ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- As a historic lake-effect snowstorm slams western New York, over 6 feet of snow (and counting) has already fallen as of Saturday morning at Buffalo's Highmark Stadium -- what was supposed to be the site of Sunday's Bills home game against Cleveland.
Instead, the NFL has moved the game to Detroit and judging by photos taken at the snow-covered stadium Friday morning, it appears that was a sound decision. Not only would clearing all that snow off the field and stands take a while but what do you do with all that snow?
"Build an epic snowman!" you're thinking? Intriguing.
But bring a ladder or a crane. You're going to need it.
Math professor Anna Szczepanek has a tool she created called the Snowman Calculator that can calculate just how large of a snowman you can build with all that snow that just fell.
A spotter at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park reported a staggering and likely record-shattering snow total of 77 inches as of Saturday morning – 6.5 feet! (Or as Bills fans would note, the same height as their quarterback Josh Allen!) If the snow measurements are verified, the event would obliterate the New York records for 24-hour and 36-hour snowfall.
If we only clear off the playable surface of the football field – 120 yards long, including the end zones and 53.3 yards wide, we get a playing surface of 6,400 square yards.
According to Szczepanek's calculator, if you want to build a traditional 3-ball snowman with a base, middle and head in a 3:2:1 ratio, and you assume fresh snow, and you can use all of the 6.5 feet of snow on the ground, you could create one massive snowman. It would end up over 80 feet tall! (82 feet, 7 inches to be exact).
For reference of how big that would be, check out this snowman built earlier this year in Wisconsin:
That one is a paltry 40 feet tall – only half the size! (Or you could make two of these).
Our Bills snowman could have a base with a 41-foot diameter – meaning it could stretch across the depth of the 30-foot end zone and then some – with a stomach 28 feet across and a head that would be 14 feet in diameter.
Once it's there, though, it's not budging. Szczepanek calculates the snowman would weigh nearly 1.4 million pounds when complete – the head alone checking in at over 38,000 pounds.
The advantage is then you'd have a massive season-long tribute to Bills Mafia and the epic snowstorm for the rest of the season. The bad news is, the endzone would be rather crowded for quarterback Josh Allen to find his targets.