April 22, 2024

Tua Tagovailoa, a native of Hawaii who attended Alabama before transferring to Miami, has spent much of his football career under bright skies with warm, if not blistering, temperatures.

That is not expected to be the case on Saturday.

Tagovailoa and the warm-blooded Dolphins will square off against the Kansas City Chiefs, the defending Super Bowl winners and residents of a Missouri home that will most likely be in the single digits at kickoff.

The Pro Bowler will be experiencing something very fresh.

“I think maybe 20 [degrees]?” Tagovailoa spoke about the coldest weather he’s ever experienced in a team transcript on Wednesday. “How about a little lower than 20?” Nothing lower than 15, in my opinion. So probably somewhere in the middle.”

As a result, as Tagovailoa seeks his first NFL postseason victory on Saturday, he’ll be dealing with elements that are unfamiliar to him. Nonetheless, Tagovailoa understands he’ll have to warm up in some way, so pregame will be as crucial as ever, based on what he remembers from a high school all-star game in Seattle, which was played in the aforementioned 15-20 degree temperatures.

“I think it’s just a feel of how everything is, what the ball feels like, what throwing feels like, what holding the ball feels like, if there’s wind, if there’s not wind, you have to take all those things into consideration,” he told reporters. “But we’ll go there, we’ll test it out and we’ll see what we have to do as far as adjusting or not.”

 

2024 NFL playoffs: Tua Tagovailoa's stats in cold weather underline why  temperature may decide Dolphins-Chiefs - CBSSports.com

 

As seen on an episode of Hard Knocks In Season: The Miami Dolphins, Tagovailoa and his QB roommates received Isotoner gloves as a Christmas present from Dan Marino, the team’s special advisor to the vice chairman, president, and CEO, as well as a former Isotoner pitchman and one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.

Tagovailoa stated that he is unlikely to bring Christmas gifts to Kansas City.

“Probably no Isotoner gloves, but I’m going to see what we can wear for the game,” that’s what he stated. “You can’t prepare for a game like that with that kind of weather, so it’ll be new.”

Tagovailoa is unlikely to wear gloves, which is an essential issue for any quarterback who must balance playing comfortably in the weather with correctly handling the ball.

“I’ll just see what it feels like without gloves,” he told me. “I just think the whole thing is a mindset.”

The weather isn’t the only thing that makes Saturday special for Tagovailoa.

The Dolphins are back in the playoffs for the second year in a row, although their primary quarterback was injured and missed last year’s game. Tagovailoa, who played in huge games at Alabama, will make his NFL postseason debut.

“There’s a lot of new guys on this team and I think it’s a different team,” he told reporters. “I believe a lot of the men want to do it right. It just stinks when we can’t finish the work we put in. But, as we see it, it’s a new season. We can still go to where we want to go after this week since it is a new season and a new opportunity. But, for me, there’s not much I can say from missing it last year to missing it today. So that was the end of it.”

The chilly temps have grabbed attention in a game packed with storylines — Tyreek Hill’s return to Arrowhead Stadium, Tagovailoa’s postseason debut, the Chiefs’ Super Bowl defense, etc.

Andy Reid, the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, does not believe his side has a homefield advantage, if only because it is a football game, not a “snowball fight.”

Still, the Polynesian Tagovailoa will be in a different environment.

“I don’t think I could compare this to anything because it’s all new,” she remarked. “Everything is new.” This is not the same emotion as in the national championship game. It had a different vibe than the SEC Championship game. I believe they all stem from new feelings. But I deal with that by going about my business as usual, taking care of my job and trusting that my teammates would do the same with theirs.”

 

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