Steelers-Giants game to go on as scheduled
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J (AP) — Sunday's NFL game at the Meadowlands between the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants will go on as planned despite concerns about the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to discuss transportation issues that could arise. Christie, according to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, says the league would not be "diverting any resources away from relief efforts." There have been long gas lines throughout New Jersey and New York.
Aiello says Christie was pleased the game would be played.
The Steelers changed travel plans because the hotel they booked in New Jersey did not have power. The team will fly in Sunday morning and leave after the game.
Goodell will be at MetLife Stadium briefly Sunday afternoon to meet with first responders, then will fly to Atlanta for a previously scheduled fan forum.
Giants coach Tom Coughlin wasn't surprised that Sunday's game would be played as scheduled.
"Nothing is pushed back in the NFL," Coughlin said. "Everything is on schedule. Everything stays on schedule. We've made some adjustments to try to accommodate and anticipate some issues that we might have ...
"We're not denying what's going on. I think that's foolish. Everyone has been struck by this. Although, I would like very much to make sure that the focus is 100 percent on the task at hand. I think you do have to have a little bit of a mature attitude about these young men, their families and some of the circumstances they might me going through.
"I mean, we've got guys who have kind of doubled up and families have gone to where they can, where power is in existence, especially people with young children."
Several Giants players and their families were forced out of their homes by the storm. Punter Steve Weatherford, wife Laura and their three children, including a newborn, stayed at the home of placekicker Lawrence Tynes and his family. Guard Kevin Boothe, his wife Rosalie and their two young children did not lose power in their home and hosted tight end Martellus Bennett and his wife, Siggi.
"I think everybody just kind of texted one another to make sure everyone was OK," Boothe said. "We were able to help Martellus and his wife out last night. So that's why we're here, that's why we're teammates. It was great.
"My son (2-year-old Dante) loves him. I think he thought Martellus was there solely to play with him, so they had a great time. They were painting and doing a whole bunch of other things."
Running back Ahmad Bradshaw believes the Giants can help lift spirits during the recovery, similar to the way sports played a healing role after the terrorist attacks in 2001, when every game the following weekend was not played.
"We're taking care of each other," Bradshaw said. "Hopefully, we can take care of New York and it will be a good Sunday for everybody. We need to get everybody through this storm, this weather and everything else; get through this month and get back to normal. Hopefully, our wins and our success helps.
"We feel like we can spark New York. Just what we do, what we've done, I think we can also help everybody in New York and New Jersey that's going through this."