[size=12pt]Steelers hotel demands leaked[/size]
Web site lists unusual requests for team's road trips
Posted: Wednesday August 15, 2007 5:48PM; Updated: Wednesday August 15, 2007 6:22PM
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- When the Pittsburgh Steelers go on the road, their equipment managers get filet mignon, even if it must be eaten on plastic plates.
There is water, water everywhere. And nobody asks for a suite, not even owner Dan Rooney. But Rooney gets foam pillows only -- no down pillows are allowed.
The Steelers' 17-page hotel contract rider that lists their requirements down to the tiniest detail was leaked to the Web site The Smoking Gun this week. While the NFL regular season hasn't started yet, the Steelers have played one road preseason game and have another Saturday at Washington.
The Steelers have not commented about the document being made public. The Web site did not specify how it obtained the rider.
The rider is provided to the hotels where the Steelers stay and is much like those for rock stars and other traveling entertainment acts. It stipulates what services and food are to be provided and what is not allowed -- namely, alcohol. All minibar alcohol must be removed and players can't request it from room service.
The Steelers also want all players on the same hotel floor or, if that isn't possible, on adjacent floors with no outside guests on those floors. Meeting rooms must be private, and weddings, parties and musical events can't take place in adjoining rooms.
The Steelers' rider makes no specific room type requests, such as a suite for Rooney or coach Mike Tomlin.
The rider also provides sample lists of names and room numbers, both alphabetical and numerical, that show the hotel how to print up the information. The examples include some interesting names: Chuck Noll, who hasn't coached the Steelers since 1991; Tom Donahoe, who was let go as director of football operations in 2000; and Richard Rydze, a former team doctor who was questioned earlier this year about his dealings with an Orlando, Fla., pharmacy that is accused of being involved in steroid distribution.
Also, the hotel staff is asked to contact Chet Fuhrman if it cannot supply any of the food specified for meals. Fuhrman was the conditioning coordinator under former coach Bill Cowher but was not retained by Tomlin.
Other highlights of the rider, which is printed in the identical font the team uses for many of its news releases:
--A Catholic priest and a meeting room must be provided for a Mass the day the team arrives. The Rooney family is devoutly Catholic.
--A hotel security representative with a master key should be available to accompany the Steelers' security director during the players' bed check that occurs just before 11 p.m. on the night before a game.
--Only Heinz ketchup may be provided for meals. Heinz paid $57 million for the naming rights at Heinz Field.
--The team will ship Gatorade to each hotel prior to arrival so it can be placed in iced coolers located on the players' floors.
--Players with a number of years in the league get single rooms, but many players are two to a room.
--While all NFL teams carefully monitor what their players eat at training camp and on the road, the Steelers don't serve only health food at meals. Among the items made available at the team snack on the night before a game are chicken wings, pizza, hamburgers, french fries, ice cream with toppings and cookies.
--Water must be available everywhere: in meeting rooms, at all meals and in iced coolers on the players' floors. There are numerous mentions of "heavy water consumption" throughout the rider.
--The pregame meal is to be served five hours before kickoff, or at 8 a.m. before a 1 p.m. Sunday game, and includes chicken breasts, filet mignon, prime rib, linguini, salad, fruit and various breakfast items, including made-to-order omelets. Because the equipment staff must go to the stadium early, filet mignon is to be packed for them in plastic containers.