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tk13
10-21-2005, 02:17 AM
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/12956859.htm

Hurricane forces KC to play under Friday night lights

By ADAM TEICHER

The Kansas City Star


The Chiefs haven’t played a Friday night regular-season game since October 1964. Dick Vermeil’s experience with Friday football goes back to his time as the coach at Hillsdale High in San Mateo, Calif., in 1962.

Both streaks end tonight. The NFL moved Sunday’s game in Miami to 6 tonight at Dolphins Stadium because of the looming arrival of Hurricane Wilma.

The Chiefs had to scurry to change plans Thursday. They weren’t happy about heading into the path of the storm even if the full force of Wilma may not hit the Miami area until Sunday.

The forecast for Miami tonight calls for thunderstorms and temperatures around 80 degrees.

Despite the Chiefs’ disappointment at not getting the game moved to Kansas City or a neutral site, coach Dick Vermeil tried to put a happy face on the situation.

“Our attitude is that they couldn’t have picked a better team to send down there and play well,” Vermeil said. “The guys are in a good frame of mind. They accepted it. We’d like to have it a different way, but we have no choice. No one called me to ask about it.

“We don’t need any excuses to play poorly. We’ve got to accept this as an opportunity to go and win a football game. If the New Orleans Saints can go do what they had to do, then the Kansas City Chiefs can go do it one weekend.”

As Wilma approached and the NFL needed to make a decision, its options were boiled down to three: Play in Miami tonight, Atlanta on Saturday or Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday.

When the league became confident it wasn’t putting anyone in danger by playing in Miami, the decision was simplified.

“There’s a hurricane coming in, so the game had to be adjusted. We felt this was the best outcome,” said Greg Aiello, the NFL’s vice president for public relations. “We’re able to play before the storm arrives. We did the same thing last year with Miami and Tennessee.”

The NFL moved a game between the Dolphins and Titans up a day to Saturday because of the pending arrival of Hurricane Ivan.

The league has precedent for moving the game to a neutral site or to Kansas City. It moved a 2003 game between the Dolphins and Chargers from San Diego to Tempe, Ariz., because Qualcomm Stadium was being used as an evacuation area for residents because of California wildfires.

Early this season, New Orleans played what was supposed to be a home game at the New York Giants because of damage to the Superdome caused by Hurricane Katrina.

“We didn’t have the option of playing that game in New Orleans or anywhere else in Louisiana, for that matter,” Aiello said. “That makes that situation different from this one.”

The Chiefs might have preferred flying to Miami on Thursday but couldn’t arrange for a charter flight until late in the day. That put them in the unenviable position of flying to Miami in the morning and playing tonight.

Their schedule calls for them to depart Kansas City International Airport about 9 a.m., arrive shortly after noon, hold the team chapel, have the pregame meal, bus to the stadium and play.

“It puts us at a competitive disadvantage,” Chiefs president/general manager Carl Peterson said. “It’s a lot to ask to shorten your week, which both teams have to do, and then fly 3½ hours on the same day you’re going to play a 3½-hour regular-season National Football League game.

“It’s difficult, but we’re going to do it because the National Football League wants us to.”

The Chiefs players didn’t seem daunted by the prospect of heading into the path of the storm, though.

“I didn’t hear any groans,” rookie linebacker Boomer Grigsby said, talking about the meeting when the players were informed of their travel plans. “I looked around the room, and there was nobody panicked or even had their eyes slightly raised.

“Coach Vermeil has done an outstanding job impressing to us all week that it doesn’t matter what time or wherever, we need to play our style of game. We have such good leadership, a lot of tough guys on this team. No one’s going to use that as an excuse.”

For the Chiefs, the change meant converting what was supposed to be a full, padded practice on Thursday into a walk-through. They had their goal-line, short-yardage and scoring-zone situations scheduled for today’s practice but never got around to working on them.

The players were set free by midafternoon presumably to rest for what promises to be a long day today.

“We didn’t chop up our game plan and throw it out,” Vermeil said. “The weather may dictate we do that as we get going. We’re an experienced offensive football team. We can do some things maybe some teams can’t do because they’re very young. We’ve got a very experienced offensive line except for the right tackle. We know what we’re doing.”

The Dolphins have a short week, too, but at least they get a break because they won’t have to travel.

“Sometimes you have to improvise and adjust,” Miami coach Nick Saban said. “You can’t let it be a factor, in terms of preparation, how you prepare, what you do and you have to get ready to compete in the game. Both teams have a similar circumstance. The maturity of those teams will determine who can go out and play the kind of football that you need to play to be successful.

