What the Miami Dolphins say about frigid New Jersey: ‘Let it snow!’

Commuters walk past a steam pipe in the cold in New York, Dec. 15, 2016. Winter’s freeze in New York means some among the homeless seek warmth inside shelters, while others decide to stay the night inside Penn Station. (Christian Hansen/The New York Times)

Note how cold this person in New York City was Friday. Not ideal. Even for NFL football players from sun-splashed Miami. (Christian Hansen/The New York Times)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Up to four inches of snow fell near MetLife Stadium overnight and there was snow, sleet and frozen rain expected into Saturday afternoon.

Air temperature should be around 37 degrees at kickoff (it could feel like 32 degrees with South-Southwest winds) for the important Dolphins at Jets game at 8:25 tonight.

Even if the snow, as expected, stops before the game starts, bitter cold has historically been bad news for the Fins.

“I hope it snows!” Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso said this week.

“Snow, cold and rain?” Dolphins defensive back Byron Maxwell said this week. “Advantage defense!”

Alonso, who has played at the University of Oregon, Buffalo and Philadelphia, said he’s never played in a snow game. Despite a balky hamstring and broken thumb, he was pulling for it.

Maxwell, who has played for Philadelphia and Seattle, hasn’t played in a snow game, either.

“Just lots of rain,” Maxwell said.

As of now, temperatures are expected to be similar for Miami’s game at Buffalo next Saturday, Christmas Eve day.

But it’s Buffalo, so who knows.

The Dolphins are 4-6 in (all road games, go figure) contests where the temperature is 25 degrees or less.

No worries for defensive end Andre Branch, who tweeted Saturday morning, “Let the snow fall.”

Miami has played in only two games since 1992 where it was that cold (38-21 loss at Buffalo in 2002 and 28-26 win at New England in 2006.)

Why weren’t these games played in September or October?

Anyway, the Dolphins have been saying they are psychologically prepared for this.

Yes, psychologically prepared.

After all, here are the upcoming highs in Miami Gardens: 82, 84, 84, 82, 81, 82 (you get it… paradise.)

“Oh yeah, especially having played down here all year,” said Dolphins tight end MarQuies Gray, a former Buffalo Bill. “Those last few games are in the cold and you’ve been used to being in the heat. It’s one of those things you have to get ready for because you’re going to have to play in it. So whether it’s wearing sleeves or getting your mind right, getting grease on your arms or some guys have long sleeves, you’ve got to get ready for it.”

Will the Dolphins have heaters on the sideline at MetLife Stadium?

“I hope we have the heaters,” Gray said. “And some pouches with some hot packs.”

Dolphins safety Michael Thomas is not downplaying his mental preparations.

“Personally I’ve been spoiled,” Thomas said. “I grew up in Houston. Played in California. Came to Florida. So it affects you mentally, if you’re not used to it. If you’re not used to living in that weather, playing in that weather. So it affects you. You’ve got to be prepared and get the job done.”

Miami head coach Adam Gase, as head coaches do, is approaching all this from an analytical perspective.

“The one thing that we’ve talked about at least – as far as our strength staff and sport science and nutrition – is you get a little lackadaisical as far as your hydration, nutrition, things like that, thinking you’re going to colder weather (and) it’s not important,” Gase said. “But we’ve made a big emphasis that even though we’re not playing in the heat, it is important still as far as what you need to do to get ready for the game.”

Sports journalists and fans must stay properly hydrated, as well.

“Some people like cold,” Dolphins safety Walt Aikens said. “To me it doesn’t make a difference. We just have to go out there and play. You feel it of course. It affects the fans more.”

Miami linebacker Neville Hewitt said he was prepared for this in college.

“I lived in negative six degrees at Marshall, for like a week,” Hewitt said. “Last time I played in a cold game I wore Vaseline (on my arms). It will keep you warm. I don’t know. I guess when I warm up I’ll see how I feel. Usually after a while you run around it isn’t too bad.”

If there is rain or sleet tonight, Gase said the Dolphins have an advantage becasue they had “a little wet ball ordeal” during the home game last week against Arizona.

Gase says any player can put the frigid temperatures aside for three and a half or four hours.

“It’s really not as bad as what you would think,” Gase said.

Winter wonderland, arctic freeze or not, the Dolphins’ approach has been bring it on.

“Man, it’s no big deal,” Maxwell said.

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