I know this is a Packers site, but some things just need to be said.
The Chicago Bears really piss me off. And I’m not referring to anything they have done on the playing field, but it most certainly has to do with the field they play on.
Last Friday, while the Packers were finishing up their practice week in preparation for their own Family Night, the Bears were busily cancelling their own Family Night due to unsafe playing conditions at Soldier Field.
My question is why-and it’s directed right at the leadership of the Bears.
We all remember the playing surface at Soldier Field during the NFC Championship Game last January. A semi brown, dying tundra looking surface that not only was an disgrace to the NFL, but in particular to the Bears. A proud, historical franchise that is forced to play on dangerous turf repeatedly, yet also refuses to make any changes to the ongoing turf issues at Soldier Field.
As far back as May 2010, the Chicago Park district has offered to replace the sod at Soldier Field with some form of turf grass, a synthetic type of grass which is what is used at Lambeau Field. The Chicago Park District even offered to pay for the surfacing at Soldier Field, only to be told (strongly paraphrasing here) no thanks-we’re good with what we’ve got.
What you’ve got is one gigantic mess.
First of all-grass doesn’t grow in the winter. Yet every year, anyone who lives in the Chicago Metro area can admit they’ve seen, read, or heard of a report of re sodding Soldier Field in the middle of the winter. I may not be an expert in the field of grass technology, but going back to my high school chemistry days, and using a little common sense, if the ground is frozen, it’s going to be difficult to have the roots of the sod take to the earth and grow. Maybe I’ve been misinformed my whole life, but probably not.
Second, and more importantly, we are talking about the safety of NFL players. For all the talk of making the game safer, with respect to concussions, less practices during training camps, and fines for excessive violence when tackling, it is somehow acceptable to allow professional athletes to play, week after week, on a surface that I would not let my dogs use as a place to relieve themselves. One wrong cut, one bad hit, and any player is a potential blown out knee, torn up shoulder, or broken bone away from serious injury. Despite all of this, the Bears top brass still continues to march their team, THEIR TEAM, out and play on a substandard surface, as well as endanger their opponents. I just do not and cannot fathom their thinking.
Imagine if the Packers played on a surface like the one at Soldier Field: would you as a fan be proud of the stadium the team plays in? Or would you cringe at the sight of it every week, knowing that Mark Murphy and the Board of Directors had decided that it was acceptable to endanger the health of the Packers players? That is exactly what the Bears have decided to do, and it’s terrible.
Maybe the McCaskey family should have a pick up game on the playing surface at Soldier Field and reconsider the offer to have field turf installed.
Filed Under: John Rehor