St. Louis is known to get quite hot … but this hot? Indoors? In September?
In a unique and bizarre turn of events, the Sept. 27 NFL game between the St. Louis Rams and Pittsburgh Steelers was delayed for about 30 minutes after the turf near the Edward Jones Dome’s south end zone caught fire during pregame introductions.
“That’s a first,” Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis told ESPN.com. “I wonder if the NFL will make a new rule about flames and pyro inside. Both teams had to roll with it.”
The fire started when a flame from the machine that is supposed to spit fire directly in the air caught the turf. Edward Jones Dome employees quickly ran onto the field to extinguish the fire, but the residue left a mess about 10 feet wide. Stadium employees started by trying to sweep the residue off the field, but when that didn’t work, a vacuum was brought out. According to the ESPN report, the biggest concern from the damage wasn’t the burned turf but the residue from the fire extinguisher. One Rams official said the fire extinguisher label warns of “antifreeze irritant” and the biggest concern was that players would get the residue in their eyes. Once Rams’ medical professionals were consulted, the game kicked off at 1:28 p.m. Eastern time.
The Rams released a statement after the game, which read: “During today’s pregame player introductions there was a pyrotechnic cart malfunction that resulted in the turf catching fire briefly. Field staff quickly extinguished the fire. Out of an abundance of caution for player safety, the game was delayed to clean any residue from the turf. NFL officials were involved from the onset to monitor the cleanup process and approve the game to begin when it was deemed safe.”