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This week, the standard Saturday scenes of tents and music blasting outside Cowboy Stadium were accompanied by fires and electric blankets. Fans huddled around fire pits as they dealt with the 37-degree December weather. The chilliest playoff game hosted in Lake Charles before Saturday’s showdown was a 41-degree game against William & Mary in the 1993 playoffs. (Rick Hickman / Special to the American Press)<br>

This week, the standard Saturday scenes of tents and music blasting outside Cowboy Stadium were accompanied by fires and electric blankets. Fans huddled around fire pits as they dealt with the 37-degree December weather. The chilliest playoff game hosted in Lake Charles before Saturday’s showdown was a 41-degree game against William & Mary in the 1993 playoffs. (Rick Hickman / Special to the American Press)

Cold weather puts damper on tailgating festivities for Cowboy fans

Last Modified: Saturday, December 07, 2013 10:11 PM

By Albert Burford / American Press

This week, the standard Saturday scenes of tents and music blasting outside Cowboy Stadium were accompanied by fires and electric blankets.

Fans huddled around fire pits as they dealt with the 37-degree December weather. The chilliest playoff game hosted in Lake Charles before Saturday’s showdown was a 41-degree game against William & Mary in the 1993 playoffs.

“This helps out a lot,” tailgater Austin Carter said, pointing to the fire at his tailgate. “It’s not bad out here. We’re here to celebrate for the Cowboys, and we’re having a good time.

The dropping temperature seemed to keep many fans in the comfortable warmth of their homes until kickoff, leaving a smaller-than-average tailgating crowd, despite the big occasion.

Tailgater Blake Thevenot said he was disappointed at the relatively small turnout before the game. Thevenot also said the weather situation reminded him of the 2007 playoffs, when it was raining.

“It’s nothing a good pair of mittens won’t fix,” he said.

Former McNeese quarterback Kerry Joseph was also in attendance for the game.

“It’s good to be back, especially for the playoffs,” Joseph said. “To see the legacy that’s been left here and have an opportunity to see them advance tonight in the playoffs, it’s good to be back.”

Joseph, who plays in the Canadian Football League, took some time to give the Cowboys some words of encouragement Friday.

“I had a chance to share a few things with them, and the biggest thing I talked about was giving that one more inch,” he said. “The game of football is about inches and as a team, collectively, when you’re tired and things get in a crunch situation, just think about giving yourself one more inch.”

Joseph led the Cowboys to the semifinals of the 1995 playoffs, when the Cowboys lost to Marshall in a game Joseph said was also colder than usual. During his talk with the team, he imparted some of his playoff wisdom.

“I compare the playoffs to the red zone on the football field,” he said. “Your thought process, your focus, your energy, everything becomes more upbeat. Your energy level goes up, and your focus is more intense. I told the guys the playoffs is your red zone.”

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