“The best thing for the two teams is to play Sunday at 1 p.m. That is not safe for the fans and the players. This is making the best of a bad situation, relative to the weather and safety of people and families.”

The game, which figured to be a close one in ideal weather conditions, might go to the team best able to keep its mind on business. That may not be so easy to do.

Chiefs defensive end Carlos Hall played for the Titans in the hurricane game last year. He described a situation where players kept one eye on the threatening sky.

Even Peterson acknowledged being distracted by the idea of traveling to a hurricane area.

“I’ve never watched the Weather Channel as much as I have in the last 24, 48 hours,” he said.

But the Chiefs’ main concern has gone from heading into a dangerous storm to player safety in what should be less-than-ideal playing circumstances.

“What are the weather conditions going to be when those guys play (tonight)?” Vermeil asked. “Is it going to be a football game or a mud bath?

“I just want the conditions to be safe, safe for my players. Slipping and sliding. Muscle pulls.”

The shortening of the week means the Chiefs will play without two injured starters, cornerback Dexter McCleon and wide receiver Samie Parker.

The Dolphins may be without two of their key players, defensive end Jason Taylor and linebacker Junior Seau.

Cornerback Eric Warfield will play for the Chiefs, but Dewayne Washington is the probable starter in McCleon’s place. Marc Boerigter probably will start for Parker, but Chris Horn and Dante Hall should also play.

Count Alex's Wins
10-21-2005, 02:22 AM
"We’re an experienced offensive football team. We can do some things maybe some teams can’t do because they’re very young. We’ve got a very experienced offensive line except for the right tackle. We know what we’re doing.”


I talked about this in another thread and Dick has confirmed my suspicion. The Phins are going to be at a disadvantage because this is their first year in this offense, and as a team they are still "gelling" under Saban. KC is the exact opposite.

Mecca
10-21-2005, 02:24 AM
I'd agree with you if the offense had looked like a cohesive unit this year for more than the Jets game. The offense really hasn't clicked this year they need some practice time.

Count Alex's Wins
10-21-2005, 02:27 AM
I'd agree with you if the offense had looked like a cohesive unit this year for more than the Jets game. The offense really hasn't clicked this year they need some practice time.

Yes but at the same time, the majority of the players are familiar with the system. No one is going to run the wrong route or miss an assignment.

A good example is the Raiders game where they had to throw out the gameplan in the middle of the game.

onescrewleftuntwisted
10-21-2005, 02:55 AM
i'm sure there is some football law that i don't know
but why not have the game on sunday at arrowhead

Count Alex's Wins
10-21-2005, 02:56 AM
i'm sure there is some football law that i don't know
but why not have the game on sunday at arrowhead

Because Tags is a bitch.

luv
10-21-2005, 03:01 AM
Another reason why this sucks. A lot of fans have kids who play high school football on Friday nights. They'll have to miss the game. That, or their kids will not have their full attention since their parents will probably have radios at their games.

Mecca
10-21-2005, 03:43 AM
i'm sure there is some football law that i don't know
but why not have the game on sunday at arrowhead

I'm sure everyone in the AFC West would have had a bitch fit of epic proportion if the game had been moved to Arrowhead.

HemiEd
10-21-2005, 04:11 AM
I think the profile is going to pay off in this game.

KcKing
10-21-2005, 04:18 AM
Cornerback Eric Warfield will play for the Chiefs, but Dewayne Washington is the probable starter in McCleon’s place.



HuH????
:banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

Herzig
10-21-2005, 05:53 AM
i'm sure there is some football law that i don't know
but why not have the game on sunday at arrowhead

Because KC is not New York City. They do things like that for the Giants but not Kansas City.

Wile_E_Coyote
10-21-2005, 06:17 AM
if they could manage a win, the confidence could carry them the rest of the season.

"Men we have faced more adverse conditions than this(throw in about any scenario) & were victors. We have taken on an impending hurricane & shorten week and won..."

Extra Point
10-21-2005, 06:19 AM
"The shortening of the week means the Chiefs will play without two injured starters, cornerback Dexter McCleon and wide receiver Samie Parker."

Ask, and ye shall receive.......

Bob Dole
10-21-2005, 08:27 AM
And given that they were making it all up anyway, why the **** did they feel the need to start the game at 6pm? Why not start the damned thing at the usual NFL evening game start time?

Oh...that's right. That would actually give Kansas City a couple of additional hours to get ready after the plane lands.

Sam
10-21-2005, 08:31 AM
The Chiefs have to travel a day early and miss a practice. Does the NFL put ay restrictions on the Dolphins practice schedule as an equalizer?

Should they?

How fair would that be?