PDA

View Full Version : Note to Mr. Rooney and/or whoever runs Heinz field...


Edman
11-26-2007, 07:43 PM
-Stop holding WPIAL championships here.
-Make the Pitt Panthers build a new stadium for themselves as soon as possible.
-Get new turf as soon as possible.

This stadium holds 64 thousand people. Stop renting out the stadium to HS teams that only gather at least a thousand people in attendance. Maybe then the field wouldn't look like crap when the Steelers play.

It also doesn't help that the turf stinks. I beg of you. Get new turf next year. Please?

Thanks.

Jeremy
11-26-2007, 07:49 PM
-Stop holding WPIAL championships here.
-Make the Pitt Panthers build a new stadium for themselves as soon as possible.
-Get new turf as soon as possible.

This stadium holds 64 thousand people. Stop renting out the stadium to HS teams that only gather at least a thousand people in attendance. Maybe then the field wouldn't look like crap when the Steelers play.

It also doesn't help that the turf stinks. I beg of you. Get new turf next year. Please?

Thanks.

Heinz Field is part of the football culture in Western Pa. I don't want them to stop playing the WPIAL games there. I want them to get better turf so they can play those games there.

Atlanta Dan
11-26-2007, 07:53 PM
-Stop holding WPIAL championships here.
-Make the Pitt Panthers build a new stadium for themselves as soon as possible.
-Get new turf as soon as possible.

This stadium holds 64 thousand people. Stop renting out the stadium to HS teams that only gather at least a thousand people in attendance. Maybe then the field wouldn't look like crap when the Steelers play.

It also doesn't help that the turf stinks. I beg of you. Get new turf next year. Please?

Thanks.

The taxpayers paid for the stadium - Pitt playing there is what helped roll the stadium deal through the PA Legislature

WPIAL games are part of western PA and if the taxpayers paid for the stadium their kids are damn well entitled to use it one Friday a year.

Not meaning to bark at you (I enjoy your posts :thumbsup:) but the field situation has pissed me off for years and it just keeps getting worse

NM

nojobny
11-26-2007, 08:18 PM
Well perhaps after watching this slop TPTB will do something during the off season.

Borski
11-26-2007, 08:32 PM
Well perhaps after watching this slop TPTB will do something during the off season.

maybe I am having a brain fart, but....TPTB?

Atlanta Dan
11-26-2007, 09:05 PM
maybe I am having a brain fart, but....TPTB?

The Powers That Be? (aka Goodell)

lilyoder6
11-26-2007, 09:28 PM
yea... it's the final game of the yr for HS... i think one day doesn't hurt it... the field would of been fine if it didn't rain

nojobny
11-26-2007, 09:45 PM
The Powers That Be? (aka Goodell)

yes

Preacher
11-26-2007, 09:48 PM
After watching the game tonight...

I gotta wonder if the Rooney's will be contacted by the league about the grass.

MACH1
11-26-2007, 10:34 PM
I would hope so. Not only is it embarrassing, teams might refuse to play on such a crap field.

Mosca
11-26-2007, 10:35 PM
I was wondering the same thing out loud to my dad, Preach. That was a disgrace.

X-Terminator
11-26-2007, 10:37 PM
Not much you can do about that when the field re-sodding was completed less than 24 hours before kickoff, and about 15 straight hours of off-and-on and sometimes heavy rainfall on top of it.

No phone calls from the league. Yet.

jjpro11
11-26-2007, 10:40 PM
at least nobody got injured from it. chatman and williams were hurt from hits.

SteelDogFan
11-26-2007, 10:41 PM
I hope it does not come to that. The Steelers should take on themselves to fix the field. There are so many teams playing at the field. They have to go to the new artificial turf grass. The field has always been kind of messy because there are so many games played on it.

OX1947
11-26-2007, 10:43 PM
It would be fine if it were a couple of games from U Pitt and the Steelers but if you are having 7 games on the field, c'mon, gonna go with the fake grass. The sod was a problem even before this, gotta either stop having the high school games there or go with the fake stuff.

X-Terminator
11-26-2007, 10:45 PM
The field would have been fine had it not rained. What do you expect the league and the Rooneys to do, call Mother Nature on her cell phone and beg her to not make it rain? There was NOTHING that could have been done to get that field in better shape in the time frame they had and the weather conditions they were dealt.

Infamix
11-26-2007, 10:45 PM
Wow, another very weird thread merge.

X-Terminator
11-26-2007, 10:50 PM
Wow, another very weird thread merge.

No, it isn't. All of the posts have to do with the field conditions, so that's why they were merged.

What's wrong with keeping this forum from being cluttered with duplicate threads?

Borski
11-26-2007, 10:52 PM
Edit: nevermind

BozMan
11-26-2007, 11:27 PM
This game being aired on national TV ought to compound the shame the Steelers should have over presenting this pathetic joke of a field for NFL play. Hopefully this will finally get the Rooneys to change their stubborn ways and switch to field turf.

stillers4me
11-26-2007, 11:31 PM
I hate to think of a playoff game being played on that mess.

Petesburgh66
11-26-2007, 11:33 PM
The field has always been a problem. But who is the dumbass that decided to place new sod 48 hours before a game. This should have been done on a week the team was out of town.

Steelers
11-26-2007, 11:40 PM
I would love an on-campus stadium for Pitt, but there's no room in Oakland. Who knows though? They keep acquiring land.

klick81
11-27-2007, 12:06 AM
The taxpayers paid for the stadium - Pitt playing there is what helped roll the stadium deal through the PA Legislature

WPIAL games are part of western PA and if the taxpayers paid for the stadium their kids are damn well entitled to use it one Friday a year.

Not meaning to bark at you (I enjoy your posts :thumbsup:) but the field situation has pissed me off for years and it just keeps getting worse

NM

Couldn't have said it better myself :thumbsup:. With all the great technology out there, I'm sure the Rooneys can find a viable solution.

RoethlisBURGHer
11-27-2007, 12:16 AM
The NFL forced the Patriots to change to Field Turf, maybe they will force the Steelers to do the same.

Preacher
11-27-2007, 01:04 AM
The field has always been a problem. But who is the dumbass that decided to place new sod 48 hours before a game. This should have been done on a week the team was out of town.

It was put there after the last five games over the weekend because the field was torn up. If it was done a week and a half ago.... then the field would have been torn up before the game, and would have been even more horrible tonight.

OneForTheToe
11-27-2007, 02:27 AM
As was said, if it wouldn't have rained the field would have been fine - a bit slippery maybe, but fine. I am warming up to field turf. I am just worried about regretting putting in the field turf the first time one of our players rips an ACL or MSL. Even on a muddy mess like this you don't usually see those types of injuries.

I don't think the NFL will publically rebuke the Rooneys over the field at this point , because they were trying to make things better. 2 inches of rain is pretty tough on any natural surface. Maybe more of a private phone call or visit, unless the Bengals make a public issue out of it.

So, what do you do for Sunday Night? Rip up this surface and put in another one. Or, rip up the surface and play on the painted ground. I don't see patching this surface as an option.

I am absolutely in favor of letting the WPIAL continue to use the field. And I will hold that position even if every blade of grass is gone from that surface for the reason Atlanta Dan stated.

