Western Pennsylvania has long been known as a
"hot bed" for football. From high school to college to the pros, the fans in the
Pittsburgh area enjoy all levels of the game.
Heinz Field is not only the home of the
Steelers, but also where the Pitt Panthers play. Additionally, every year around Thanksgiving, Heinz
Field hosts high school championship games for levels A through AAAA.
All of these sporting events came together in
an 11 day period with 7 games being played at Heinz Field (4 high school games, 2 Pitt games and 1
Steeler game.) The culmination of this stretch of football, began on Friday, November 23rd, when 4
high school championships were played. Then on Saturday, November 24th, Pitt hosted a game. The
Heinz Field surface took a tremendous beating, with most of the midddle of the field robbed of
Steeler's management, knowing that a
nationwide audience would be watching, decided to spruce up the field by placing new sod over the
old turf. Everything looked great, until the heavy rain began to fall Sunday night. Further
exasperating the situation, the tarp that was placed over the sod leaked and, because of the way the
sod was placed, the field had little to no drainage.
The game was delayed for almost 30 minutes due
to lightning and the terrible condition of the field. Grounds crews worked feverously trying to
remove water and rechalking the field, as all markers had been lost. Their hard work proved futile
as it was nearly impossible to drain the playing surface.