The Jaguars’ home opener is a rematch of the AFC Championship, and the kickoff temperature for that one was a balmy 48 degrees. But that was at Foxboro. This is Jacksonville, a.k.a. Satan’s armpit, and temperature at kickoff is 97 degrees—with the humidity making it feel more like 107. It is the hottest NFL game since 2003.
It’s a 4:25 start, which means it won’t be quite as brutal as an early kickoff would have been. And it is rough out there right now:
It is most certainly not a dry heat:
Wet-bulb temperature is exactly what it sounds like: temperature measured by a thermometer with a damp cloth wrapped around its bulb. What it measures, functionally, is the lowest temperature that can be reached by the evaporation of water. When it’s as high as 80, that means the humidity is so high that the evaporation cooling obtained by sweating isn’t all that helpful.
These are potentially dangerous temperatures for football, so keep an eye out for cramping and for stamina issues. For whatever it’s worth, Tom Brady has only started one game in his career where the game-time temperature was above 90, way back in 2005 against the Panthers. The Patriots lost, and Brady had a mediocre game.
In these hot games, warm-weather teams, with the first choice of uniforms, usually pick to wear their road whites at home. That would force the Patriots to wear their darker, navy blue jerseys, which absorb more sunlight and would presumably make them hotter. For whatever reason, the Jaguars aren’t doing this.