TroysBadDawg
11-27-2007, 02:38 AM
err both team had to play on it so that is no excuse. but scoring only 1 field goal against a winless team is well how do I say, sounds like the 2nd place team of old???

fansince'76
11-27-2007, 02:41 AM
err both team had to play on it so that is no excuse. but scoring only 1 field goal against a winless team is well how do I say, sounds like the 2nd place team of old???

A win is a win is a win. Kinda like a lucky bounce a certain second place team got off the crossbar to send a recent game into OT which they eventually won?

memphissteelergirl
11-27-2007, 08:23 AM
I would hope so. Not only is it embarrassing, teams might refuse to play on such a crap field.

Frankly, I think they should have refused last night. Somebody could have had a season (or career!)-ending injury out there last night. It was disgusting!

I have nothing but love and respect for the Rooney family, but there was absolutely no excuse for that last night. Come on Art and Dan, do the right thing....do something about that field before some player-be from the Steelers, Pitt, or heaven forbid some HS kid-gets seriously hurt.

Atlanta Dan
11-27-2007, 09:05 AM
The NFL forced the Patriots to change to Field Turf, maybe they will force the Steelers to do the same.

I had always understood the league told the Pats to go to Field Turf, but according to today's P-G the decision to switch was made by the Pats and, with typical Pats arrogance, the switch was made without obtaining the requirement the league approve any mid-season field replacement.

Teams wanting to change their playing surface in the middle of the season must get approval from the league office. The New England Patriots did not do that last season, when they installed Field Turf late in the season, but the league office did nothing to stop them.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07331/837057-13.stm

After last night's fiasco the Rooneys are out of excuses for not going to FieldTurf.
The resodded field may be shot for the rest of the season.

Cordlisberger
11-27-2007, 11:49 AM
Ok this is my first post on here so bear with me.. First Natural Grass is true "Old School" football which is 90% of what we stand for and second the situation in last nights game was purley happenstance, they resodded as planned and it rained (not planned) you can't predict weather you can only guess (the weatherman probably said 20% chance of rain like they do everyday) I am not saying last night was not embarrising but both teams played the same game on the same field and had the same outcome Steelers Win 3-0 or 35-0 they win and are 8-3 with no doubt field conditions will improve by sunday.

fansince'76
11-27-2007, 11:50 AM
Ok this is my first post on here so bear with me.

Welcome to the board! :cheers:

TackleMeBen
11-27-2007, 11:54 AM
i love to see football played on real grass... i hate watching football being played in domes... but last night's field was terrible. and no you cant determine what the weather will be. i am sure they will have the field ready for sunday's night game against the bengals

blitzenburgh
11-27-2007, 11:59 AM
This is my 1st post and I am glad to be here. I've been watching the several ESPN's and even NFL Network today and everybody seems to be negative towards the field condition for last nights game. My question is, why is this not the case when there is a couple inches of snow on a field? I feel the conditions in both instances are fairly similar. Instead of sinking into the grass when it rains as was the case last night, you sink into a the snow which also slows you down, hard to get proper traction and could pose problems similar to last night. In fact if you factor in the cold /wind chill when it does snow, you have another wheather issue to also try to overcome. Where as last night, the rain did stop and was off and on however it really was not too windy. I just hate all the negatives the reporters point out about Heinz Field however you do not see these same points when a game is played on a snowy/icey field. Just my 2 cents because thats all ESPN keeps saying is our turf people could of costed us the game last night however mother nature could of done us in and probably would not even mentioned about the new sod if it did not rain.

alittlejazzbird
11-27-2007, 11:59 AM
The field conditions have definitely attracted national attention. If you can wade through Celizic's usual field of cliches, he echoes what most of us already think.
************************************************** **********
Steelers, Dolphins forced to play on horrible, 'ugly' Heinz Field
By Mike Celizic

There is no excuse ? none ? for the conditions the Pittsburgh Steelers provided for their game Monday Night against the Miami Dolphins. It was a travesty of football and an insult to the NFL, the players, the fans, and anyone who turned on a television in the hopes of enjoying Monday Night Football.

It was a disgrace.

The announcers kept talking about old-school football and summoning the names of the Chicago Staleys and Canton Bulldogs from the earliest days of the league, but that was an insult to those teams and those times. I?ve seen old-school football in old Cleveland Stadium in the days before modern drainage and turf science. Those games were played in mud. This one was played in a bog.

?It was ugly,? Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said of his team?s 3-0 win over Miami, but that was an injustice to the concept of ugly. This game was to ugly what a can of Spaghetti-O?s is to dinner at Rao?s in New York. It was beyond ugly, beyond hideous, beyond unwatchable. Anyone who voluntarily sat through Monday night?s game without a rooting interest has a threshold of boredom that?s off the charts.

Roethlisberger said the field was the worst he?s ever played on and called it ?ridiculous.? And this was his home field he was talking about.

Give the man credit for honesty. It was and is ridiculous that in this day and age an NFL football team can not provide a fit field to play on.

This isn?t about bad weather or unforeseen calamity. The caretakers of Heinz Field knew exactly what was coming and they couldn?t cope with it. They had four high school games last Friday and a Pitt college game on Saturday, a schedule that left the field in tatters. With the Steelers due to play on Monday night and bad weather moving in, they didn?t replace the existing field; they laid new sod on top of it

Doing nothing at all would have been better. At least then the battered old field would have drained. We would have had bare spots and some mud, although not a lot. Modern fields are built on a sandy base on top of gravel and drainage beds that can suck up four inches of rain an hour or more. But lay two inches of sod on top of that and you have what we saw Monday night ? a field that even the Canton Bulldogs would have found to be unplayable.

Why the NFL allows such travesties is a mystery. The league fines players for an untucked shirt tail. It dictates the size of logos, tells players when they have to be available to the media, lays enormous fines on a coach caught cheating.

But it can?t demand that a team provide a playable field?

Nothing is more important to the game than the field. I can?t believe I even had to write that sentence, because it?s as obvious as a zit on a prom queen?s nose. But the NFL apparently doesn?t get it.

The league had to know what was going on in Pittsburgh with the field. It had to have the ability to save the Steelers from themselves and the game from the embarrassment of Monday night.

It?s not as if lousy field conditions are something new at Heinz Field, which has consistently had one of the worst fields in the league ever since it opened. This isn?t an ancient hulk of a stadium; it?s practically brand-new. There simply is no excuse for not being able to provide a decent field.

I applaud the Steelers for wanting to have a grass field. There aren?t that many of them around, and they remain the best of all surfaces. But other teams have had the same problems Pittsburgh has had with grass, most notably the Jets and Giants, who share a stadium in New Jersey.

Originally, Giants Stadium had an Astroturf field laid over asphalt, a surface that proved to be perhaps the worst ever invented. The stadium finally switched to grass, but that surface couldn't stand up to the Jets and Giants sharing the field along with high school championships and the occasional Army-Navy game. Summer rock concerts didn?t help, either.

The Jets and Giants and their landlords, the N.J. Sports and Exposition Authority, tried every technology possible to make grass work, including installing a modular field put together of hexagonal pallets that could be replaced as the surface wore out. It was an ingenious solution with just one tiny drawback ? it didn?t work.

