Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Speaking of grass inquiring Steeler Nation wants to know.

It will be, ahem, interesting to see how Heinz Field's new sod fares on Saturday.

The entire playing surface at Heinz Field was re-sodded following the New Year's Day "Winter Classic" between the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitols.

Maybe the grounds crew should have simply left the skating rink in place?

It's remarkable what can be done anymore, but still ... it's winter. Since the new grass (FieldTurf?) was laid in place, in fact, the temperature in our fair Burgh has yet to rise higher than 25 degrees (Fahrenheit, you Canadiens -- viva les Alouettes!). Last night, we had several inches of snow, and more snow is expected over the next few days, including Saturday.

The playing surface has been covered with a tarp ever since it was resodded, so we're not sure anybody really knows what condition it is in today.

An inquiring Steeler Nation wants to know: Will Heinz Field remain a skating rink? Will it be a muddy mess? A pristine garden?

Or, will it be like our playing "field" my at Peabody High School in East Liberty, where the maintenance crew sprayed massive amounts of black oil to completely cover the dirt playing surface and turn it into a blacked-over parking lot, essentially, with the surface as hard as concrete. It was so nasty, they couldn't even paint yard-markers on it.

Yeah, that was an "educational experience" but absolutely no fun to get slammed down on. Well, it made us tough -- at least that's what the ex-Marine coach told us, and he was probably right, considering what happened later.

But that's life in the city, and we digress.

Back on topic: Heinz Field has a desultory reputation for having one of the worst, if not the worst, playing fields in the NFL. Remember the Muddy Monday Night Slopfest against the Dolphins a few years ago?

Will the field even be playable? Will the turf pull up the first time Haloti Ngata does his impression of a Pamplona bull digging into the dirt with his foreleg? Will the Steelers and Ravens use a hockey puck instead of a football?

An inquiring Steeler Nation wants to know.
We'll find out soon enough.

Image courtesy of The Washington Post.