NEW ORLEANS -- This is why teams want home-field advantage.
Detroit Lions players arrived at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome just three-plus hours before Saturday night's kickoff of their wild-card game against the New Orleans Saints. Several Lions players -- including the team's quarterbacks -- tried to take the field to warm up, but they were moved to the sideline to allow the LSU marching band to rehearse their pregame and halftime performances.
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford stood near a wall by the end zone close to Detroit's locker room and opted not to throw in the limited space on the fringe of the field. He told me he'd been waiting for more than a half hour to take the field. Stafford was good-natured about the delay, but he didn't appear happy about it.
Stafford told me that every time the marching band appeared to be wrapping up, it dipped back into its rehearsal session.
The band cleared the field at about 4:40 p.m. CT, and the Lions' quarterbacks immediately went near midfield to throw -- only to have to navigate around military personnel rehearsing flag maneuvers for the National Anthem.
Follow Steve Wyche on Twitter @wyche89.