Unwilling to continue providing the worst field in the league, the Jets and giants finally switched to FieldTurf, the most grass-like and player-friendly surface now in use. New England, unhappy with the condition f its grass field, also switched to FieldTurf.

I appreciate the Steelers? desire to play on grass, but it?s not working. And if the team won?t take steps to change to a field that remains playable ? we?re talking FieldTurf here ? then the league, which governs everything about the game, has to step in and order the change.

Otherwise, one day this is going to happen in the playoffs, and that?s not what anyone wants.

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21985084/

fansince'76
11-27-2007, 12:01 PM
This is my 1st post and I am glad to be here.

Welcome to the board! :cheers:

RoethlisBURGHer
11-27-2007, 12:02 PM
Heinz Field is not owned by the Steelers, it is owned by the City of Pittsburgh.

I would imagine that any change to the playing surface would have to be approved by the city, since they own the complex.

However, I am sure that if the Rooneys paid for all if it, the city wouldn't argue.

And in the longrun, it's cheaper than natural grass because it doesn't need cut, watered, or fertilized.

RoethlisBURGHer
11-27-2007, 12:06 PM
From the sounds of it, Mike Celizic thinks the Steelers made it rain like that.

alittlejazzbird
11-27-2007, 12:16 PM
From the sounds of it, Mike Celizic thinks the Steelers made it rain like that.

Like I've said in the past, IMO Celizic's writing leaves much to be desired. He does indeed seem to hold the Steelers responsible for the weather!

Earlier in the week when I first heard about the re-sodding on top of what's already there, the first words out of my mouth were "what if it rains?" I had a terrible feeling about the results, mostly I didn't believe the people who said that the pieces of sod were heavy enough that they wouldn't shift during play. Reed and Sepulveda both said that this is exactly what happened on that first field goal try.

I'm no landscaping expert, as I posted last week, but for crying out loud, shouldn't you consider every weather possibility, including heavy rains, before taking a chance on a nationally televised prime-time game? Anyone who lives there knows that Pittsburgh weather in late November is horrible, and literally anything is possible, including probably a Magnolia-like plague of frogs raining down. I know they have to do something long-term, but in my opinion the forethought involved in this decision was non-existent.

And all I could think last night was, what if Ben goes down with a season-ending injury as a result of these conditions?

83-Steelers-43
11-27-2007, 12:33 PM
Installing artificial turf an option, Steelers' Tomlin says
By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Mike Tomlin said the Steelers will keep their options open in regard to installing artificial turf at Heinz Field after the season.

But, Tomlin added, there is nothing the Steelers can do about the field this season and so it is not a major concern.

"I am not going to get caught up in or dwell on the condition of the field," the Steelers coach said today at his weekly news conference.

Tomlin got peppered with questions about the re-sodded field that turned into a mess Monday night because of heavy rain. The Steelers scored a late field goal to beat the Miami Dolphins, 3-0, but they never got anything going offensively in part because of how bad the footing on the beat-up field turned out to be.

"I don't dwell on things you can't control," Tomlin said on the condition of the field. "Your ability to deal with adversity defines you."

On the injury front, the Steelers may get strong safety Troy Polamalu (sprained knee) and wide receiver Santonio Holmes (sprained ankle) back for Sunday night's game against the Bengals at Heinz Field.

Tomlin said each will try to run tomorrow though they won't necessarily practice with the team.

"They're progressing well," Tomlin said. "I"m cautiously optimistic."

Left tackle Marvel Smith, who missed Monday night's game because of a bad back, won't practice tomorrow, Tomlin said.

But there is a chance he could play against the Bengals, Tomlin said.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_539951.html

GeneralRobinson
11-27-2007, 12:38 PM
Yes, it's an option. Of course, they could always choose the other option.

alittlejazzbird
11-27-2007, 12:38 PM
This is my 1st post and I am glad to be here. I've been watching the several ESPN's and even NFL Network today and everybody seems to be negative towards the field condition for last nights game. My question is, why is this not the case when there is a couple inches of snow on a field?

Welcome to the board, blitzenburgh! I think you're right in that snow and ice are definitely negative conditions, but I would have to say that last night's field was downright dangerous. See, the problem is that they put 25-foot sections of sod overtop of the existing field, which in dry conditions probably wouldn't have been a problem. But when the heavy rains came, the large volume of water couldn't drain through two layers of playing field, and as a result the sections of sod, which are not tied down like the bottom surface is, started to shift and become unstable. Not only were they battling ankle-deep water, they were battling chunks of shifting playing surface. Mud and snow cause problems for players, but usually even in snow and mud there is some traction possible (Bettis was great at running in the mud). They just never had a chance at any kind of secure footing last night.

Edman
11-27-2007, 12:42 PM
A win is a win is a win. Kinda like a lucky bounce a certain second place team got off the crossbar to send a recent game into OT which they eventually won?

Is it just me, or has Troy slowly turned trollish as of late?

Yes, it was not a pretty win in the slightest, but the last thing a Browns fan should talk about is luck. In and out field goal in Baltimore ring a bell?

Oh, and the Browns couldn't beat this "lucky" Steeler team.

#1LambertFan
11-27-2007, 01:02 PM
No snow is far different than a soggy field, or atleast one ths bad. Snow you can atleast get some sort of traction, and normally you can keep your cleats dry enough to run well in snow. I played football in Michigan and South Florida so i'd know.

Cordlisberger
11-27-2007, 01:24 PM
I don't think traction at any point was an issue I think getting your foot out of the divit you created when you cut was the issue I did not see anyone fall making a cut, a juke or a jive, the issue was picking you feet up with 10lbs of mud muck and water weighing them down... and lets consider the real issue here the O line... Ben has been sacked 30+ times this year 2nd to only Kitna and he was still getting sacked by big D linemen who couldent pick up there feet lets worry the Bigger issues the field wont be a concern next week where the o line will be....

Atlanta Dan
11-27-2007, 02:05 PM
I think the league office has finally seen enough

The NFL has assigned one of its officials to remain in Pittsburgh this week to help the Steelers prepare their playing surface for their next game, Sunday night against the Cincinnati Bengals.

"We are working closely with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the grounds crew at Heinz Field to prepare the field for Sunday's game," an NFL spokesman said in a statement today. "Our football operations department will be available to provide any and all necessary assistance as preparations continue for Sunday's game.''

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07331/837135-66.stm

Atlanta Dan
11-27-2007, 02:07 PM
Is it just me, or has Troy slowly turned trollish as of late?

Yes, it was not a pretty win in the slightest, but the last thing a Browns fan should talk about is luck. In and out field goal ring in Baltimore a bell?

Oh, and the Browns couldn't beat this "lucky" Steeler team.

I suppose your attitude can change when you have something meaningful to root for after Thanksgiving.

blitzenburgh
11-27-2007, 02:13 PM
I do not think that there is much of a difference between rain and snow that is why I made the point. Yes, it was dangerous as in any of what mother nature gives during a game. However many leave out that in a snowy game, the temp, wind chill/wind, and ice/sleet seem to be more of a factor than what it was like last night. I just feel the sports networks/reporters seem to bring out the negatives in this game but do not really have any when in snow...in fact they seem more excited to watch and broadcast the game. I would rather throw, catch and hold on to a wet muddy ball than a ball that is cold, wet, snowy and icey. Traction wise, mud falls off easier on cleats especially when the mudd gets wet like last night. Snow, you have to keep on using the spike on the sideline to get snow out. Sinking wise, I guess I can give a 50/50 on this one because, what would you rather do, sink in the sod or skate on ice/ sink in the snow. All in all, I think the broadcasters/reporters are over exploiting the field issue and do not realize in past NFL games how bad fields really were when mother nature stikes.

