GREEN BAY -- For 16 winters, he has been the ultimate cold-weather warrior. We've seen image after image of the pink-faced Brett Favre working his magic in the middle of a snowstorm. We've seen him rub his raw-looking hands together, reach for the snap and then deliver it through a strong Wisconsin wind like he was playing catch on a beach somewhere.

Yet, as he faces what will be one of the coldest and most important games of his Hall of Fame career, Favre let the media in on a little secret yesterday: He doesn't particularly like the cold.

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"I don't know if you ever get used to it," said Favre at Lambeau Field, where his team is preparing to face the Giants in Sunday's NFC Championship Game.

With temperatures expected to hover around near zero at game time, many believe that Favre and his Packer team will have a significant advantage over the Giants, who play in the slightly balmier climate of the Meadowlands. And a big reason why is Favre, who has a 43-5 record in games where the temperature has been 34 degrees or below.

That's a strange sort of accomplishment for a quarterback who was born in Gulfport, Miss. Favre is quick to say he never expected to be cast as a cold-weather specialist.

"I don't know if I've played that outstanding in bad weather. I guess better than the next guy," Favre said. "But somebody has to do it ... I enjoy doing it."

Favre vividly remembers his first really cold game -- a 28-0 victory over the Raiders on Dec. 26, 1993 with a wind chill of minus- 22 degrees. It was his second year in Green Bay, and he still hadn't gotten used to life at Lambeau.

"I don't want to say it was unbearable," Favre said. "But it was as close to unbearable as it could possibly be."

Not every frigid game has been a winner. The Packers' most disappointing loss of the season, 35-7 to the Bears, was played in a minus-17 degree wind chill in Chicago. Favre passed for just 9 yards in the first half and had two interceptions.

That game aside, Favre has been able to excel in nasty weather. And that's because he has learned a thing or two about adapting to sub-zero conditions.

"Everything you do has to be thought about," Favre said. "You just can't come back and hand off. You can't just toss the ball without thinking about it. You just can't drop back and make a throw. You can't make a little lob. It's so windy and cold."

Yet, for the Green Bay receivers, it seems a little less windy and cold when they are playing with an experienced quarterback such as Favre.

"It's just the fact that you're going into a game with someone who has been in this situation before, who's won in this situation before," Greg Jennings said. "When he steps in that huddle, he knows what we're capable of doing."

The Giants have a less experienced quarterback, though one whose steady play in the postseason has been a key to getting to the championship game. Favre said he has followed fellow Southerner Eli Manning's career closely, and he said he thought both of them were capable of playing well under adverse conditions.

Said Favre: "For those three hours, you have to be better than the next guy. And I think in games like that, it does come down to this mental discipline. Yeah, balls will move, things will happen that ordinarily would not happen. But it's the team and the players who make the least amount of mistakes that will handle it best."

Record pace

Brett Favre has established many Green Bay franchise passing records, but he also is the NFL's all-time leader in these categories:

442 -- TD passes

61,655 -- Passing yards

8,758 -- Pass attempts

5,377 -- Pass completions

288 -- Interceptions

63 -- Games throwing at least three TDs

-- Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune

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