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Thursday, January 19, 2012
Power outage can't stop weather update

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Power outages at NFC West blog headquarters in the Pacific Northwest have created a few unforeseen challenges, but I'm up and running after relocating.

The San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants won't have to contend with the icy, snowy weather that has hit my neighborhood, but the rains expected to hit Candlestick Park could affect playing conditions for the NFC Championship Game on Sunday.

This might be a good time to examine NFL rules governing field maintenance.

Rules require teams to cover all natural grass fields if rain is expected during the week preceding each game. All grass fields must be covered in cold-weather areas beginning in November and regardless of weather conditions.

Wet conditions shouldn't faze the 49ers too much. They've won under a range of conditions.

San Francisco has defeated a 14-3 team (New Orleans) on natural grass in perfect weather conditions. The 49ers have beaten a 5-0 team (Detroit) indoors on artificial turf. They've won road games outdoors on natural and artificial surfaces.

This photo I snapped before Arizona and San Francisco played at Candlestick Park on Nov. 20 shows crews removing the tarps used to cover the field. The tarps help keep the field from becoming a lake, but they cannot keep the surface from becoming slippery.