GeneralRobinson
11-27-2007, 02:19 PM
I think the league office has finally seen enough

The NFL has assigned one of its officials to remain in Pittsburgh this week to help the Steelers prepare their playing surface for their next game, Sunday night against the Cincinnati Bengals.

"We are working closely with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the grounds crew at Heinz Field to prepare the field for Sunday's game," an NFL spokesman said in a statement today. "Our football operations department will be available to provide any and all necessary assistance as preparations continue for Sunday's game.''

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07331/837135-66.stm

I'm not sure if you are suggesting that field turf will be installed against Cincinnati because it won't.

fansince'76
11-27-2007, 02:27 PM
Is it just me, or has Troy slowly turned trollish as of late?

Yes, it was not a pretty win in the slightest, but the last thing a Browns fan should talk about is luck. In and out field goal ring in Baltimore a bell?

Oh, and the Browns couldn't beat this "lucky" Steeler team.

I suppose your attitude can change when you have something meaningful to root for after Thanksgiving.

Be that as it may, it would still be a wise move for some folks to keep their lips zipped when it comes to badmouthing a team that has pretty much owned theirs over the course of this decade so far.

Atlanta Dan
11-27-2007, 02:43 PM
I'm not sure if you are suggesting that field turf will be installed against Cincinnati because it won't.

Of course I am not suggesting that.

What I am saying is that the league office is providing adult supervision to attempt to minimize the damage from a groundskeeping decision by the Steelers that turned into a 4 star disaster. I am further suggesting the league office has dispatched someone to figure out WTF happened and to discuss with the Steelers how these chronic late season problems with the field will be fixed permanently.

Are you still suggesting non-artificial turf is the answer at Heinz?:smile:

GeneralRobinson
11-27-2007, 02:51 PM
Are you still suggesting non-artificial turf is the answer at Heinz?:smile:

Ha ha...I would suggest NFL teams when covering their fields use tarps that don't leak:flap:

Atlanta Dan
11-27-2007, 03:01 PM
Ha ha...I would suggest NFL teams when covering their fields use tarps that don't leak:flap:

Steelers definitely have their issues with tarps. :cheers:


Old timers like myself remember the 1975 championship game at TRS with the Raiders was played on a sheet of ice because the tarp covering the field ripped (Oakland Al claimed it was intentional) and the condensation that had collected from blowers that were used to try and keep the field playable froze.

SteelCityMan786
11-27-2007, 03:10 PM
Steelers definitely have their issues with tarps. :cheers:


Old timers like myself remember the 1975 championship game at TRS with the Raiders was played on a sheet of ice because the tarp covering the field ripped (Oakland Al claimed it was intentional) and the condensation that had collected from blowers that were used to try and keep the field playable froze.

Maybe the NFL should allow tarps to be on the field if a lightning delay happens.

Stlrs4Life
11-27-2007, 03:14 PM
Rumor has it that they are putting in field turf next season.

TackleMeBen
11-27-2007, 03:17 PM
Steelers aim to dry out Heinz Field sod

The sod installed over the weekend that combined with a heavy rain Monday to turn Heinz Field into a quagmire will remain in place the rest of the season.

Steelers President Art Rooney II told the Post-Gazette today that workers will do everything they can to try to dry out the grass for their next game Sunday night against Cincinnati.

"We're going to continue to try to dry it out, which today's weather helps a lot," Rooney said, the sun shining in the background.

He said there's little rain forecast this week, other than possibly on Thursday, and "from that standpoint, weather conditions are in our favor."

"We'll try to dry it out. They'll roll it, aerate it, do all the things they need to do to get it in good shape for Sunday. I think by Sunday it will be in good shape.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07331/837135-66.stm

GeneralRobinson
11-27-2007, 03:22 PM
Rumor has it that they are putting in field turf next season.

It's been reported that they are looking at an artificial surface option for next year. However, it's also been reported that most of the players want to keep the natural surface and club ownership prefers grass due to player health concerns.

Atlanta Dan
11-27-2007, 03:26 PM
It's been reported that they are looking at an artificial surface option for next year. However, it's also been reported that most of the players want to keep the natural surface and club ownership prefers grass due to player health concerns.

Read a quote from Hines this morning that he prefers grass, which was the preference of most players in the NFLPA survey you helpfully linked several days ago.

What puzzles me is that if the players have such a prefernce for grass why the lowest
rated fields in the NFLPA were all grass fields.

Atlanta Dan
11-27-2007, 03:45 PM
This quote from AJR II

"The field conditions on Monday night were less than satisfactory for playing the Monday Night Football game"

You think?:dang:

OneForTheToe
11-27-2007, 04:21 PM
Read a quote from Hines this morning that he prefers grass, which was the preference of most players in the NFLPA survey you helpfully linked several days ago.

What puzzles me is that if the players have such a prefernce for grass why the lowest
rated fields in the NFLPA were all grass fields.


Maybe Ricky Williams misunderstood the question and stuffed the ballot box.

83-Steelers-43
11-27-2007, 05:55 PM
At least he's considering it......

Art Rooney II: Steelers will consider artificial turf
By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Art Rooney II said the Steelers will consider installing some form of artificial turf at Heinz Field after the season but added that the team has not ruled out staying with the DD Grassmaster surface that is currently used.

The surface at Heinz Field has again become an issue since it was almost unplayable Monday night in the Steelers' 3-0 win over the Miami Dolphins.

The field had been re-sodded after last Saturday's South Florida-Pitt game, but it got pelted by rain before and during the game, making a mess of it.

Rooney II, the Steelers' president, said the volume of rain was such that it leaked through the tarp that covered the field before the game.

"I think it would have worked fine," Rooney II said of re-sodding the field, "but for a freak weather condition."

Rooney II said he expects the field to be in good condition for Sunday night's game against the Bengals, adding that the ground crew will work on it all week.

He said he was not embarrassed by how bad the field looked for Monday night's nationally televised game.

"I wouldn't use the word embarrassed," Rooney II said. "I certainly felt bad that the playing conditions were as bad as they were. It really looked fantastic (after the field got re-sodded) so I felt bad that we didn't have what we thought we were going to have and that was the unfortunate part."

As for why the Steelers will consider switching to artificial turf at Heinz Field but may ultimately stick with natural grass at Heinz Field, Rooney II said, "I think our players to this day still prefer (natural grass) in general. We think it's a better surface for playing football. It's a truer surface and it's what the game was meant to be played on."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_539968.html

SteelCityMan786
11-27-2007, 06:32 PM
At least he's considering it......

Art Rooney II: Steelers will consider artificial turf
By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Art Rooney II said the Steelers will consider installing some form of artificial turf at Heinz Field after the season but added that the team has not ruled out staying with the DD Grassmaster surface that is currently used.

