Cathy Parker Field: Barrow, Alaska
Whaling and football mix quite well in Barrow (Alaska)
, with special thanks to ESPN and Cathy Parker.
ESPN writer traveled to Barrow and did a story on the local high school
football team, the Barrow Whalers. The story earned an Emmy and
spotlighted the plight of the Whalers, who were playing football on a
large patch of dirt.
Cathy Parker, a mother and football fan
from Florida, read the story and was inspired to start a fundraising
campaign that produced more than $500,000 to build the Whalers a real
football field. In honor of her heroic efforts, the colorful (blue and
yellow turf) facility is called Cathy Parker Field.
is located 3 miles south of the northernmost point of land in the
United States and is open to constant cold, blustery winds and
occasional snow flurries.
"On a flat stretch of land, with the Chukchi Sea a hundred yards to the west, the tundra of the North Slope to the east and nothing but a couple
miles standing between the field and the northernmost point of land in
the U.S., this 'stadium' is unlike any
other I have been to," said Courtney Hammond, who spent time in Barrow while studying at the Dickey Center Institute of Arctic Studies. "Instead of enclosing spectators and players
within the stadium, here, both spectators and players are completely
exposed to the Arctic elements and the beauty of the horizon in all
It's not unusual for spectators to
watch a football game, then journey less than a mile to watch whaling
captains bring in their hauls. More photos of Cathy Parker Field