Dolphins, Patriots get ready for 'luge run'

Updated: December 7, 2003, 2:11 AM ET
Associated Press

BOSTON -- The first major snowstorm of the season in the Northeast couldn't keep the Miami Dolphins from their scheduled showdown against the New England Patriots.

Even as a major winter storm pounded the area Saturday afternoon, the Dolphins landed at T.F. Green Airport outside Providence, R.I., about 20 miles from Gillette Stadium.

The storm was expected to dump as much as 20 inches of snow on the area by noon Sunday, four hours before kickoff.

A crew of 150 began clearing the snow out of the stadium as soon as it started to accumulate, Patriots spokesman Stacey James said.

Tractors are being used to push the snow off the tarpaulin-covered field. Front loaders will be used to carry that snow away, and workers are using slides to clear the snow from the aisles.

"It looks like a luge run," James said.

The Patriots can clinch the AFC East title with a win over Miami. A New England loss would trim the Patriots' lead over the Dolphins to one game with three to play.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press