The surface at Heinz Field has again become an issue since it was almost unplayable Monday night in the Steelers' 3-0 win over the Miami Dolphins.

The field had been re-sodded after last Saturday's South Florida-Pitt game, but it got pelted by rain before and during the game, making a mess of it.

Rooney II, the Steelers' president, said the volume of rain was such that it leaked through the tarp that covered the field before the game.

"I think it would have worked fine," Rooney II said of re-sodding the field, "but for a freak weather condition."

Rooney II said he expects the field to be in good condition for Sunday night's game against the Bengals, adding that the ground crew will work on it all week.

He said he was not embarrassed by how bad the field looked for Monday night's nationally televised game.

"I wouldn't use the word embarrassed," Rooney II said. "I certainly felt bad that the playing conditions were as bad as they were. It really looked fantastic (after the field got re-sodded) so I felt bad that we didn't have what we thought we were going to have and that was the unfortunate part."

As for why the Steelers will consider switching to artificial turf at Heinz Field but may ultimately stick with natural grass at Heinz Field, Rooney II said, "I think our players to this day still prefer (natural grass) in general. We think it's a better surface for playing football. It's a truer surface and it's what the game was meant to be played on."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_539968.html

I doubt they'll install it.

Atlanta Dan
11-27-2007, 06:57 PM
I doubt they'll install it.

I dunno - the tipping point for what was being tolerated by the league is having this screwup on Monday Night Football.

They are getting busted by the national media and it is chance for Goodell to "get tough" on an owner, as Wilbon (who is a Dan Rooney fan but said the Steelers should be embarrassed) stated on PTI tonight. Having a league representative monitoring efforts to fix up the field for Sunday indicates this is no longer exclusively the Steelers call.

Plus the Steelers have another national broadcast Sunday night so the story gets recycled for another week.

SteelCityMan786
11-27-2007, 07:06 PM
I dunno - the tipping point for what was being tolerated by the league is having this screwup on Monday Night Football.

They are getting busted by the national media and it is chance for Goodell to "get tough" on an owner, as Wilbon (who is a Dan Rooney fan but said the Steelers should be embarrassed) stated on PTI tonight. Having a league representative monitoring efforts to fix up the field for Sunday indicates this is no longer exclusively the Steelers call.

Plus the Steelers have another national broadcast Sunday night so the story gets recycled for another week.

Well, just from how Rooney was speaking gave me that thought. But hey, I could be wrong.

verks36
11-27-2007, 07:10 PM
Heinz Field is part of the football culture in Western Pa. I don't want them to stop playing the WPIAL games there. I want them to get better turf so they can play those games there.

The grass is part of the old school steelers mentality

Turf and rooneys dont mix and I hope they stick to the Grass

Imagine if the steelers in a matter of a year introduced a mascot and got rid of the grass what a shame.

Come on guy the grounds crew screwed up once if it wasnt on monday night it would be no big deal.

83-Steelers-43
11-27-2007, 07:17 PM
That field is shot to hell every year come November. I'm surprised we got out of that game with zero broken legs or tweaked ankles. Watching Willie Parker and Santonio Holmes (players with speed) play on that surface is not only scary, but it also takes away from their game.

IMO, the decision has already been made to install a new field for next season. I see it happening. After years of being rated the worst field in the league and after that showing on Monday night, I don't see how you choose not to install a new field. It's all old school until Parker breaks his ankle or Holmes blows out his knee. I'm sitting in my seat watching that punt stick in mud imagining it being Parker's foot while going full speed. There's a nice injury waiting to happen.

Monday night was embarrassing.

Sharkissle29
11-27-2007, 07:38 PM
i will be pissed if they install field turf. dirty uniforms and football, are two things that arnt related bc of this gay turf.

verks36
11-27-2007, 08:05 PM
i will be pissed if they install field turf. dirty uniforms and football, are two things that arnt related bc of this gay turf.

True that :cheers:

Atlanta Dan
11-27-2007, 08:09 PM
i will be pissed if they install field turf. dirty uniforms and football, are two things that arnt related bc of this gay turf.

If old school tradition is the goal, maybe they should get rid of facemasks as well..

Rhee Rhee
11-28-2007, 02:13 AM
wouldn't it be amazin if we built a state of the art stadium with a retractable roof and like the stadium design so that it gets so loud and acts as our 12th man o and maybe like thosee hugangous tv screens on all sides of the stadium so we can see every nuts touchdown at least 5 times

Counselor
11-28-2007, 08:45 AM
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_540001.html

I think Starkey's article is right on. Sorry, but I really don't care what the players on the other teams think. If Hines and the majority of the rest of the STEELERS like the grass---sounds like homefield advantage (usually) to me.

And don't use the injury angle on me---like I said in another post---the grass is generally less likely to cause injury.

GeneralRobinson
11-28-2007, 12:39 PM
So apperantly, the sod installation was the NFL's idea.

Crews were busy yesterday trying to dry out the soggy sod that was placed on top of the DDGrassMaster field over the weekend after four high school games Friday and Pitt's game Saturday. The cost to the Steelers was about $150,000. It was the first game where an existing field was covered with turf rather than torn up and replaced -- an idea NFL officials strongly suggested to the Steelers as well as to the Philadelphia Eagles.

http://www.postgazette.com/pg/07332/837278-66.stm

GeneralRobinson
11-28-2007, 12:53 PM
The article in today's Post Gazette (Muddy Night Football: The Afterbath by Ed Bouchette) states:

Still prefer natural surface, but now Steelers say they are willing to consider artificial turf

For the record, Dan Rooney was quoted in 2002 by the Associated Press as saying the following:

Steelers president Dan Rooney said the team will consider replacing the grass with an artificial surface if the turf problems continue, but no earlier than the 2004 season.

Ed Bouchette's article seems to imply that Steelers have never considered an artificial surface for Heinz Field, when in actuality, they are saying the same thing now that they said 5 years ago.

http://espn.go.com/nfl/news/2002/1124/1465983.html

rbryan
11-28-2007, 01:16 PM
Gen Robinson hit the nail on the head earlier. How about the Rooneys spring for one freakin tarp that covers the whole field??? Or at least get a grounds crew with enough common sense to not let the water from the smaller tarps pour onto the field when they take them off.

Since I'm on a roll, how about leaving the tarp on the field until right before the game starts if its raining that hard, not 45 minutes ahead of time?

GeneralRobinson
11-28-2007, 01:23 PM
Since I'm on a roll, how about leaving the tarp on the field until right before the game starts if its raining that hard, not 45 minutes ahead of time?

The problem with that is that the teams would not have been able to warm up and test out the field if the tarp would have been left on until kickoff.

