Effects on the body, and how cold(er) weather is preferred
If there’s anything the cold does to a football game, it just makes it harder to stand on the sideline. Games that aren’t on the end of the Fahrenheit scale are perfect for temperature regulation for football players.
Take this graph here, which is a research article done by Forbes.com and the National Weather Service (NWS), which shows where the best college football weather is played. Yes, it is College football, but the weather doesn’t change too much from Saturday to Sunday (unless it does-weather is random).
There was a poll done by the author of the article, Brian Brettschneider. Brettscheinder has a Ph.D. in Climatology. In this Twitter poll, the participants chose their ideal “football weather”. Temperatures below 50 degrees were in second place by one percent. The category that came in first was temperatures between 50-70 degrees. This entire poll only had 120 voters, but the results speak for themselves.
The southern states rate so low because of heat and humidity and depending upon how hot and or humid it really gets, the more it affects the brain of athletes. Take this following quote from HumanKinetics.com:
"Recently, a theory has been developed related to the brain’s role as the central governor of the body. Elevation of core and brain temperature could be responsible for preventing the body from working harder or longer in hot conditions."
The human body is always going to want to return to normal (homeostasis). Especially in hot weather, there are the main ways of cooling through sweating. We know that in cold weather, the body reduces bloodflow from the external parts of the body and directs it more towards the heart and vital organs. Hydration is still important, no matter what the temperature is. From later on in that same blog post from HumanKinetics.com:
"Athletes should focus on fueling strategies to improve thermoregulation and potentially affect mechanisms in the brain related to fatigue. Maintaining fluid balance and plasma volume during exercise are most vital for athletes. This is accomplished through proper fluid and electrolyte intake. American football players restricted in thermoregulation because of the equipment (helmets, shoulder pads, etc.) they wear have been found to lose over 2 L (2 qt) of fluids/hour during practices in hot environments… …When fluids are consumed, not 100% of intake is absorbed; therefore, it is recommended that athletes consume roughly 125% of losses. Both carbohydrates and electrolytes affect the absorption of fluid. Both assist in optimal absorption, and both can be obtained from food sources or from the beverage itself."
So maybe it’s not the actual on-field skill that leads to “warm weather” teams like the Arizona Cardinals losing games late in the season when it’s a cold-weather game. Maybe it is a fueling choice, along with the weather’s external factors (snow, wind chill, etc).