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Steelers Blog

Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy changes travel plans

Posted by Teresa Varley on November 1, 2012 – 6:12 pm

The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy changed the Steelers travel plans for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. NFL teams normally leave for away games no later than Saturday afternoon, but the Steelers instead will leave Pittsburgh on Sunday morning and return immediately after the game.

The Jersey City hotel where the team had planned to stay is still without electricity, and the state of New Jersey was heavily impacted by the storm. Instead of changing hotels, and in doing so taking up rooms that displaced residents could use, the Steelers got approval from Commissioner Roger Goodell to make it a one-day trip so as not to add any unnecessary strain to the area’s resources.

“When you look at it, it’s a minor inconvenience considering what those people in New York and New Jersey went through with such a devastating ‘tropical storm’ as they changed it to, but it was still a hurricane and affected millions of people,” said Max Starks. “You have seven million people without electricity, and a football game pales in comparison to that. You just hope you can do your best to take their minds off such a travesty for a couple of hours by playing some football.”
The decision to change the travel plans was made after practice on Thursday, and the players didn’t blink when they heard about it, especially after seeing the images from the devastated areas the last few days.

“So many people are affected in the area,” said Jerricho Cotchery. “You have staff at the hotel that might be affected and things of that nature. They might not have enough staff. They have no power and you have towns that have been wiped out. I am sure for the hotel it might be a relief. For the people who live there your hearts go out to them. There is a lot of damage.”

This isn’t the first time that a hurricane has had an impact on the Steelers travel plans. They had to deal with Hurricane Jeanne in South Florida in September 2004. The team left for Miami on a Friday and then waited out the hurricane before playing the game on Sunday night instead of Sunday afternoon.

“It’s just one of those things,” said Starks. “It’s an adjustment. I look back to my rookie year and we had the hurricane in Miami and we went down extra early to beat it. When you look at that, it’s one of those things you can’t help it when natural disasters happen. You have to be able to perform under any kind of circumstances. You just have to roll with the punches.”

The Steelers were helped in this regard by it being such a short flight, and with kickoff at 4:25 p.m. it should allow for a reasonable departure time on Sunday morning.

“You just have to deal with it and lock in the best that you can,” said Cotchery. “It won’t be a problem if you are locked in on the game. We know we have a job to do and we have to get the job done.”

Hydrating and stretching before and after the plane trip are keys for the players, but other than that they plan on approaching Sunday with a business-as-usual approach.

“You have to be a professional about it,” said Maurkice Pouncey. “We just have to get on that flight ready to play on Sunday. That is fine with everybody here.”

* * *

The NFL and the NFLPA combined to donate $1 million to the American Red Cross to help in the Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts.

The NFL  will run TV pregame and in-game messages to promote donations during this weekend’s games

Posted in News, Player | 16 Comments »

16 Responses to “Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy changes travel plans”

  1. By Steven McNally on Nov 1, 2012 | Reply

    Seems strange the NFL didn’t move the game to Pittsburgh. We could have donated our proceeds to the relief effort. My son lives in that area and he says they will be without power two weeks or more.

  2. By Joann Beer on Nov 1, 2012 | Reply

    Will Polamalu play Sunday? How are the rest of the hurt players? Please let me know!

  3. By MARK on Nov 1, 2012 | Reply

    Doing what the Steelers are doing for Sundays game Makes very very proud to be a Steelers fan for 43 years.

  4. By Diana on Nov 2, 2012 | Reply

    Regardless who you cheer for on Sunday, the Giants and Steelers fans are Jersey Strong and will get through this. I cannot wait to see the Black & Gold in my home state!!!

    I’m happy they didn’t more the game to Pittsburgh, us Jerseyans need a break from this devastation!

  5. By Les on Nov 2, 2012 | Reply

    I have not heard specifically, but I am assuming that the stadium is in good shape and has power. Hope the game helps get the area back to normal. My heart goes out all who were affected….
    Go Steelers.

  6. By Jim on Nov 2, 2012 | Reply

    Steeler’s handling of Sunday’s game shows character.
    Makes me proud to be a Steeler fan.
    The day Hurricane Sandy made landfall in New Jersey I was supose to travel from Pittsburgh to the East on Business trip, which was cancelled.
    Seeing the photos of what Sandy did, who wins in the Steeler-Giants game seems to pale in comparison.
    I simply pray that the Steeler-Giants football game give the people of New Jersey a break from the events they are having to endure following the storm.

  7. By Pat on Nov 2, 2012 | Reply

    This happened in baseball in the 90’s when the Marniers couldn’t use their ballpark. Games were played in opposing stadium. Steelers and Giants should do the same. Take up a collection in Pitt. Would lessen the stress on New Jersey. Split the revenues. Pittsburgh can handle it!! All resources in New Jersey needed for residents.

  8. By sheila on Nov 2, 2012 | Reply

    I am so proud to be a STEELER fan. Good Job!

  9. By mary sutton on Nov 2, 2012 | Reply

    Bravo Steelers. You make me proud to be a Steelers fan. God help those people on te coast. I donated blood and gave to the Red Cross today. I wish I could do more.

  10. By Jane on Nov 3, 2012 | Reply

    I am proud of this organization that has compassion on those people who have suffered much devastion. We have a lady in Jacksonville, Fl. who is complaining because the marathon race was cancelled late. She is suffering great financial “devastation”???? Are you kidding me?????? Other runners also have been complaining…thank you Steelers for being the organization that you are! Good luck Sun.!

  11. By Bob Kuzel on Nov 3, 2012 | Reply

    Why don’t they just move the game to Pittsburgh and donate the proceeds to the Red Cross for the relief effort in New York?

  12. By Pat Collins on Nov 3, 2012 | Reply

    I want to thank you for your thoughtfulness and I am sure prayers. I think this song is very apropos:

    “While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
    Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free,
    Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
    As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer. ”

    God Bless America,
    Land that I love.
    Stand beside her, and guide her
    Thru the night with a light from above.
    From the mountains, to the prairies,
    To the oceans, white with foam
    God bless America, My home sweet home.

  13. By don miller on Nov 3, 2012 | Reply

    GO STEELERS 35/24

  14. By Vickie Loeper on Nov 3, 2012 | Reply

    I am so proud of the Steelers. Shows class.! I live in Myrtle Beach and I am still
    a Pa. person. Go Steelers!!!!

  15. By Richie on Nov 3, 2012 | Reply

    Welcome to New Jersey, Kick some Giant butt…Go Steelers!

  16. By Jon on Nov 3, 2012 | Reply

    I agree with steven why dont they just move the game to pitt I know a lot of people would be up set because of the tickets but they could make up for it

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