Welcome to Gillette for a Patriots-Ravens AFC Championship!

Welcome to Gillette for a Patriots-Ravens AFC Championship!
January 20, 2013, 9:34 pm
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FOXBORO -- The buildup inside any stadium on game day is always a slow one. It's no different during the playoffs. 
Players start trickling out of the locker room and onto the field a few hours before kickoff. Today, the Patriots and Ravens are starting to warm up for the AFC Championship game at Gillette. Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco is outside, testing the ball's flight on routes of various distances. Wind is a concern for game time as the National Weather Service has issued an official advisory.Westerly winds of 10 to 20 miles per hour with gusts of up to 45 miles per hour. 
Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski and long snapper Danny Aiken are also out early, likely to see how the ball is traveling. But before getting to work, the pair met Baltimore's three specialists at the south goal's 45-yard line for a lengthy powwow. Gostkowski and Ravens long snapper Morgan Cox became friends after rehabbing injuries together before the 2011 season. 
It doesn't appear to be frigid just yet as a few players have taken to the turf in shorts. The current 40-degree temperature is expected to be cut down by half before this game is over; most guys are wearing hats and gloves as they go through their pregame paces. One might give the weather advantage to New England. Playing well in the snow doesn't mean all Patriots are impervious, however. 
To quote one player, just inside the locker room after practice earlier this week: "It is expletive cold out there, man! WOO!" 
There are some heavy hitters staying warm inside Gillette today -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell being an obvious one. Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome, Assistant GM Eric DeCosta, and VP of Football Administration Pat Moriarty also made an appearance in the press box. 
Other than a few VIP sightings and a cramped press box, it feels like any other game week. Don't be fooled, though -- either Baltimore or New England is heading to Super Bowl XLVII and this place will be electric. 
Just wait until the fans get in.