Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Worse Than I Could Have Imagined

When, in light of the newly laid turf, a "disaster" was predicted for the Miami game one could never have imagined just how terrible the conditions would become.

Of course the prediction made by Pittsburgh Steelers Fanatic was that Willie Parker would have difficulty running -- ironically enough that was not really the case. While his per carry average (3.4 yards) was paltry, he did carry the ball 24 times for 81 yards; and given the miserable condition of the field that's like a 200-yard game.

But, of course, looking at game statistics really misses the big story of the game: the field itself; and more importantly just how in the world can a professional sports organization as well run as the Steelers allow such a debacle to occur.

The general perception is that Dan Rooney has a strong preference for playing on a natural surface, and there is little doubt that the resulting slow field that emerges as winter sets-in (i.e. frozen and muddy) serves to assist the Steelers, especially the (shaky) defensive secondary. But what happened Monday evening was, in a word, embarrassing, and I can honestly say that that isn't something that I've ever felt before as a fan of the Steelers.

The hope here is that the National Football League will impose a hefty fine on the Rooneys thereby sending a message that the amateurish attempts of the Steelers organization to create a playable field are unacceptable, and in so doing perhaps
nudge the Rooney family towards creating a more permanent, and effective, solution to what has consistently been one of the league's poorest playing surfaces.

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