Nov 27, 2007

a Monday night of muck and mire

On the way to their most recent defeat, the Dolphins had to endure the worst nature could throw at them:
Lightning chased the players off the field during the pregame warmups, and the teams were given only nine minutes for additional warmups before the game started at 8:55 p.m., 25 minutes later than scheduled.

After five high school and college games were played at Heinz Field last weekend, crews hurriedly put down a new layer of sod atop the chewed-up turf for Monday night's game.

"It was like being on the beach in the sand on every play," said Miami linebacker Joey Porter, the former Steelers star playing against his old team for the first time.

The delayed start meant no national anthem or player introductions. The rain washed away nearly all the yard lines on a new grass field that had been in place less than 24 hours, and Heinz Field crews hurriedly put down new lines at halftime.

"It was nasty," Miami linebacker Channing Crowder said....

Late in the third quarter, Brandon Fields' punt from near the Miami goal line came straight down and plugged in the drenched turf like an arrow, burying itself several inches deep.
Reminds me of a now-infamous home game at Elma High School's old Davis Field, back before it was "improved." I was a senior in the marching band, first trumpet.

The field was bowed up in the middle, so far that when you stood on one sideline, you could see only the upper halves of the players on the other side. Drainage was atrocious. During the rainy season--all year, pretty much--the turf was reeking black mud several inches thick.

On a particularly rainy night late in the autumn, with an already nasty field chewed up beyond recognition, the marching band and drill team headed out at halftime to put on a show. I stood near the front as we slogged through the slab, trying to keep my shoes on as fellow band geeks lost theirs to the suction of the mire. We stood, shivering and soaking, as the drill team, God bless 'em, started their routine.

They went through the whole show, which ended in the row of about ten girls doing the splits in three inches of soggy, stinking ooze. To a standing ovation.

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