TackleMeBen
11-28-2007, 02:55 PM
well then compromise and pull the tarp off about 15 mins until game time and let the teams come out do a 10 min warm up and then get on with the game... i would really hate to see them get rid of the grass... at least ricky williams didnt smoke it..lol:wink02:

alittlejazzbird
11-28-2007, 03:50 PM
I'm not sure if this is exactly the right thread for this post, but I came across this article on NBC Sports' website and thought it was an interesting read. For someone like me who isn't well-versed in the intricacies of offensive and defensive schemes, it was, I thought, a very good and level-headed explanation of how things had to be altered because of the field conditions. This guy Jeff Mroz seems to regularly post exactly these kinds of objective, informative articles...
************************************************** ******************************
Slipping up on a sloppy surface
Examining the havoc rain plays with game strategy
Updated: Nov28, 2007, 03:27 PM EST By Jeff Mroz
Special to NBCSports.com

After watching Monday night's game featuring Miami at Pittsburgh, I could not recall seeing a worse playing surface in an NFL game. The Steeler organization laid new sod after five games (including four Western Pa. high school championships) in two days (Friday and Saturday) wore out the old field. Normally, there would have been nothing wrong with new grass, but the continuous rain that poured in Pittsburgh made a mess. A poor playing surface impacts a game in several ways, including before the game even starts.

Teams do not practice on fields caked with mud. If rain falls for hours during the week, most teams will go to their indoor practice facility or to a field with artificial turf. Therefore, players are not used to practicing or playing with poor footing. Because the playing surface affects both teams this might not seem like a big deal, but it is. Take a player like Peyton Manning as an example. Manning prepares meticulously for a game, and all of a sudden priorities change because what was previously taken for granted is now a liability; Manning has to worry about not slipping and falling instead of solely focusing on picking apart the opposing team's defense.

In addition to players not being accustomed to the feel of a poor field, coaches change their gameplan before they even call the first play. Offensive gameplans are more adversely affected than defensive gameplans when the weather is poor. Since defenses are reactionary, defensive coaches simply adjust to what they see. An offense needs to eliminate plays that would be difficult to run when the field is muddy. Offensive coaches scrap plays that require players to make sharp cuts and turns. In their run game, the Steelers frequently pull offensive lineman to lead the running back through the hole on counters. Monday night, the Steelers did very little of that. Instead, they had their lineman block straight ahead and brought in their fullback to create running lanes, employing a power running attack. Their fullback played more in Monday night's game than he had in any game all season.

The passing game is affected even more. Defenses know that offenses have a limited number of plays and cannot run certain routes that require quick moves, like comebacks to the sideline or angle routes from the backs. Defenses also understand how hard it is to complete a pass thrown deep down the field, which means they will blitz with more men and with greater frequency. To account for this, offenses will block with eight players, like the Dolphins did Monday night, and only send two receivers out into patterns. The result: the QB has fewer options; the field makes it harder for the receivers to run down field, slowing them significantly; and because of the blitz, the QB has less time to throw the ball.

A poor playing surface also changes the mentality of the game. Players are more tentative when threatened with losing their footing, which leads to a much less aggressive player and game. Those who play too aggressively are likely to slip and fall. Offensive and defensive linemen must take short choppy steps as opposed to traditional longer and powerful movements. Consequentially, rushing the passer becomes much more difficult for defensive linemen. Trying to run block is similarly negatively impacted for offensive linemen. As the game progresses, the field worsens, and for players whose legs have grown tired running through the mud, merely picking up their feet becomes hard.

These types of games often start out slowly, as the first part of the game becomes a feeling out process. On sloppy fields, one play can win a game. Because no one wants to be the player who gets beaten, everyone is much more conservative. In a way, players and coaches do not play to win the game as much as they do to not to lose. Long drives are difficult to sustain, therefore ball control and field position become major points of emphasis from coaches. Typically, there are two types of winners in games like these: one is the team who scores first by putting together one good drive, converting on a few third downs and then punching it in; the other is the team that turns an opponent's mistake into a score.

http://www.nbcsports.com/portal/site/nbcsports/menuitem.6f806e473b4cb158fb00ec22493c2d04/?vgnextoid=dc04d2c1b8786110VgnVCM10000075c1d240RCR D&vgnextchannel=6f33d5e59df02110VgnVCM100000dc032c03 RCRD&vgnextfmt=default

revefsreleets
11-28-2007, 04:33 PM
GREAT article. Hopefully that helps some of the people who want to dismiss the affect the field had on the game and the players.

GeneralRobinson
11-28-2007, 06:46 PM
GREAT article. Hopefully that helps some of the people who want to dismiss the affect the field had on the game and the players.

Agreed. However, let's look at, as Mike Tomlin says, the body of work.

Since 2003 (the year DD Grassmaster was installed), including playoffs, Steelers are 29-11 at Heinz Field. Clearly, the field hasn't had an effect on winning in almost 5 full seasons.

Since 2003, I can't thing of a single game that had the extremely sloppy field conditions as Monday's game. Footing and traction have been solid (Wille Parker's issues not withstanding). The field has not had an effect on that.

Fact. Heinz Field has been rated one of the worst fields in the NFL. I'm sure Raymond James Stadium's field is cottony soft and NFL players feel like they're floating on clouds as they're lying on it after a tackle. But that doesn't translate into the quality of play being any better. Maybe because teams have a hard time making field goals at Heinz Field contributes to it's bad ranking. Maybe the fact that, on average, teams have a much higher chance of losing their games also plays a factor.

Maybe, as some have suggested, Steelers should not have resodded the field. NFL shares some of the blame there as it was their idea. The perfect storm of the new sod and the rain was a freak occurence. I hope that would never happen again. So before we, in my view, overreact and go au unnaturale, lets remember the body of work of this field. Speaking of bodies, let's also remember that the players prefer natural fields. An artificial surface will put more wear on their bodies. Players have a hard time dealing with the constant hitting and tackling on grass. Imagine how much worse it will be on Field Turf.

Oh, and with all due respect Coach Rodriguez, mind your own business. :flap:

GeneralRobinson
11-28-2007, 09:31 PM
Despite mess, Steelers don't want artificial turf
Associated Press | November 28, 2007

There is nothing artificial about the Pittsburgh Steelers' feelings. They love their home-field advantage, even if it means playing on the NFL's worst field.

Two days after slogging their way to a last-minute 3-0 victory over the Miami Dolphins on as miserable a playing field as the NFL has seen in years, the Steelers were lobbying hard Wednesday to retain their grass field.

All that was missing in the players' keep-the-grass campaign was a poster displaying a swatch of artificial turf with a slash mark across it.

"I think everybody wants to keep the grass," wide receiver Hines Ward said.

The Heinz Field grass routinely deteriorates over a long season during which at least 10 Steelers games and 12 college and high school games are played there. Monday's mess was the result of a newly installed layer of sod, installed only the day before, becoming saturated with nearly 1? inches of rain in a short time.

The players are worried Monday's nationally televised field fiasco will cause the league to pressure the Steelers into putting down artificial turf. An NFL operations official is staying in town this week to monitor the field conditions ahead of Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

"We've still got the dryers out," linebacker James Farrior said. "But if it rains again [Sunday], who knows what will happen?"

Team president Art Rooney II said the Steelers will weigh all options, including the newest-generation artificial turf. That's what has his players concerned.

"I need the grass. I like the mud. I like the sloppiness," cornerback Ike Taylor said. "I'm used to it. Mr. Rooney, can we please keep the grass? I don't want no FieldTurf. It's bad on your knees."

The Steelers have FieldTurf in their indoor practice building, which they use more frequently as the weather deteriorates late each season. Several players said it would be too much to practice several times a week on artificial turf and then go play on it.

Ward and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger don't want the Steelers to lose the home-field advantage they have in November and December, when teams accustomed to a fast artificial field must adjust to Heinz Field's ragged grass.

