Hurricane Sandy is gone, but her devastating effects are still being felt by those in the northeast. With at least 74 people confirmed dead due to the storm, thousands of homes lost and millions still without power, it's easy to conclude that the New York/ New Jersey area has a significant rebuilding process to forge through. However, while the importance of football is miniscule compared to the serious issues many residents are currently going through, the Pittsburgh Steelers are dealing with their own weather-related logistical nightmare.
The Steelers were originally scheduled to arrive at the Westin in Jersey City late Saturday afternoon, but Hurricane Sandy has left that hotel without power. After failing to find another hotel with enough rooms to accommodate the entire team, the Steelers are now forced to travel to New Jersey just a few hours before kickoff on Sunday.
The Steelers are scheduled to leave Pittsburgh on an early Sunday morning flight to Newark, NJ. After eating a pregame meal, the team will then make the short trek to MetLife Stadium to face off against the New York Giants. The flight from Pittsburgh into Newark is only about an hour. With a police escort, the bus ride from the airport to the stadium should only take the Steelers between 15-20 minutes.
The travel time itself is not the issue. Professional football players normally had an almost ritualistic pregame routine, and the Steelers will be breaking from their traditional pregame routine this weekend. As a squad with a dismal 1-3 record on the road, the last thing Pittsburgh needs is more adversity. However, former NFL head coach Tony Dungy told ProFootballTalk.com that he does not think the Steelers will suffer too much from their reconfigured schedule.
“They should be OK but it’s not ideal,” Dungy said. “Players are creatures of habit and this will break up their routine.”
If the Steelers lose this game on Sunday, it's going to be because the Giants were the better team. It's not like every single one of these players did not have deal with traveling and playing on the same day throughout their high school careers and maybe even in college. That said, this is definitely an unusual situation brought about by difficult circumstances. It should be interesting to see if the Steelers come out strong against Big Blue, or if they come out flat due to their awkward travel schedule.
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