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When Snow Suddenly Arrives, Linc Grounds Crew Calls An Audible

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 8: A member of the grounds crew uses a blower to clear the yard lines during a game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions at Lincoln Financial Field on December 8, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Lions 34-20. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA, PA – DECEMBER 8: A member of the grounds crew uses a blower to clear the yard lines during a game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions at Lincoln Financial Field on December 8, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Lions 34-20. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)

Mike DeNardo Mike DeNardo
Mike DeNardo, a veteran of KYW Newsradio for more than 25 years,...
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By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) —  Fans watching yesterday’s Snow Bowl at Lincoln Financial Field may have wondered why the Eagles cleared only the sidelines and yard lines instead of plowing the entire field.

Mike Quick noted the problem during the Eagles broadcast:

“I’ll tell you what, it’s a big job for Tony Leonard and his crew today to try and keep up with this snow!”

And it made for a spectacle: the Linc’s green natural grass buried under snow that kept falling.

Tony Leonard, the Eagles’ director of grounds, says NFL referee Ed Hochuli had outlined his priorities for the grounds crew: keeping the sidelines, end lines, and hash marks cleared.

But with eight inches of snow falling in the span of a few hours, Leonard says, plowing the field at halftime was out of the question.

“Once you get above three to four inches of snow, when you try to push that much snow across the field, you could end up with a recipe for disaster.  You could have ended up with snow piles out in the middle of the field.  Because that is a lot of snow,” Leonard told KYW Newsradio this morning.

And  Leonard says even if it were possible, it would have taken 30 to 45 minutes to plow the field, and they only get 12 minutes at halftime.

Plus, he says, where would you put the huge piles that would result from clearing eight inches of snow off of an acre and a half of field?

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