper sense of focus because it usually is harder to execute in those conditions. For a Patriots team that has been making seemingly every mistake in the books since(ironically an extreme weather game), that doesn't bode particularly well. But, as we saw in the first Buffalo game they are capable of playing a clean game and executing in harsh conditions.

The postseason brings with it a clean slate. As we saw in '01 and '18, a team can figure some things out going into the playoffs, get on a hot streak despite ups and downs throughout the regular season, and win a Super Bowl.

In my mind, if the Pats want to win this game they need to do these 2 things on offense: Don't be afraid to be great and Mac needs to make some plays early in the game down the field so Buffalo has to respect the pass. Of course every team wants to do well on 1st down, but if you can get into 2nd and 5 or less it opens up the whole playbook and Buffalo is less likely to send the house at Mac because it's 2nd and 9 or 3rd and 8. Josh needs to be creative early and get Mac some opportunities to make plays. Get the ball to your playmakers in space. Outside of the usual suspects, I want to see Bourne and Jonnu get chances to make someone miss in space and get a big gainer. Jonnu has been a disappointment, but I don't think Josh has used him in situations where his skillset can be taken advantage of. When he's been successful he's gotten the ball on screens/dump offs, made one guy miss, and turned a 5 yard gain into a 15/20 yard gain. Bourne should be getting the ball on more end arounds/bubble screens/quick strike throws. These kinds of plays on 1st down can get you into advantageous situations. Be aggressive and let it loose this week. This is the week to venture off script because Buffalo has seen them twice in a month. They know your tendencies and what you usually do in every type of situation. Don't be too conservative because you're afraid of losing. Take some shot plays, do different things than you have all season. Then, if you are able to catch Buffalo off guard and you can get a lead you can use your running game to run clock and play the game on your terms.
One nitpick, they didn't play a completely clean game in Buffalo - they had the N'Keal punt "muff", and still won. So it doesn't even have to be perfectly clean, but it would help.

Fully agree with the rest of your post, especially scheming to get Bourne and Jonnu opportunities in the open field early in the game.
 

Harry Hooper

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Great tidbit from that article in The Ringer about the prep for SB XXV:

The Bills had beaten the Giants in their regular-season meeting and were the highest-scoring team in the NFL that season because of their explosive no-huddle offense. Belichick didn’t think the Giants could keep up with them in their base defense. The Bills played so fast that to show his players film from Buffalo’s 51-3 win over the Raiders in the AFC championship game, Belichick had to splice together coaches film and broadcast film because the coaches film regularly missed plays.
 
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Jed Zeppelin

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I want them to win, of course, but almost more than that I just want them to have a clean game. That doesn't necessarily mean 0 mistakes, but I mean specifically the totally unforced errors. Let's stop wasting timeouts to prevent DoG flags, let's stop lining up wrong, let's stop holding on 2nd and 1...the inexplicable shit that is just killing drives and momentum.
 

RedOctober3829

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I want them to win, of course, but almost more than that I just want them to have a clean game. That doesn't necessarily mean 0 mistakes, but I mean specifically the totally unforced errors. Let's stop wasting timeouts to prevent DoG flags, let's stop lining up wrong, let's stop holding on 2nd and 1...the inexplicable shit that is just killing drives and momentum.
Yes, this is my feeling as well. Don't get in a 17-0, 20-7 hole in the 1st half. Give yourself a chance.
 

Riconway3155

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So weather-wise, would it be accurate to say the best comp in terms of a game the Pats played was the 2003 Titans game? F-R shows me that was 4 degrees, 46% relative humidity, wind 10mph, wind chill -10.

At kickoff in Orchard park, looks like 7 degrees, 71% relative humidity, wind 6mph, wind chill -4.

I'll never forget how cold I was at that damn Titans game. I was 19, and we tailgated inside a Dodge Durango because even opening the door you could tell there was no way anyone would be outside. I drank a lot of Captain Morgan in that back seat, and the game was still the coldest I've ever been. We stayed the entire time though. My two friends were in full snowmobile suits and I basically was wearing every piece of clothing I've ever owned.
 

tims4wins

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I'll never forget how cold I was at that damn Titans game. I was 19, and we tailgated inside a Dodge Durango because even opening the door you could tell there was no way anyone would be outside. I drank a lot of Captain Morgan in that back seat, and the game was still the coldest I've ever been. We stayed the entire time though. My two friends were in full snowmobile suits and I basically was wearing every piece of clothing I've ever owned.
I was there too (22 at the time), but wasn't cold. We tailgated in a tent with generators and portable heaters, think we had it up around 50 degrees in there, I was wearing like a sweatshirt. Then layered up some more with snow pants, ski jacket, etc. Was perfectly fine.
 

RIrooter09

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I was 16 and wore regular sneakers with some slightly thicker than athletic socks. I have no idea how I didn’t lose a toe.