Sunday in Kansas City may be the first time many if not most Seahawks will play on frozen grass.
So Russell Wilson is practicing this week in sneakers.
"Usually the cold places where we play has turf, so it's a little different," Wilson said today before practice outside here in chilly -- but not as chilly as Kansas City will be -- Renton. "But I'm getting ready for that, just in case, wearing non-spikes in case the ground is frozen. Cleats won't go in the ground.
"I'll be practicing in those, probably today, slightly. Just to kind of get a feel for what's it's going to feel like, get a feel for my balance and moving around."
It's been below freezing all week around Arrowhead Stadium, and the weather forecasts for Kansas City say the highest the temperature may get between now and Sunday's noon Central Time kickoff is 36 degrees on Friday afternoon. Saturday there's supposed to be wet snow there followed by temperatures into the low 20s, with snow showers tapering off Sunday and a high of 28. The low Sunday morning is supposed to be 18.
The NFL has forced the Washburn (Kansas)-Northwest Missouri State game that had been scheduled for Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday rescheduled out of the stadium so the Chiefs can keep Arrowhead's real-grass field covered for Sunday's Seahawks game there.
"I know it will be cold. The question is how the ground will be, how the grass will be, whether it will be cold or not depending on how cold it is," Wilson said. "That's the kind of thing you have to get prepared for, make sure you have to get your traction and make sure you have your balance in everything you do."
Does the cold effect how he grips the football?
"Not really," he said, with a small, wry smile. "I've got such big hands."
When I was working in my four-year stint at the University of Washington, I covered the Huskies' men playing for their first appearance in the NCAA' soccer Final Four. It was at the end of a week early last December when it was below 20 degrees in Seattle. The UW soccer field was frozen, as hard as the parking lot. New Mexico's team showed up wearing sneakers and dominated the Huskies, who were sliding and falling in their spikes as if on skates, in the first half on the frozen turf. New Mexico out-shot UW 10-1 and scored the game's only goal in the first half.
At halftime the Huskies sent a team manager to a sporting-goods store up the street to buy as many sneakers as the store had. The guy returned to pass out the flat shoes for the second half, in which the transformed Huskies controlled play while literally on equal footing with New Mexico. But UW never got the equalizing goal and their season ended one game short of the national semifinals.
Not saying an NFL stadium won't have a better-prepared field than a college soccer pitch. But it's worth thinking about for Sunday.
Russell Wilson sure is.
Of course there's an anecdote for snow, a frozen field, sneakers and whatever else awaits Seattle in Kansas City this weekend: the Seahawks continuing to run the ball.
--The video above shows Wilson answering a question for what's been up with his passing the last three games -- his first three-consecutive game streak with passer rating below 80 -- this way: "My accuracy's been off, for whatever reason. But I keep believing in myself. I'm not going to doubt myself. I've played a lot of great football, at times."