At the Game: Staying Warm on the Sidelines

Sideline warmth technology is vastly more advanced than I ever would’ve guessed. As I often leave the house without a coat, I’m still shocked by basic warming things such as “mittens” or “a hat”. Disposable hand-warmers and the hand sleeves that the quarterbacks wear seem like futuristic, space-age stuff to me. (Chris Cooley was telling me that he actually had to get rid of his hand-warmer last night, because the Cowboys were making a conscious effort to tackle him by it.)

So I was pretty much completely blown away by the heated bench on the sidelines, even though it is, as Cooley notes, “just a propane heater blowing air into a hollow bench.” Here’s how it goes.

The propane kerosene (thanks to commenter Thomas for the correction) heater gets extremely hot.

benchheater01


It blows the air into a duct that distributes it both ways, into both sections of the bench.

benchheater01a

This not only heats the seat of the bench, but provides jets of warm air out of slots for the hands, and also has recessed kickboard for warming your feet.

benchheater031

And does it work? “Oh yeah, it works,” Cooley says. “It’ll be freezing cold outside, so you can’t just stand out there, but the bench is so freaking hot you can’t sit on it without layering two or three towels down first.”

In some cities, sideline benches have helmet stands on them, funneling jets of warm air to keep the helmets warm, both for comfort and (relative) flexibility. According to the staffer on the sideline who was showing me the benches, the Redskins don’t have those because it doesn’t get quite that cold here, but Cooley has a different explanation.

“You don’t need those,” he says. “Just set your helmet on the ground anywhere near the bench and it stays completely warm.”

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7 Responses

  1. Wow. Thats really cool. We were at that game last night, and lets just say it would have been nice to have a bench warmer up where we were sitting.

    Great Job Matt. And though we lost the game, it was a great game to attend. I enjoyed myself!

    Hail to the Skins.

  2. I guess that is why the cowboys bust our assess, they were so warm and cuddly

  3. I don’t think that DC deserves primetime games. All the diva’s come out just because it’s the place to be. Not Redskins Fan’s but Divas. I saw people in the club level sleeping after halftime. I think the majority of our loyal fanbase disappeared when Coach Gibbs left. Mr. Snyder….if you ever build a new stadium in DC, cap it off at 70,000 so that we can fill the stadium with real fans.

  4. Not to pick too much, but I do not see where that is a propane heater. That looks like a Kerosene based “reddy” heater. Reddy heater makes a propane based one, but that one clearly has a tank at the bottom (and I do not see any other lines leading out to a propane tank or a location where a propane tank could be stored internally :) )

  5. After further research, you are correct. Well spotted.

  6. Thats actually something I’ve always wondered about. Thanks for sharing this.

  7. What about the fans staying warm as well? Check out the heated jackets from http://www.activheat.com.

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