They might have an argument: The Steelers are 45-20-1 in November and December the last seven seasons.

"Everybody wants to see the field looking pretty," Ward said. "But that [grass] gives us a home-field advantage. You've got to learn how to play on it. For us, there's a lot more injuries on turf."

Steelers safety Troy Polamalu (knee) and wide receiver Santonio Holmes (sprained ankle) were hurt playing on artificial turf Nov. 18 against the New York Jets.

"I think every player would rather play on grass," Roethlisberger said. "The field we have is our advantage because we know what it is and we are used to it. Other teams aren't as prepared for it."

The Bengals (4-7) are accustomed to practicing on less-than-superb grass at their practice site, which may prove helpful in preparing for their annual trip to Pittsburgh. They have won there the last two seasons and could become the first opposing team to win three in a row at Heinz Field.

Willie Parker is one of the few Steelers players who wouldn't mind switching to turf, but his response was predictable. The team's fastest player, Parker said artificial turf is a help to skill position players who rely on their speed.

"But, you know, Steelers football is the grass, the mud, the messed-up field and there's a lot of advantages to that," Parker said. "Right now, we've got to use that to our advantage."

Left tackle Marvel Smith, out with a sore back, was unhappy he didn't get to play in the NFL's unofficial Mud Bowl.

"It looked like it was fun," he said. "Like a little kid playing in the mud."

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3132543

SteelCityMan786
11-28-2007, 10:02 PM
I expected to hear that coming.

plenewken
11-29-2007, 10:20 AM
http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3132543

What's funny with the players' reaction is that although they say they want to keep playing on natural grass, because of the risk of injury, they practice everyday on FieldTurf at their Southside facility.

Another interesting thing is that they don't seem to get a significant advantage when they play at Heinz Field.

They almost lost against the Jets during the playoffs 2004-2005 before getting crushed by New England one week later.

In 2005, they lost 3 home games to New England (again), Jacksonville, and Cincinnati.

In 2006 they lost 3 home games to Cincinnati (again), Baltimore and Denver

Last but not least, they won the Superbowl in 2006 by winning on the road during the playoffs in Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Detroit, 3 stadiums having artificial turf.

I hope someone in the Steelers' FO will look at the stats and bring facts before they make a decision one way or another.

Personally, I'd switch to FieldTurf and solve this endemic problem once for good.

Counselor
11-29-2007, 10:32 AM
What's funny with the players' reaction is that although they say they want to keep playing on natural grass, because of the risk of injury, they practice everyday on FieldTurf at their Southside facility.

Another interesting thing is that they don't seem to get a significant advantage when they play at Heinz Field.

They almost lost against the Jets during the playoffs 2004-2005 before getting crushed by New England one week later.

In 2005, they lost 3 home games to New England (again), Jacksonville, and Cincinnati.

In 2006 they lost 3 home games to Cincinnati (again), Baltimore and Denver

Last but not least, they won the Superbowl in 2006 by winning on the road during the playoffs in Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Detroit, 3 stadiums having artificial turf.

I hope someone in the Steelers' FO will look at the stats and bring facts before they make a decision one way or another.

Personally, I'd switch to FieldTurf and solve this endemic problem once for good.


Practice---especially during the season--- does not entail the hard hitting/tackleing that a game entails. The risk of injury is not going to be as great in practice.
The homefield advantage is not biggest issue---the injury factor is. Listen to the players---their the ones who have to play on it.

GeneralRobinson
11-29-2007, 10:36 AM
Steelers have an outdoor grass field at their facility which they also use. I don't see where it has been reported that they practice on field turf every day.

A winning percentage of .725 since 2003 seems like a good home-field advantage to me, including 8-0 (regular season) in 2004 and 6-0 this year.

I hope Steelers will look at the facts as well in making their decision. These facts show that 64.93% of players said artificial surfaces contributed more to injury vs grass, 73.87% said artificial surfaces caused more soreness and fatigue, and 67.11% said that artificial surfaces were more likely to shorten a player's career. This was a 2006 survey. None of the old astroturf surfaces were still being used at this time, so clearly the new turf cannot be equal to natural surfaces from a player health standpoint.

rbryan
11-29-2007, 11:15 AM
I watched the replay yesterday of the last HS game played this past week, (Central Catholic vs Gateway, great game BTW) Compared to the Monday night fiasco the field looked awsome. The middle of the field was one big brown spot, but at least the footing was good. Its a football field not the 18th fairway at Augusta. It amazes me they thought putting new turf over the existing field was a good idea two days before the game was to be played.

TackleMeBen
11-29-2007, 11:24 AM
I watched the replay yesterday of the last HS game played this past week, (Central Catholic vs Gateway, great game BTW) Compared to the Monday night fiasco the field looked awsome. The middle of the field was one big brown spot, but at least the footing was good. Its a football field not the 18th fairway at Augusta. It amazes me they thought putting new turf over the existing field was a good idea two days before the game was to be played.

and especially when it was calling for rain.. they would have been better off just playing on the existing field. i am all for playing on grass, maybe there is a better way they can maintain it. and its football the field isnt suppost to look nice and green like a fairway :wink02:

GeneralRobinson
11-29-2007, 12:09 PM
and especially when it was calling for rain.. they would have been better off just playing on the existing field. i am all for playing on grass, maybe there is a better way they can maintain it. and its football the field isnt suppost to look nice and green like a fairway :wink02:

I guess the NFL doesn't like muddy uniforms. Although, given the game's ratings, maybe they should.

fdp
11-29-2007, 01:12 PM
Steelers players prefer grass to artificial turf
Thursday, November 29, 2007
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The NFL, the media and even the Steelers' fans are unhappy with the mucky conditions at Heinz Field. Yet, in an informal survey of players yesterday, the Steelers overwhelmingly favored the grass -- or dirt or muck -- in their home stadium over having any kind of artificial turf installed.

And the Bog Bowl conditions in which the Steelers won a late 3-0 game against the Miami Dolphins not only drew one of the largest TV audiences on Monday Night Football this season, it attracted more fans late in the game than any other this season.

Apparently, football fans still love watching a game played in the rain and muck more than they do perfect conditions -- even if they complain about it afterward.
The game pulled a 9.9 rating, the third-most viewed on ESPN on Monday night this year. But it did not reach its peak until the 15 minutes between 11:15 and 11:30, when it grew to an 11.2 rating. Traditionally, ESPN reaches its peak viewership on Monday nights between 9:45 p.m. and 10 p.m. They had not experienced a spike that late all year.

"It built up as the game went on," said Bill Hofheimer, director of communications for ESPN. "It was the latest any game peaked. It was such a close game, and the circumstances were unique."

Steelers president Art Rooney II said this week that one reason they try to maintain a grass field is that their players prefer it. Many of those players concurred yesterday.

"You ask any player in here, take a vote, whether they want turf or grass," declared Hines Ward, captain of the offense. "I guarantee you everybody will say grass."

Of those asked, only Willie Parker -- his nickname is Fast after all -- said he preferred artificial turf because it helps him run. When pressed, kicker Jeff Reed, who at first said he preferred grass, admitted he would rather kick on artificial turf than the gumbo that Heinz Field has become.

