The benches can reach a temperature that is 90 degrees warmer than the air; each club gets to decide how hot it wants to make them, the league said. The seats generate heat in the area surrounding the benches, so even standing nearby can help fight the freeze.
There also will be “heated torpedo fans” on each sideline.
Football uniforms have short sleeves, and only one of the 15 players interviewed for this story, Seattle defensive end Cliff Avril, said he would even consider wearing long sleeves underneath to provide some protection Sunday.
“I’m a 315-pound man. The weather doesn’t bother me,” Broncos defensive tackle Sylvester Williams said, by way of explaining why he’d never go for the long-sleeved look.
Instead, players did offer up various other options for finding warmth.
The remedies range from commonsense solutions for when the temperature plunges, such as wearing extra-thick jackets or gloves on the sideline, to more far-flung options such as spraying anti-perspirant on feet to keep them dry and prevent sweat from freezing. Even more far-flung: Seattle’s Harwell said he’s heard of players putting cayenne pepper and baby powder on their feet.
Many players said they will use some combination of Vaseline and a product called Warm Skin, described on the company’s website as “a unique barrier cream that soothes and protects your skin,” to seal up pores and act as insulation.
“At first, I didn’t think it would work, but I was surprised that it really protected me from the elements, especially from the wind and everything. I felt good. I felt warm,” said Denver defensive tackle Sione Fua, who sported a thick gray hoodie under his orange jersey at his team’s interview session Wednesday, when the high was 25. “It rubs in pretty good so it’s not like your skin’s slick. The referees check for that, anyway. So if you’re too slick, they tell you to wipe down.”