TAMPA, Florida — The Pittsburgh Steelers will be dealing with the heat for their preseason opener agains the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Friday night, and they’ll also be dealing with some gamesmanship from their opponents.
With a head index above 110 and forecast kickoff temperature of 93 degrees, it will be dangerously hot on the field at Raymond James Stadium on Friday night. Thanks to the Bucs, the Steelers will have an added handicap.
NFL teams typically wear their dark-colored uniforms at home and their white uniforms on the road, but the Buccaneers are choosing to wear white at home on Friday, forcing the Steelers to play in the Florida sun in their primary black jerseys and gold pants.
Tampa will wear white jerseys and white pants, doing everything possible to keep cool on a night where that might be impossible.
The Steelers have only ever played one regular season game with a higher game-time temperature than Friday’s predicted mark of 93. That came in a game at Phoenix on Oct. 9, 1988.
But that game in the desert didn’t come with the humidity and heat index of Friday night’s affair.
The team dealt with some high temperatures during the first week of training camp at St. Vincent College, but nothing like Friday’s game.