January 10, 1997 in Sports

Bluegrass Perfect Choice For Frigid Field

Associated Press
 

The last of 500 tons of new Kentucky bluegrass rolled onto Lambeau Field on Thursday despite a daylong storm with driving winds that dumped an additional 2 to 3 inches of snow on Green Bay.

“We took on a very big project and I think we are very lucky to get it done,” Lambeau Field supervisor Todd Edlebeck said. “It is great to be at this point.”

If it doesn’t get too cold and the heating coils beneath the field hold up, Edlebeck said the field will be “decent” for Sunday’s NFC championship game between the Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers.

“They should have good footing,” he said. “They should be able to get their cleats in.”

The forecast for Sunday calls for possible early morning below-zero temperatures and a high of 10 degrees. The wind could make it feel like 20 below, the National Weather Service said.

The new grass was covered with tarps to protect it from the snow and cold. Lines will be put on once the snow stops.

The storm is expected to leave up to 5 inches of snow into today, but Edlebeck said there were no plans yet to shovel the stands. It usually takes 6 inches of snow to trigger that project.

The field became a quagmire during a rainstorm Saturday in the Packers’ 35-14 victory over San Francisco.

The plan is to pack the sod at least one more time, if the weather cooperates.

Parcells uses the needle

Don’t get anywhere near Bill Parcells if you’re the least bit thin-skinned. This guy has stuck more needles into people than your primary-care physician.

And no one is immune.

“If he walked by here right now, he’d say something to me,” Keith Byars was saying on Thursday. “He’d say: ‘What are you (media) guys wasting your time talking to him for? This guy’s not Jim Brown.”’

Parcells uses his biting wit to motivate, educate, sometimes humiliate - whatever it takes to push a player forward. In the preseason he was hauled into the owner’s office for referring to rookie wide receiver Terry Glenn as “she.” Seems that offended the wife of owner Robert Kraft, so Kraft had a talk with Parcells.

Glenn healed and went on to catch about a million passes from Drew Bledsoe. Parcells always refers to Glenn as “he” now. At least in public.

Playoff fever in Jacksonville

As Leon Searcy was driving to the Jacksonville Jaguars’ practice facility this week, he looked in his rear-view mirror and noticed a car swerving all over the freeway in an attempt to get his attention.

Fearing the driver might cause an accident if Searcy didn’t slow down, the offensive tackle allowed himself to be caught. A woman, who appeared to be in her late 30s, motioned for him to roll down his window, and he obliged.

“Are you a Jaguar?” she asked, just hoping for a glimpse of fame.

This type of behavior has occurred for the past couple of weeks, building when the Jaguars upset the Buffalo Bills in the first round of the AFC playoffs, then swelling Saturday when they knocked off the heavily favored Denver Broncos.

“It’s unbelievable,” said Searcy, no stranger to fan loyalty after four seasons in Pittsburgh. “They just want to talk to you or touch you. They just want to be a part of this. I figured I’d better roll my window down and talk to her, or she was going to get herself killed.”

The Jaguars couldn’t believe what they saw when they arrived at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium after returning from Denver at 1 a.m. Sunday morning. The lights were on, and the parking lot was full. As they got closer, they could hear the pandemonium caused by 40,000 people, some of whom got out of bed just to welcome their heroes home.

“I thought we had great fans in Cleveland until I came here and saw how Florida loves its football,” said Keenan McCardell, a former Brown.

© Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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