Several Tiger-Cats emerged from their first Grey Cup practice with frostbite from frigid Mosaic Stadium.
But Paul Osbaldiston, Hamilton’s assistant special teams and kicking coach, said the team still relished the championship game workout.
“I loved playing in the snow,” the former long-time Hamilton kicker said Thursday at a media breakfast. “I saw it as something different and fun and a challenge. Our guys had a great time out there (Wednesday). We ended up with a couple of frostbite situations. But the guys didn’t complain, they practised hard.
“I remember in Winnipeg in ‘98, it was even colder than this. You just get through it. The game makes it all worthwhile.”
Osbaldiston said the frostbite was nothing serious “but it tells you how cold it is.”
Wednesday’s temperature was listed at minus-16 but it felt like minus-28. It was even chillier Thursday morning at minus-21, which felt like minus-31.
Both teams were slated to hold closed practices Thursday at Mosaic Stadium. Saskatchewan practised indoors Wednesday in Moose Jaw, and Hamilton will take advantage of that option for Friday’s practice.
The forecast is improved for game-day Sunday with a daytime high of zero, feeling like minus-five. Kickoff is 5:30 p.m. local time.
Hamilton offensive lineman Peter Dyakowski admitted he had erred in his choice of dress Wednesday. Not liking to wear sweatpants over his knee braces, he opted for shorts with some heating ointment on his knees.
“I quickly realized that I’ve made a terrible mistake,” he said. “It’s much colder than I thought and I’m wearing shorts.”
Dyakowski took advantage of a break in practice to return to the dressing room and put on sweatpants.
“I capitulated,” he said.
“By the end of practice, I was really good to go,” he added.
There were warm-air heaters on the sideline and most players bundled up. Still there was frost on helmet visors. And one Tiger-Cat assistant coach’s playbook binder shattered in the cold, according to the Hamilton Spectator.
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