That was about it. Ward said the players prefer grass because they believe it is safer and gives them a competitive edge -- even when the grass nubs are worn down to dirt, mud or there's soggy sod.

"It's better than turf," Ward said. "Dirt? That's home-field advantage. We play on it, we're used to playing on it. It doesn't really bother us.

"Yes, it was yucky, it was terrible, but that turf -- Troy [Polamalu] banged his knee on the turf, Santonio [Holmes] sprained his ankle. That turf doesn't give. Once your foot, whenever it gets locked in on it, it's a wrap. Maybe on grass it slides and gives."

Even before the Bog Bowl that took place Monday night when 1.31 inches of rainfall met newly installed New Jersey sod to create a mucky mix, NFL players voted Heinz Field the worst grass surface in the league in a 2006 survey. Even the Steelers' players ranked it poorly as a home surface.

Those Steelers players, however, believe that while it may not be a great surface, it is better than artificial.

"I need the grass," cornerback Ike Taylor said. "I like the mud, I like sloppiness, I'm used to it. So Mr. Rooney, can we please keep the grass? I don't want no FieldTurf, it's bad on your knees. I'm healthy right now and I would like to stay that way."

Steelers players apparently are not swayed by their brethren on other teams. Cincinnati switched to FieldTurf in 2004, and Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer said yesterday that he loves it.

"Personally, I kind of like the old school, I like the grass," Palmer said. "I like to get a uniform dirty. But from what it used to be here, our turf was always bad. I know yours up there is bad because of the situation you are in, but ours was bad all year long. ... So I like the turf better here now just because the grass was so bad. But I'd rather have a good grass field."

The Steelers don't have that, and maybe never will if they stay with grass because of all the games that are played at Heinz Field.

"I would much rather play on real grass," defensive end Brett Keisel said. "I like our field, even when it's dirt. We understand what it's like, we understand the footing.

"It's been like this since Heinz Field was built. Obviously, all this concern is because of the Monday Night monsoon. Teams come in and complain about it, but, when you come into Heinz Field, you better bring in your big-boy cleats and be ready to go."

Sharkissle29
11-29-2007, 01:14 PM
I guess the NFL doesn't like muddy uniforms. Although, given the game's ratings, maybe they should.

what were the ratings btw?

fdp
11-29-2007, 01:26 PM
what were the ratings btw?

The game pulled a 9.9 rating, the third-most viewed on ESPN on Monday night this year. But it did not reach its peak until the 15 minutes between 11:15 and 11:30, when it grew to an 11.2 rating. Traditionally, ESPN reaches its peak viewership on Monday nights between 9:45 p.m. and 10 p.m. They had not experienced a spike that late all year.


Third most viewed MNF game this season.

plenewken
11-29-2007, 01:26 PM
A winning percentage of .725 since 2003 seems like a good home-field advantage to me, including 8-0 (regular season) in 2004 and 6-0 this year.
=

I looked at home advantage stats across all NFL teams as well and you'd be hard pressed to prove me that there is a correlation between % of wins at home and nature of the field. The Pats are also 6-0 at home this year and they play on FieldTurf. Green Bay is 5-0 at home this season and they play, like the Steelers, on a hybrid surface, combining synthetic fibers and natural grass. Dallas and Indy are 5-1 in home games and they play on turf. There are also teams that have a lousy home win percentage, does that mean they can't play well on their preferred surface?

My personal belief is that the latest artificial turf such as FieldTurf, provides as good and as safe a playing field as natural grass. Note that I said natural grass and not natural mud, as it's been the case at Heinz Field in Nov and Dec since the stadium was inaugurated.

I don't think the Rooneys are more concerned by the safety of their players than other NFL owners. If they're not tired of paying several hundred thousand bucks every season to try to maintain a 1/2 decent grass playing field, then I don't understand them. One thing for sure, PA is not GA, FL, AZ or CA and grass doesn't really like to be pounded in our kind of climate.

Atlanta Dan
11-29-2007, 02:07 PM
The players say they prefer grass in response to which surface is more forgiving but the lowest ranked fields according to the 2006 NFLPA surveys are all grass fields in non-warm weather cities. If the players prefer grass under any conditons then the survey is flawed.

Even a broken clock is right twice a day and IMO Carson Palmer hit it when he said he prefers playing on a good grass field but prefers Cincy Field Turf to the grass that used to be there.

Unless the Steelers relocate to Florida or California I think grass is gone after this season.

The Steelers hve a home field advantage but they also have a talent advantage. Cleveland is ranked right down there with Heinz as a bad field & it has not helped the Browns much while the Pats certainly have not regressed at home since switching to FieldTurf.

Preacher
11-29-2007, 02:07 PM
I looked at home advantage stats across all NFL teams as well and you'd be hard pressed to prove me that there is a correlation between % of wins at home and nature of the field. The Pats are also 6-0 at home this year and they play on FieldTurf. Green Bay is 5-0 at home this season and they play, like the Steelers, on a hybrid surface, combining synthetic fibers and natural grass. Dallas and Indy are 5-1 in home games and they play on turf. There are also teams that have a lousy home win percentage, does that mean they can't play well on their preferred surface?

Stats don't work that way.

You have to take it over a 4 or 5 years period, and then test it against all other teams that play on non-grass surfaces over the same time period. One year does nothing.

Preacher
11-29-2007, 02:08 PM
I had found this link before and posted it.

It is research done to compare injuries on grass vs. turf.

Note however, who the research was done by.

http://www.sportssafety.org/presentations/field-turf-vs-natural-grass/

plenewken
11-29-2007, 02:51 PM
Stats don't work that way.

You have to take it over a 4 or 5 years period, and then test it against all other teams that play on non-grass surfaces over the same time period. One year does nothing.

I know, and I agree with you. I just responded to the previous poster who wrote that the Steelers were 6-0 at home this season, and from that was deducting that grass was one of the reasons for it. Can you say truism? <g>

I guarantee you that the nature of the field has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that a team is tough to beat or easy to beat at home. You could have given any playing surface to the Raiders or the Browns over the last 5 years and they would have still finished at the bottom of the NFL. LOL

plenewken
11-29-2007, 02:52 PM
I had found this link before and posted it.

It is research done to compare injuries on grass vs. turf.

Note however, who the research was done by.

http://www.sportssafety.org/presentations/field-turf-vs-natural-grass/

Is it true that concussions on turf are nastier than on grass? :smile:

GeneralRobinson
11-29-2007, 02:57 PM
I know, and I agree with you. I just responded to the previous poster who wrote that the Steelers were 6-0 at home this season, and from that was deducting that grass was one of the reasons for it. Can you say truism? <g>

I guarantee you that the nature of the field has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that a team is tough to beat or easy to beat at home. You could have given any playing surface to the Raiders or the Browns over the last 5 years and they would have still finished at the bottom of the NFL. LOL

The response about being 6-0 at home this year and 29-11 over the last four plus years was in response to the statement:

Another interesting thing is that they don't seem to get a significant advantage when they play at Heinz Field.

In my opinon, a .725 winning percentage since 2003 is significant. The field, while not a lush surface, does not seem to affect Steelers' performance at home. So if the club plays well on the natural surface, the players prefer it, and the alternative surface causes more wear and tear, why would the team switch surfaces?